Poetry | By Debarshi Mitra | Issue 34 (Sept, 2020)

On the right to plagiarise/subversion as an act of reading
/ a way of rejoicing in incoherence

Hold the pen,

turn the page

how does one write a poem,

where does it begin,

what shall the first word be,

the one gleaned out

of the subconscious

making itself amenable

to psychoanalysis.

Write it! the word I mean,

stain the white with ink

each letter a blot

on this vast expanse,

which reminds me

someone once said

poetry is a thirst

for more space

which further reminds me

I had once said

space is the absence of language,

which is of course

not very revealing

once it is subjected to examination,

but what is examination

if not of the wrong thing,

only a life unexamined

is worth living,

someone might have said

or not, I don’t quite know

which is not surprising

given that there is a lot

that I really don’t know,

what I do know however

is that knowing is not

the same as embodying.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

and that has made all the difference.

BTW I have been meaning

to ask, Carlos your plums

where do they come from?

I’m not sure I know what

a plum is, but somehow

the question feels familiar
if only slightly so,

anyway poetry is a fruit too

I think, they call it

the inaudible whisper

of the terra incognita.

I like to think of it as a fruit

with a particularly hard shell,

perhaps there is light in there

and mystery and more,

I went there once

in the days of my youth

but now that I’m here

in an unfamiliar room

at an unfamiliar time,

it is almost as if

I never went.


Debarshi Mitra is a 25 year old poet from New Delhi, India. His debut book of poems ‘Eternal Migrant’ was published in May 2016 by Writers Workshop. His works have previously appeared in anthologies like ‘Kaafiyana’, ‘Wifi for Breakfast’ and ‘Best Indian Poetry 2018’ and to poetry journals like: The Scarlet Leaf Review, Thumbprint, The Punch Magazine, The Seattle Star, The Pangolin Review, Leaves of Ink, The Sunflower Collective, Coldnoon, Indiana Voice Journal, The Indian Cultural forum, among various others. He was the recipient of the The Wingword Poetry Prize 2017, The Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize 2017 and was long listed for the TFA Prize 2019.

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