Translated from Kokborok (Roman script) to English by Saroj Chaudhury
I am now deep in silent sleep.
Like a child suckling, nestled at its mother’s breast,
Like a tired face buried deep in the beloved’s tresses.
Yet my thoughts, my anxieties haunt me even in slumber.
Now and here, like our blood and our indifference,
My sleep and myself run crimson through our hearts.
Our learned intelligentsia
Parrot the tutored words from within the party-cage,
In much of my words the tune of sleep echoes likewise.
As the coronet of power, pride and wealth
Fits well the ministerial heads,
My sleep sits on my head as a golden crown,
Making me a king.
I traverse the hilly track,
The roadside shrubs lean onto the path.
The extremists tread and run over them,
Proud boots of security men also tread over them.
The corpses are carried along this road.
This dead face seems known.
Kutungla’s wife had assuaged her hunger
With boiled weeds and a marsh frog. She died.
Watuirai passed away from enteritis or dysentery.
And again, they say,
Someone has died in an extremist shooting,
Somebody’s son has died in the crossfire.
He was a customer of our bank, rather garrulous,
Had married a few days back.
Whenever he met me on the road he would ask
At first I used to reply—
Then ignored the question.
Why should I tell him where I’m going?
And how far do I know my own destination?
Am I really going someplace?
Or simply flooding the road with the glow of my crown?
Only my sleep knows. Sleep is my life.
My father does not approve this sleep of mine.
My mother gets irritated, my wife gets angry.
Yet there are some, who join the festivals in earnest,
Casting a furtive look at my sleep and me.
They earn money at cockfights,
Sit by the stars and laugh out loud.
Here, slumber lies on my breast, caresses, kisses,
With face flushed in ecstasy.
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 91: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 90: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith Fiona Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
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- Judith Bishop Reviews Phillip Hall’s Fume
- Bella Li on as Associate Publisher
- Alex Creece on as Production Editor
- Review Short: Diane Fahey’s November Journal and Carmen Leigh Keates’s Meteorites
- Review Short: Vahni Capildeo’s Seas and Trees and Jennifer Harrison’s Air Variations
- To Outlive a Home: Poetics of a Crumbling Domestic
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- Dispatch from the Future Fish
- Introduction to Cordite 89: DOMESTIC
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- Selections from 3 Yhonnie Scarce Series
- Kathy Acker and The Viewing Room
- To Live There: on ‘Dispatch from the Future Fish’
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- Externalising the Symptom: Radicalised Youth and The Membrane
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- Translated Extracts from Chantal Danjou
- Translations from Old English
- The Poets: Pejk Malinovski Self-translates
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- Stereocilia for 2 Ears of 1 Person