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Four Poems by Sonnet Mondal


“Blue-Collar Twister”

Sweat tries to swim upwards through the hairs
of a labourer building the statue of the herald
but fails and falls in the soil sucked up by heat,
Vanishes as a struggling animal in quicksand;
Dreams drain and entity turns into fossils as slippers
walk over it.
His weapons are a chisel and spade;
He lifts them to protest but vacuum wailing in the curves
of his muscles make it fall again on the mummified ground;
just to dig, dig the ground for
the Herald's statue must stand firm
or his existence will be buried under its
falling weight...
Toils will evaporate with the smile of the moon
The dawn will hear sounds again-
sounds of iron striking against rocks.
The air waits to weave those sounds
and strike a twister with them-
Tall enough for the world to see
bold enough to step over mountains
Clear enough to show the waving hands
begging a day out of slavery.




“Reforming Dracula for a Better World”
(As a reaction against social & communal evils in India and improper forms of protests)

Is the cultural diversity at stake? My mom asked.
Watching Dracula on T.V. I said
I wonder why he doesn’t eat beef or pork
Why doesn’t he prefer diversity of meat!

Her frowning eyes interrogated my unperturbed grin.

Someone has been lynched for eating beef.
My mentors are busy adding puns to their protests
returning awards and shouting on social media.
My friends with that eminent bit are waiting for their turn
to adopt the fashion in front of sardonic cameras.
My long time favourite poet too has taken up the role
Of the leader of opposition, resigning from his public service.

The market fashion of this week is to return awards, mom.
Why don’t you surrender something too son? (Mom)
They have occupied the glory of awards and the glory of returning them too.
I wonder what to surrender!

Watching Dracula movies are a healthier choice
than graduating inside diluted walls of establishments.
I can dream of getting irrevocably intoxicated by his bite
Get bored of human blood and enjoy beef and pork for a change-
Without the fear of murderous thugs
Without caring to wonder about the glory in returning awards.




“Guerrillas”

Look
how they walk together: our heralds
as guerrillas scream for food in huts
with crumbled breasts
clinging onto the lips of baby skeletons

NO, there isn’t anything dark in it.

The stars are brighter than ever today.
Each one as intense and unwavering as the pole star
crowding beside the streets of our national gate.
God bless their firmness!

We are still wondering
seeing you two in our national television,
if we can ever see our reflection
in the polished skin of those escorting cars behind you.

Smiling in a stance which you might term Satanic
we are walking with earth above our head.
The vanity cars:
they will surely show us our faces,
once these roads are complete.

Seeing how we look then,
we will surely laugh
like guerrillas.




“Unusual Shiver in Winter Days”

She was a creeping winter,
coiling and settling into the wardrobe
of my lined collections-

of cassettes and clothes
(Scattered in a bachelor’s room)

Suits arranged by brands
fragranced by sensuous nights
brought by you molded me
into a gentleman
below uncombed hairs
and unwashed hands.

I was into lessons to be clean
while
I was feeding on my love.

From a scrappy life
beside a pond
abound with weeping cranes
she was the only fish
in front of my hungry beak.

Short-lived and destructive
as most pleasures are
I am wedged back
back into an untidy shiver

from an act worthy of no mercy.


Sonnet Mondal is the founder of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review and currently serves on its editorial board. He has authored eight books of poetry and has performed on invitation at the SAARC Literature Festival, 2013, Struga Poetry Evenings, Macedonia in 2014, and Uskudar International Poetry Festival, Istanbul in 2015. Most recently he has been invited to deliver talks at the XII International Poetry Festival of Granada, Nicaragua, in 2016. He is currently one of the featured writers at International Writing Program at The University of IOWA-Silk Routes Project funded by Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Sonnet was featured as one of the Famous Five of Bengali Youths in India Today magazine in 2010 and was long listed in Forbes Magazine’s Top 100 Celebrities 2014 edition, among India’s most celebrated authors. Later, in March 2015, the CultureTrip website, London, listed him among the Top Five Literary Entrepreneurs of Indian English Poetry. His works have appeared in the Sheepshead Review, The McNeese Review, Common Ground Review, Two Thirds North, Penguin Review, California State Poetry Quarterly, Connotation Press and Nth Position, et al. Website: sonnetmondal.com.