Poems by Sukanta Ghosh


Risk = Possibility X Consequence
I may not be able to meet him at 6 PM
Possibility = 5; Consequence = 2
Therefore, Risk = 5 X 2 = 10
During monsoon, next year, the Damodar could send its tide into their home
Possibility = 2; Consequence = 5
Risk = 2 X 5 = 10
Relativity is born from the difference between the two 10s
The unknown bird doesn’t call from its wooden cage
Between the concepts a balcony ran endlessly
Planning does not have to contradict promise
Manners play, of certain fruits and pets
Its natural that many possibilities would
Keep a safe mathematical distance from their outcomes
Protracting light n’ shade cover my early life
And with calculated risk can see my vanity
Is made temporary by the unit of conventional time — a tool of evolution
Ancient eyes losing affection
A clan of colored eagles fixeted on Mahua
Call on the barmen in white uniform
Place a cocktail order
All of this carry enough proof
That the northern and southern limits of nostalgia are gradually fading
As differentiation embeds itself into some research subject
Of volatility, vanity, feelings and promise
Waiting for the Arabian night to get over
As frequency and wavelength maintain a kind of relativism
In their continuing symbiosis[1]


A Gothic Recipe

As he told me, “You don’t have to have too many elements in a film, but whatever you do, must be all right elements, the expressive ones.” Simple-sounding advice, which nevertheless touched upon one of the fundamental principles of art — economy of expression.

Party size – Ideally not more than four
– Oak wood, easy on embroidery
Topic – Dominance, originality desirable, anecdotes welcome
Time Limit – It’s not fashionable to wear watches anymore

Many would keep their words now
It’s relatively easier with all negation withdrawn
Time’s unit, too, could lead to a limitless search
as we familiarize in private
A relentless retiree might spend all his rest looking up a word
Deconstruction is literally destruction
unless a certain constructive talent rises from the simmer
Talent — unitless, relative, immeasurable, an idea that pertains to easily charmed warm-
blooded mammals
who are then, the immoderate influential
servility of clannish beings, a derogatory address
I don’t like the mild light, the natter
Take off the artificial completely
Let the tattoo on your back touch the neon flame
That body is rhetorical and clockless
looking for its own history


Those Letters
Thank you for your letter. Because of the large volume of mail I receive, I am unable to write personal responses. Nevertheless, know that I read and save every letter, with the hope of one day being able to give each the proper response it deserves.
Until that day,

Most sincerely,

There is no “heart” anywhere in my carefully saved letters
“Mind” is a different thing, as we know
I nurture the idea of the birth
of an expectant subconscious
In reality there cannot be a proper personal response to any question —
But a question represents its inquirer
Let’s hope some letter will arrive
whose proper response is known
and that it rests in my archive will be mentioned in reply
And upon never quite receiving that desired letter
that day I might think — with each receipt is born
a saga of a certain loneliness
Letters and knives have been bound by a historic relationship
Elegy or anniversary celebrations — are both acts of escapism
A written note of promise is a common desire
Fables written by the lovely twinning of pictures
with such unwritten letters
transport our youth to a crucial juncture
where rejection becomes the usual course
and one’s belief in a parallel galaxy turns out
easy and acceptable
Letters written on colored paper come in white
envelopes and vice versa
My conscious letters have a single recipient, a thousand subscribers
privately construing a distinctly different tale
in every word-pair
while others look for amazement
to light up their solitary wordly lives



While listening to the church organ
Not sure if I’m perplexed or pleasantly illusioned
when I listen to the church organ
— But you are an atheist!
Perhaps, Sunday morning’s confession
sex sins of someone knelt down before polished mahogany
makes me tired at times — I believe in gradual modulation
— What about those birthdays then?
Why no one puts out the candles now!
Shadowy hatred in real deep
deep in D-sharp
— Do you feel any presence in the margins, in the nodes?
I see helixes in their lips, enchanted strings
and their complex mathematical shenanigans
— Can she comprehend you?
Of course, I eat ice cream on the beach
— Does that mean you like the sea, openness?
Blue is the color, whose wavelength defines my atheism
Vibration is often a confession from which
many gods and church singers are born
So we all love the gradual modulation
And some love blue.


Translated by the poet and Aryanil Mukherjee.


1. Translation notes: Damodar: Indian river. Mahua: both the white flower and white wine made from it.