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History Cannon-foddered

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About Subho

Subho Maitro (Subhadip Maitra) is an author, translator, and journalist. He is a bilingual writer who has written poems and short stories in both English and Bengali. He has written two books of poem Jadukori Boighar (2014), Adar bapari jabe Armeni Ghate (2016) in Bengali. Subhadip Maitra also writes fictions. His Story was selected for Shunya Doshoker Golpo Sangraha, an anthology of Bengali Short stories of first decade of this century. His short-story collection Jerry Indurer Gorto theke (From the hole of the Jerry Mouse) got published in 2017 and novel Guljar Shohorer Pokkhi o Nagar is published in 2020.

His poetries, short stories and essays have been published in various magazines and web journals of India, Bangladesh and USA. Sahitya Akademi’s journal Indian Literature published his poems and translations.

History Cannon-foddered

I

Histories are fodders for cows,
they give-in to lot of chewing.
I had a thing for the spice-route
and my wife said it’s pretty kinky,
but this exotic dream of mine got crushed,
I saw dwellers’ skins and bones
were all what left on the route.
But I still didn’t buzz
and created
a lush road full of mountain passes,
rhododendrons, dandelions and tea ceremonies
                                            – all in my mind;
dancing girls and sturdy traders filled my reverie.
I asked a painter friend to draw this dream,
when he completed  I found
It could have been a scene
from Vegas or Arabian Nights
                                         or a Tinto Brass film! 

II

After the maps and chaps are gone we venerate the ruins.
The crumbling abodes of their crime, revelry, and orgy
become sacred altar as if  we still want to offer our ass,
                                                  to be their sacrificial bull.
How every year we lit up those cenotaphs
and make selfie-pilgrimage, sucking up all
the gobbledygook from their guide-books.

I prefer Museum instead,
 it is so alive, even in its thuggery of stolen history.
Strange juxtapositions, figurines from ancient
and seventeenth century miniature talking to each other,
creating a labyrinth where meaning is more whimsical
than the chronology and tyranny of grammar.

III

Don’t go near to those cattle
they notice your syncretic skin.
What a blue hue, what a soft vulnerability
I almost felt like saying – Bovine!
But mind it, they may want the skin back instead*
                                           and gobble you up.

What a nightmare,
medium rare steak-meat of history
is now getting cooked in the ‘tandoor’ of mythology
that no McDonald will serve.
Even if you cry ‘dollar, dollar change money’
like the beggars of Sudder Street,
no soul to be reflected in your polished shoe.
So remember to keep your bourgeois skin safe
                              anytime it can get bitten up. 

* Ancient Vedic mythology says human being exchanged skin with the cows….

IV

married to the old father time,
your sporadic flirtation
with that hunk called narrative will not hold,
both of you have skeletons in your cupboard.
Girl you thought you were prizy,
and I’ve seen more men
trying to chat-up with you,
having wet dreams about
what is beneath that ‘Dopatta’ than your cretinum.
Oh you have it inside girl, I still believe
you turned Idi Amin into a lover
and Modigliani to a vagabond.

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