Notes from my Rented Room


I’m at my desk again, scribbling, dreaming—

of verses unreachable, of words unattainable.


Each day a mere repetition of the day before—

of what’s already been said and done.


Nothing is certain in this country, I write. Except

the masks, the batons, the towering lingam—


our sweet opium, except the myopic eyes 

of jaundiced gods staring from dilapidated altars.


I write and delete the last stanza, an invisible thought

police breathing down my neck.


Dreams of a ballot box fester like an old

sore—the state-owned needle pricking its head,


letting the gangrenous pus of free speech drip—

down, down the rotting gutters of a fallen democracy.


The wound is clean, and verses run through my body,

boiling, buzzing, bickering—


they rush and seep into every pore, every cell—

uncalled/unadorned: not in the mood to leave.


I confess I don’t know a nation that doesn’t kill.


Between cooking and teleconferencing, I dream 

of a world devoid of demented dreams—


I walk down the road in Dillibazar to meet

the poet who died some fifty years ago, my head


throbbing with questions: How did it feel to be

an artist in a country bereft of art? How did it feel to be


tread upon, to be shat on, forever and evermore?


Drenched in the slowly falling night & the gasping city 

light, too afraid to disturb the sweet slumber of street dogs, 


I stare vacantly at the crumbling facade of the poet’s

house that once housed the genius, who left the world


too bruised, too battered—the same feelings I have as I 

scheme for my exodus from this ramshackle rented room.

Poetry by Bibek The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 78 times
Written on 2021-04-29 at 18:04

Tags Monologue  Musings  Meditations 

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email (requires login)
dott Print text

My favourite moment among the many excellences: "the myopic eyes/ of jaundiced gods staring from dilapidated altars." Rarely have adjectives seemed so vivid and vital!

The whole poem lives.

jim The PoetBay support member heart!
This may be too fine a point, but, often young writers take an existential pose to appear brooding or sensitive or life-weary. This poem is no pose, it is as wrought and rich in existential angst and dread and weariness and hopelessness as anything I've ever read.

Beware you don't go so deep that you lose yourself in it. Though, great art may come of it. "Two Serious Ladies," by Jane Bowles comes to mind, more so than F. D.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
This is well-crafted, Bibek, and it contains so many arresting images.

Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
Now, this is very good, Bibek. And perhaps we are mistaken, but we have a memory of you writing from your room a few years ago.

We enjoyed entering the poem and observing you at your desk, not in a weird way of course. Moreover, we appreciate your observations, especially those that are placed in italics. But it is all very interesting, really.

If we may make one suggestion, it is to replace 'puss' with 'pus' in S7, although we rather like 'puss' here too :>)