Issue 28: Rupsa Banerjee

A View of Watching the Breakers

Communicating the bare involves brush paints, holding

the possibility of making easel turn the path of star-tails

a sudden sparing creasing of oil, dried marine blue

the ocean cupped in unabated color only life-etched

brine-lipped spilling granulated-memory, the body a shell

submerged in the closing of edges, air-spawned wave lines

crests breaking moon-cliffs, Melville’s leviathan-bed in drift;

The trespass of the shores near the breaking of the dawns

the hang of clothes against parabolic spray, glazed surface

of crystallized vision holding stretch and curve, geal cold-blue

jauntily scraping surface, the salt arc turn-over of days

with the year’s curve reaching the lunar path frosted between—

            sight-scarved a step against the circular travels what

            maps leave behind with us the sphere of seen beliefs

            the clank of coast-lines the places where stones temporarily

            open shafts the mast-struck flights of birds the associated

            conditions of logging up the misty grit with the opened palms.

Under certain lights the vast sky painted appears a colour apart from

the coastal menace blue, a refractory ambience that shields

chatter-scar fumbling tissue a glint viewed from above the inverted

canopy of frilled white on canvas appear looming directing gaze away

from the plaster a strife of odours, the colour of sun-tasted haunts

more thinning sticking with protein binds the bubbled water, the blown

threads the orbital nearness of glassy metal travelling back to record sight.

Circular listenings

Crept vines hold cloud hazard, free burn of shy glances

knowledge free indistinct airwaves and the gaps in monstrosa

a haven for small birds unaffected by the signals.  Our

deference to the water, the shoring of the inflections,

a certain transfer of sounds, small marks above us

where speech originates moss-green in the clammed

shell flowing sea-water grain tasted with the breaking

of in-land salt float minerals sheltered record of the sweep

of time and twists in the utterance. Skin under the heaving

water shapes itself as language, for now an ’vasion holding

the places where the sand vanishes into the mouth of the sounding.

Rupsa Banerjee is Assistant Professor of English, St Xavier’s University, Kolkata, India. Her academic essays have been published in Sanglap and The Apollonian. She has translated modern Bengali poetry into English for a collected anthology on partition poetry and is currently working on translating the English poetry of J. H. Prynne into Bengali.

She has co-edited the collection Rethinking Place through Literary Form (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2022). Her poems have been short-listed for the River Heron Poetry Prize (2019) and long-listed for the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize (2020) and have appeared in pamphlets published by Lady Chaos Press (New York), Chaour (Kolkata), Earthbound Press (London), and Veer Press (London).

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