Thursday 15 August 2019

Poetry 2019 Longlist, Jagari Mukherjee


P.S. - I have known since last year that I am going crazy.

Monastery or mental asylum --
which of them will provide me
a feast of sugar plums?

My hollowed body is possessed
by Van Gogh and Mary Lamb --
sunflowers and Shakespeare in my brain.
Is there a mind?
Something leaches out of me
into a dank-smelling drain on
the fast bahn, a German train.
The Elbe and the Rhine
flow through my head.


At Schloss Pilnitz I witnessed
a production of King Lear --
oh, what a falling off was there!
There was real thunder and rain.
I don't remember the end,
but the audience screamed when
Regan plucked out Gloucester's eyes
and blood ran down her arms
and I laughed and laughed
because I knew it was all lies.


I pluck out memories to prove I am not dead.
I am both mad Lear and blind Gloucester who bled.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet live in a midsummer shed.
Van Gogh's bullet is lodged in my head.

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