Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fungus Evening

Fungus Evening
By Nilim Kumar

Translated from original Asomiya
By Dibyajyoti Sarma


Where do you go brother?
Where do you carry
These dead birds on your shoulders?

Sister, I go to my mother
The rain had killed the birds
I go to get their lives

Where does your mother live?

Across the mountain that sits like a vulture,
Crossing the abodes of wind
Passing the processions of clouds
The starry sky, songs of the crematorium
Barring the sobs
There’s a velvety pond
There, on a lily, lives my mother

How would you cross the mountain, brother?
Wind will crash you
Clouds will bury you
You’ll get burned by the stars

I’ll travel in a song, sister
Among the rocks,
Causing the leaves flutter

Will you take me with you, brother?
I’ll call your mother mine
In your song, I’ll untie my tresses
Fling my hands, bare my heart

Sister, if I take you, mother will be angry
For, my fate is to be solitary

Then, I’ll be a bird, brother
The rain would kill me
As a dead bird, I’ll travel
On your shoulders.



She has gone to the court
Wants to leave me

I too visit the court
File a case
Against her

Now, I see her often
In the corridors

The lawyer keeps postponing
The dates

On the day of trial
I stand on the dock and see:
Grief is the judge

And what a surprise
Both of us have the same lawyer



Thirty paisa in the pocket
Cost of a cigarette

If I had a rupee
I could buy a drink

No money even to get drunk
What poverty!

Just have a heart
Could I bargain it for some love
To get drunk?



While playing
The doll hugged me

You have two hands, give me one
Two legs, give me one
Two eyes, give me one

I gave

And I lost
One hand
One leg
One eye

Played this game with love

Jumping happily the doll
Went away

The sky said:
If you don’t know the rules
Why play?


In Love with the Mermaid

He’s in love with the mermaid
The mermaid came to him as a fish
Stretched her golden hands
Called him to water

Inside her castle of water he saw
Her green bed
Her dark scarlet heart
Hanging on a bough of a sapphire tree

He sits everyday on the bank of the pond
Fishes know him too
Sometime with the fishes
On lotus leaves
He sends epistles to the mermaid

Sometimes the mermaid comes up
Spends the day with him
In song and dance
But he wants the mermaid to cry
Putting her head on her bosom, he wishes
She should drench in tears
He wants her heart too to be pierced
In longing and love
And then,
In the evening, she tires
And goes back to water

She swims like a fish
Spreads her golden hands
Towards him

Her hands tremble
And turns into
Lotus leaves

He’s in love with the mermaid.


Like a Bird

Like a bird
Comes her memories

On my window

Have you come to
Collect corn and hay?

But the corn of sadness I eat
I can’t give it to you
Where I sleep is
Burnt hay

Drink water drowning your beak
In my lips
Just scratch the soil below my bosom
You’ll find some food

Removing the patches of blood
Don’t open the door to my heart
Oh, my dear bird
Sadness lies there

Or have you come
To arouse my sadness

Like a bird
Comes her memory.



To catch me
She sets nets

Often I fall into her

Since I have a knife inside my heart
I can slit the net and escape

She weaves another one;
One after another, she
Sets them everywhere

I too fall in net
And rip them apart
One after another

She goes bankrupt
Yet keeps weaving the nets
Sets them

She is a hunter.



Tonight in the silvery stream of the moon
Your body, my body

Tonight turning into a creeper
You’ll mount my shoulders

Tonight my hands
In the tornado of your hands

Tonight my lips brimmed with
Your ambrosia tongue

Ah! Tonight by your tits
Mutilated my heart

Oh, the goddess of sleep
Tonight is then the night.


On Whose Forehead I’ll Smear Colour

Who won’t let me remember last night, who
Will pierce me with saddening good nights and
Good mornings
Who, with the colour of her tears, will
Ask me to draw small household dreams, who’ll come
To sit along with me at the dining table, to comb the
insecurity of my hair, to put a cover on my pillow,
To spread cold sheets on the bed, and to
wipe away the darkness of my inebriation,
who’ll offer me the blessing of her touch and sight,
who in some night will tangle me like creepers
on my breast would lay entwined the sleep of whose hair
who’ll hide my crimson shirts, burn my favourite
letters, arrange my old poems which because she
didn’t understand are not dangerous!
Who gradually will turn a stranger to me,
Go away, faraway from my heart!
To make my sadness more painful is she
Coming on whose forehead I’ll smear colour?



Her heart
A high hill

Turning into cloud, I touch her

Sometimes, crushed on her rocky heart
Drenching hills, trees, fields, and houses
I come down

People think its rain.



That’s why the sea can never sleep

Every night the moon and the stars
Come to bathe in his bosom

The wind too wants to sleep with him
The fishes and the snails too

The boats and the ships
Emblazon his heart

But he fall in love
With the girl who picks seashells
But does not enter his waters

That’s why the sea can never sleep.


Shillong, 16th April, 1989

The mightiest rock in the world
Was sleeping under a white pine tree. In yellow
Inebriation of whisky, I don’t know searching
For whom, I have found this rock
The spelunk and the pits of the rock was brimmed with moonlight
Like a nude girl, sparkled the flinty torso of the rock
On my ear tunnel was a gust of yellow breeze

My shoes turned pale in the moonlight
Everything wished for nakedness in the moonlight
My clothes were ill at ease
The rock curved, creviced
Came up to my lips
The yellow breeze, moonlight, and under the white pine
The mightiest rock in the world
Was indulgent for a few seconds

Suddenly when a wild thorn prickled
Blood began to stem from my feet
And I was surprised to see
My blood was not red, but yellow.


Snowy Night

The night did not know how to darken itself
Through the glass window, I saw moonlight drenched snow white hills
Livid trees, the cold roofs of the snow covered houses and a
Shapeless chimney
When we arrived, the icy breeze woke up
And left the bed. And to get rid of the cold we
Set fire on each other’s bodies
There was only a yellow liquid to drink
In inebriation we talked about digging the snow
To have some darkness
Because the night did not know how to darken itself and
We too did not know how to freeze in that cold!
Suddenly she sobbed. Because it was a small piece of a dream
Broken from a longer one
Which in morning we’ll have to bury in the snow.



I tether my heart

Otherwise eats flower
Breaks fences
Enters into other’s courtyard

Evenings I bring him home
Tie him on the bosom of my heart

Otherwise goes to pub
To have his fodder

Problems in the tether too
Doesn’t chew grass
Doesn’t eat at the stable
The salt of my eyes, blood fodder

No speech, no look
No movement
Like tears weeps love

What to do

Shall I sever
The tether?

Shall I free you in the open field
Severing the tether

Oh my heart!


Women in Water

The river does not want to ebb away
The women have entered the
Water to take bath

What shameless cauldrons
How they stare at
The women bathing

When the women enter the water
The reeds

The women do not want to change
Sopping clothes
The field’s eyes are open


Application Wanted

Applications wanted
For a revolution

The ideology of the revolution is love

The applicant must have faith in love
They must themselves be a lover or beloved
They must have qualifications to understand men
They should carry an anguished-exiled heart but
There must remain an insatiable desire to fight for blood
Experience of doing mistakes in life and spending days in hell is a must
Some seats are reserved for
Agony-lovers, and those crazy in love
Applicants with grotesque characters will be given preference

Age: till death
But the age to understand life and the world shouldn’t be less

No limits to remuneration
As per work would be given blood, death or life
Coins of joy and sorrow

The limit to submit the application is evening
Before people go out for a drink

Tormented Revolutionary Lover
Office: Open Field
Post: Heart
Via: Soil, Water, Fire, Air, Sky etc.



She’s a cook

Cooking my own flesh
She feeds me

Two glasses of drinks

Serving midnight on the palms
Of her hands.


Nilim Kumar

Beneath the water there’s a crematory
For fishes

In the sky there’s a crematory
For stars

In the forest there’s a crematory
For the greenery

But where is that crematory?

The sorcerous tree didn’t tell me
Where is that crematory

Where the birds set fire
On my beloved.


Fungus Evening

Don’t you remember yesterday too both of us
In the evening of that old restaurant
Sucked chicken legs! And day before yesterday too!!
And today also you have come with the same proposal –
In that same old restaurant, in the old shadow of that
Same evening, the old legs of that same chicken

Don’t you remember we had an insect too
Called Japiang, whose taste you savoured
While eating them we discussed the theory of
Genealogy, turning the glasses of liquor upside down
Didn’t we call evening by his name then!

And didn’t the evening walked with a stoop
When we walked bending together through the
Potholes of the town! He sparkled in our blood
On diner table he crouched towards our teeth
Holes and its sharp points and when the cigarette
Was lit, in the smoke he smiled a wooden smile

And when you folded your two knees into two triangles
On the bed, I saw
Your private parts and the evening’s
Hand on your thighs! As if
He too was queer like both of us

Don’t you remember the evening, that old
Fungus evening.



Without seeking permission he opened the
Door of my heart

Getting in, he broke the
Flower pot of my love

What a flagitious guest
Arrived at morning
Offered food
Come evening
No sign of the guest’s leaving

Come night
The guest fell asleep on my bed

At midnight, giving me a bundle
Hidden in his heart
Suddenly he took my leave
He’ll travel by the night train

Opening the bundle I saw
Like the flower pot of my love
Broken is his love too

What was that guest?
Were did he go in the night train?


In Your Smoke-coloured Room

In your smoke-coloured room you
Still wait for me. Gradually you stop recognising
The books around you. The fog and the cold of the
Winter that you loved surround you
Thinking that my old shadow will descend stopping
You wait many a night in the courtyard drenched in tears
In the mortuary office once you
Inquired for my name
Just for a sound of knock in willing
Desperation you gaze at the door

For that flickering knock of my
Most solitary finger
Frozen by snow and cold.



He was selling love

I gave him my heart saying
Give me too

How much
He asked

For death
Answered I

But then
He had love only for drunkenness
In his cask

I said
Give me that much only

He said
Give me change then

I said
Changes are all over

Keep the heart
Give me the remaining in evening.


Next to Your House

Next to your house
I have built my own

Stealing one or two plants
From your garden
I grow on my own

Whatever you create
Water, earth, sky
Little by little, I steal everything

Midnight I trespass at your courtyard
Through the hole on the wall I peep
To see how you sleep

I never could slumber
Such treasures in your house

I cannot steal
I guard them

Of your heart.


Nomad Lover

The nomad lover will arrive
And search with a start
Were lies the road
To your heart

When the nomad lover comes
Don’t stand in the courtyard

Your song

Hide the sad art of
Your face

Wear a
Stony dress

He will ask for your

Hide your heart
Don’t gaze even for once to
His desperate lips

He will arrive anyway

And search with a start
Where lies the road
To your heart.



In great secrecy within her bosom
Blooms a red hibiscus

When the driblets of petals
Falls on the ground
Weeping, she informs her mother

For seven days and seven nights she does not show
Her face to sun, moon and stars

For seven days and seven nights she drinks succor of soil
Near her head on an earthen bed waits a clay lamp
Over a pot-full of rice

Women arrive, arrive buzzing females
Chanting, they fill the pots with flowing water
Hiding behind the water ferns small fishes
Listen to the distaff hymns

Within a holy enclosure a banana sapling turns into a bridegroom
With sesame seed and turmeric the women bathe both
Carrying in each hands pot full of flowing water

She adorns a garland of beads
On the sapling’s neck
Two gust of winds of two hands the banana sapling
Graces her hair

Wearing a red dress she touches the soil
Corn seeds fill her lap
Weeps alone the very bottom of her heart

At night enters some fireflies
Into her heart

Someone takes away
And buries the banana sapling behind the house

Enwrapping wind in infant leaves
I was the banana sapling
On her puberty.



Seeing me alone the rose bush
Pricks me with its thorns

When I wanted to deplume the bush
Requesting hue and cry
It said
I’ll offer you a drop of my blood
Every night
Please come

Since then
Scratches of thorn on my body.


The Sea Cultivates the Waves

The sea cultivates

In darkness I cultivate
A field of moonlight
A few seeds of stars

What do you cultivate
In your heart

The way the birds cultivate

The way sleep cultivate

The way water

What do you cultivate
In your heart

The wind of which valley plays
In your hair

From which ocean you bring
Your seashell breasts

The way the sea cultivate waves
The surf and the salt
The fish and the shark
The boats and the ships

What do you cultivate
In the sea of your heart!



The shop where I go to drink
There is a woman there

Since there is a woman there
People gather in the evenings, nights
Tumblers in their lips

And I cannot drink
Since she is there

One day I ask
Who are you?
She answers
That she’s not love

I proceed towards another shop.


Sterile Thoughts

Let them lie on my bed
The dry light of the stars and your barren thoughts
Don’t desire your touchy torso
Let it be ugly with green lights
Let the silence of your womb nest
Meaningless existence
Love you more than the earth, love the art of your body
This sin will help me proceed further
And they will stay behind who
Does not sing night’s song in dawn’s room made of wood

And in an untamed hardship not celebrated by the wood-mill
And behind the smell of the cut trees
In the midst of these copper-wood pieces
Like an afternoon, I’ll sweat in self-mortification
And you’ll sweat in sterile thoughts.


The Bronze Voice

Till she called me with a bronze voice
I did not turn into a man of bronze

Till she thought I don’t have a heart
I did not lose my heart

And like a musk deer she searched for
The scent of her omphalus in the bronze wave

My hand was just like a hand
Spreading below the fungus

Till she thought my heart-coloured earthen lamp
Would not light, the path of light was not barren

And looking to save it under my tongue
I washed her bronze voice in the water of my lips

I did not turn into a man of bronze
Till she called me with a bronze voice.



You are cold like water. You cast your neck like a camel
To the sea of moonlight. One of your breasts is frigid.
You talk green but the colour of your bosom is blue
You like dog, dread cat.
You envy flowers. You cannot sleep under
The tree. Cannot watch horse race.
Evenings you snuff out lights. You mature in night.
Placing your head on the flute’s tune you sleep.
Pomegranates on the courtyard of your lips. Soil in blood. Sky in bone.
Dreams live in your eyes, not in heart!
The stones fall in your quietness, in your sigh
Sinks the confusion of the boats.
You can sing in the crematory. In your hair you treasure
Entwined wind. You can bid goodbye to yesterday’s
Evenings and nights!
You transform from heat to cold, from cold to heat
Heat or cold! Snapping, wrapping the numerous wires of secrets
Your green body grows like creepers, colourful sculpture,
The load of the rock’s hunger, the blood of the asphalt.
Can’t write can’t write for you
I your last verse.

No comments:

Post a Comment