Debasis Mukhopadhyay

Notice to rebroadcast

O Sultan mine, I just read your poem Notice to recast where looking on your flowerpot sky you feel the smudge of my absence on your skin. You hear the train behind the fence, you hear the rain in the kitchen and you are reminded of the necessity of touch. Several lines down you say, “I heard it and I heard it again. A song that stayed unopened in my throat.” Honestly, I am never very sure how your poetry works on me. You could hear everything : the rainstorms behind the kites, the pantomime in the trammels, the trampoline behind the rampages, the songbirds in the pantechnicons… everything across your roughcast of solitude. And everything reminds you of everything, from windpipe sonata to wingspan of a pansy. I wish I could understand how you napalm me while I sleep. As if just like my body my mind also can’t shake you and always awaiting you in bed unopened. True that poetry never sucks and the blancmange sloughing in the overdone ruts between my thighs. Sultan dear one, my husband, my boyfriend, my needleman of tournament, my winger right to left, my slaloming tramline behind my fertility, my panegyric of fucking superintendent, why can’t I understand your poems? Or why can’t I just write a poem that is what when my handgun trades the simile of blankness? But that won’t make it all right. No point in blitzkrieging to unbalance the brain. Let’s think about honeyed baklavas and listen to balalaikas. If you are my bloody bastard, I remain your bloodied bitch.

dictionary of polarity

… called placebos
… called clusters
… called breastbones
… called damningly
… called woolen starlets
… called cloudbursts
… called blueprints bluebells bluebirds

… called hieroglyphs & happy hours
… called cliffs & climes
… called plasticine & placenta
… called fingermarks playing the ethics of emptiness
… called lipstick shoreline & etymology as a notion
… called clavichord & voiceless liquids
… called seedcakes & secretive cherub
… called lollipops & policy
… called clown’s play & poinsettias
… called schoolgirls & dead marionettes
… called charabanc honking & nincompoops’ bolero at stop sign
… called coagulate & euphemism
… called imbroglio & heart-to-heart ventriloquism
… called boa & bole
… called schizophrenic smooches & evasion of clitoris
… called lithography & wispy bricks
… called scourge of polarity & scorpion
… called what-the-hell-do-they-all-do-here

a woodwind dampers or a sweetened slash

Loo my gazelle
my wisp lapse of where I stand
my bare hands on the whispering rivet of sweepstakes
my look-alike roan of missing you
my clump of look out for
my once straitjacket sweetheart
my lapwing across the window of mizzle
my whittled fingerprints on
my clove of geisha clue
my wodge of withdrawal
my fuchsia magellanica

this is not a witch-hunt
a witticism crossword promising you sweet gemstones
or firebombs’ tapestry across the wimp
this is not the footmarks of weaklings swelling across the gelatin slag
the yellow heartthrob of a lonesome wraith in your orange sorbet
another whizzing strait of missing you
the genealogy of dairymaid sweetmeat across the slash

just larval loll
just sycamore leaves swiveling against the backcloth of a fugue
just a whorl of bread crumbs
just a lasso
a strap sans stratagem
swirling birds finding their way in the gas tappet
just tapeworms daydreaming of wingspan on their footpath sickbed
just another dagger swaying inside a whodunit
just a minim in the data cluster

this is far from the lost cloudbursts
the fallen ramparts on the fallen leaves
the waxwork of footfalls slaloming
the whiteout of longing
the aftertaste of long gone clutter of clouts

this is just the wishbone you’d left me with

–from inside the window-dresser where you’d forgotten the clown Loofah

Debasis Mukhopadhyay’s recent poems have appeared in various journals & anthologies including The Curly Mind, Algebra of Owls, Erbacce, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Rat’s Ass Review, Words Dance, Voice of Monarch Butterflies. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net. A chapbook of his work entitled kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in September 2017.

Editors’ Notes (Posit 14)

If you have ever scored an especially amazing present which was difficult (if not downright painful) not to prematurely reveal, then you know how my team and I have felt while assembling the current issue of Posit! So it is with great excitement — and no small bit of relief — that we offer the masterful works of poetry and prose by this issue’s distinguished roster of contributors. Perhaps it is not such a surprise, in light of the current geopolitical climate, that certain themes recur in a number of these works. I’m thinking, for instance, of the psychology of questionable celebrity (via Lydia Davis and Joe Milazzo), the breadth and violence of domestic and global injustice (Tongo Eisen-Martin, Rajiv Mohabir, Sarah Riggs), and the toxic confluence of fraudulence with power (Joanna Fuhrman). But here you will also find a robust literature of love and hope — for instance, in the tender yet powerful work of Maureen Seaton, Rajiv Mohabir, Lynn Schmeidler, Debasis Mukhopadhyay, Tongo Eisen-Martin, and Sarah Riggs. In other words, the literature in this issue casts a penetrating light on our critical collective ills — and on how they might yet be transcended.

So don’t miss:

Stephanie Berger’s lyric explorations of relation on both the personal and the global scale, entailing and enacting the “ethereal chasing the unspeakable” to an end which “isn’t the point & yet . . . is indispensable;”

The brilliance and precision of Lydia Davis’s Five More Claims to Fame, as sharp as a laser and as probing, bringing her profound but subtle humor to bear on human vanity and the inescapable distortions of subjectivity;

Tongo Eisen-Martin’s virtuosic convocations of voices from the besieged, indomitable heart of American urban reality, in which “the start of mass destruction / Begins and ends /in restaurant bathrooms / That some people use /And other people clean” — viewed with wisdom, musicality, and love by this “conductor of minds / In a city-wide symphony / waving souls to sing;”

Joanna Fuhrman’s witty and chiseled reimaginings of received mythoi of poetic authenticity and presidential honor, in which we learn that “before George, there was another / first president,” although, resonantly, “when the rivers voted for him, / the earth cratered in shame;”

Kevin McLellan’s spare and resonating koan-like meditations on reality, perception, identity, and existence, which is “not unlike the uncertainty // behind these open bulkhead / doors” in which one is “put into motion // from falling and stilled by / the thought of crawling;”

Joe Milazzo’s exploration of the psychology of minor celebrity, the porosity of its self-love and self-loathing, “bold shame free-styling / out towards air taken with itself,” as well as the breathless virtuosity of Palindromes Are the Fascistic Imagination’s Anagrams, its “limp exercise trailing / the mad pudge of gesticulations / tracing / the glutinous curl;”

Rajiv Mohabir’s lush and generous yet precisely turned paens to love and life and survival in the face of “beetles worm[ing] from the mouths of saints, / words rotting in books” and “the fires all about telling me / a mass extinction looms / and I should drop my flowers / and run;”

Debasis Mukhopadhyay’s love songs to poetry, polarity, and “the rainstorms behind the kites, the pantomime in the trammels, the trampoline behind the rampages,” laying his “bare hands on the whispering rivet” of the sweepstakes of the imagination;

Sarah Riggs’s HEARD (Crisis), balanced, along with our endangered planet, on the edge of hope and alarm, struggling with delicate wisdom and poetic alchemy to engage these uneasy times in which “freedoms / crash[ ] together into one giant globe-wreck” so as to avoid “render[ing] the time a point / of contention rather than a beautiful /mingling of constantly translating spaces;”

Maureen Seaton’s lyric riffs on the eternal themes of love, mortality, poetic heritage, and the very fabric of reality, via the pared-down, unvarnished magic of her beautifully turned phrases (“I’m still / in bed with my life and death and / destruction”), and potent imagery (“The way these / electrons come together, you’d think I was real;” “The mountaintops are rippling. I can’t hold back the gods”);

Lynn Schmeidler’s arresting lyric examinations of the tension and complexity of the way things are, as opposed to how we wish they were — treated with grace, originality, and the optimism that “it’s still early in the world of tomorrow and each new word is a machine;”

and the litanistic intonations of Stu Watson’s Kleptomaniac Thomas Hardy Wedding, nimbly juggling startling collisions of image and meaning like a “fraternal knot dry heaved out from [the] earth” with the musicality of rhyming couplets “floating by on a river of glee | flowing freely from a guilting mob.”

Happy reading!

Susan Lewis


Welcome to the visual art of Posit 14!

The political and aesthetic maps generated by the fertile imagination Malala Andrialavidrazana tell intricate stories of the history of colonization. Taking Africa as her focal point, these works marry the history of continents and cultures with a distinctively contemporary sensibility expressed via intricate layers of image, both descriptive and decorative.

The sculptural installations of Lorrie Fredette refer to the multiplicity of organisms, the elegant architecture of natural forms, and the phenomenon of reproduction. She uses a critical mass of objects to completely transform and interior space. Each installation relates directly to the site in which it is installed, creating magical worlds of form and shadow.

To view Brenda’s Goodman’s paintings is to witness an intensive dance between intellect and intuition. Her work is a passionate exploration of form, figure, color, and narrative. Every painting tells a story, be it abstract or literal. These narratives are fiercely personal, yet contain the power to reach out of the canvas and connect with each viewer. They are both beautiful and substantive — a powerful combination.

Ruben Natal-San Miguel travels the five boroughs of New York City documenting the eccentric and beautiful people that he meets along the way. A self-taught photographer, he has an unerring instinct for how to engage and capture that perfect moment in street photography. His subjects, carefully posed for the camera, reveal humor and pathos.

And Jill Parisi’s work delights in the vagaries of nature. Her installations dance across walls like swarms of beautiful critters. The single objects ask us to focus on the patterns and delights of the natural world. Her mastery of the art of printmaking is revealed in the fluidity with which she moves between materials and techniques.

I hope you enjoy!

Melissa Stern