Two New Poems by Kaustuv Gosh

The World Has Changed
by Kaustuv Gosh

 

It is hard to make sense of the world in a downpour
When you are on the other side, in a dry compartment.
We are safe, we are safe, everything is as it should be
But the girl in the corner with red eyes does not think so
The worker clutching his head, shutting out the world
Does not think so and the lady in the pink cheongsam
Looking without blinking at her phone does not think so.
We wake up with dry mouths to find the world has changed
We arrive with beating hearts to find the world has changed
We open our inboxes with fear and find it has all changed
In the coffee shop, taken away from curious colleagues,
We face the saccharine enforcer and the jet-setting assassin
Blood running cold, we are told that the world has changed.

 

 

The Man Tearing at Flowers
by Kaustuv Ghosh

 

Thirty minutes into my evening jog
Blurred by the slow drip of sweat
I saw him tearing flowers in a garden.
He was wild-eyed, yet spruced, shaven
Speaking to himself, as we do always.
I have known insanity but he was plugged
Into some larger engine up in the sky—
The counting randomness of a thinking man.
We saw each other and he moved away
Leaving clumps of dead flowers at my feet.
Life is like a silent station after peak hour
Till a stone is cast on the dead calm
And something emerges out of the ripples.

 

 

Kaustuv Ghosh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaustuv Ghosh: My journey as a writer began later than I wanted it to. However, it has been reasonably productive so far. I am published at Poetry Unlimited, Coffeelicious, The Creative Café and a couple of other places online.

My writing is heavily influenced by the American tradition, which I arrived at by accident. Philip Levine, Robert Penn Warren and Allen Ginsberg are among those from whom I draw both inspiration and sustenance. There are others, too, but I do not feel bound by a particular school–not yet, anyway. I am still learning.

I want to be a narrator of the contemporary urban experience. The internal conflicts that inform people’s lives, the stories of everyday routines, the environment that shapes us, our sense of loss–these are some of themes. As a naturalized Singaporean of Indian origin, I draw upon my surroundings and my past. I believe in the resilience of ordinary folks and their ability to show strength and grace under the most trying of circumstances.

I studied accountancy, was particularly bad at it, and then moved onto graduate work in communications and the environment. My professional life has been spent in the business of technology. You can find me in the Holland-Bukit Timah area, where I live with my artist wife.

About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.

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