Poetry

June 13, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

By

Sunil Sharma

 

 

Wanted: Anti-smugness fury

 

 

In the cultured/cultivated Paris

In the midst of a sprawl of the monuments

Where history meets arts on its boulevards that

Sprout a rash of the pavement cafes or hotels with similar facades

 

Monumental buildings, museums, palaces, malls

Public places or gardens being gazed upon by statues

From a distant past

 

Away— from the broad-bosomed Seine, artists in search of patrons ad-hoc

The dominating Romas and few call girls chasing tourists

 

Or the underground train-platforms

Witnessing every-minute eruption

Of human mass from all corners of

The world.

 

Away from such spaces

Unseen—sits a bearded guy

A Caucasian near the steps of a

Closed office, along with his guard dog

And a few of his belongings near his feet

Waiting for the night to fall on the square

Eyes blank and empty

Sans any hope

A caricature of the species

In the middle of affluence

Homeless and hopeless

Forgotten by all—

On this May evening turning softly into

A multi-colour live canvas.

 

Zombies! Somebody, well-fed, remarks.

 

Earlier—

Seen a black in a corner of the Parisian intersection

Or, another white, outside our bed-n-breakfast

In the holy Rome, two days ago, in our tourist avatar.

 

All three hobos as we call these creatures

Outside the margins of the mainstream

Working middle class that hates any non-performers

And treats them as suspect and potential threat

Well, in these three human portraits

I find an identical look of deep sadness

Seen last in a homeless man in Mumbai.

Certain emotions! Transnational, despite different skin tones and contexts!

 

I wish Baudelaire to be re-born

As a flanur to record the pathos

The ongoing tragedy, the loss

Of these precious lives that are

Not registered on any busy mind

In the cradle of revolution—

Paris, where it all started way back

In the year 1789

Then, again in 1966

And now—a receding collective memory

Or, not even that!

Post-industrial culture of excessive consumption

Has no time or patience with its own marginalized!

Resurrect—Ginsberg, Osborne, Munch, Picasso

And unleash your inner rage

Your artistic fury

On the smugness

Complaisance

Of the chattering class!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunil Sharma

Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma is a widely-published writerHe has already published  14 books: four collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, one a critical study of the novel and co-edited six anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. Recently his poems were published in the UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree.

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