Poems by Amitava Nag


City Crimes


As we sit back, distant and lazy,

the omnipresent crowd all around us

waiting and watching not as vultures,

but as crows,

circling with disrespectful tyranny,

We all turn to respectable criminals,

respectable – as our dresses allow us to be,


Just like the coins,

occasional notes, crumpled, treasured

in the tin box of the street beggar in the cities,

I count the essays,

website references, Google coins

the importance of paper –

the command of the impotent,

as cities turn to papers,

and lust wither without a sense of living.


In the cities, the beggars wait at a place

and walkers circle unknowing,


The cities grow towards the south

the cities grow in the north,

the cities arise and grow taller and taller

out of our needs and desires,

an expression of its own folds,

the cities become crimes that we always dream of committing.





Everything has a name


How absurd is it that

Everything has a name,

Every body part –

the tiniest tentacles,

the largest gland,

the vilest bile,

not a single left for my imagination,


Even the birds, mammals, reptiles,

my favourite fish –

Their sounds, how they look, what they eat,

Filling colours in children’s books

Robbing them off fairy tales,


Now, as I grow old,

I wish not to know the names,

To detach myself from the pleasures of equilibrium,

the tranquil sangfroid at the time of being lost,

For once not to believe –

everything has a name,

nothing is me.



Amitava Nag writes poetry and short fiction in English and Bengali with anthologies published in both the genres and in both the languages. Amitava also writes extensively on cinema and has authored 6 books till date. He has been the editor of ‘Silhouette’ film magazine since 2001.

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