Please follow the link below to listen to the conversation between Susmita Paul and Lisa Schantl who is the founder and editor of the Tint Journal.
Lisa Schantl is also a project assistant at the Institute for Art in Public Space Styria. She holds a Master’s degree in English and American Studies with a focus on (North American) literature and the environment, as well as Bachelor degrees in that same field and Philosophy. In addition to her research in literature written in English, she is very interested in international relations and literary translation. Her journalistic and critical work has appeared in Versopolis, Anzeiger, PARADOX, The Montclarion and more, her creative work in Asymptote, UniVerse, Artists & Climate Change, The Hopper, The Normal Review, PubLab and more.
Susmita is a creative writer and independent scholar with bipolar mood disorder with schizophrenic potential. She writes in English and Bengali and is published in “Headline Poetry and Press”, “Montauk” and “Learning and Creativity”. Her published books are Poetry in Pieces (2018) and Himabaho Kotha Bole (When Glaciers Speak) (2019). She is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of The Pine Cone Review. Her personal website is www.susmitapaul.org
I search for the color and taste of the Volga on my tongue. Instead, I find a hole where once a charred theatre stood. My mouth turns a veritable Kiev: Lev tries to scream out from my throat while Fyodor jabs Rogozhin’s knife to scoop out my vocal chords.
He says, your poetry reminds me of the Russians. I reply, I’ve got a sore throat.
Lev: Tolstoy Fyodor: Dostoevsky Rogozhin: Character from ‘The Idiot’
THE THIRD DAY (After Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights)
I am the artist’s God bent over my art– till today, I have used my grisaille palette of grey-green. I must make a radiant sun and a soft-toned moon as lanterns to add some sheen to my masterpiece, this crystal globe. Three days down, four to go. I intend to consult the Testament and splatter colors on my artist’s robe.
Being God, could I not foretell The Fall which must come in my Eden? Open the panels of Bosch’s triptych and you will see a Paradise and a wasteland fill my garden.
Hieronymus has painted it well. I mould artists out of matter and they paint me on panels and ceilings of chapels, (with gorgeousness flatter). A fair effort at gratitude, too, I recall.
Some call me jealous, others call me kind. Nobody knows my mind. But they love my son who saved the world. I am an artist’s God about to create Life… the greatest satire of all.
Jagari Mukherjee is a poet, editor, and reviewer based in Kolkata, India. She has two full-length books of poetry and two chapbooks. Her latest full-length collection, The Elegant Nobody, was published by Hawakal Publishers in January 2020. Jagari is the Founder and Chief Executive Editor of the literary journal, EKL Review.
Sneha Bhura is a Delhi-based journalist with The Week magazine. She has worked for publications like Open magazine, Mint Lounge and Fortune. Her first chapbook, Velvet Grapes: Drunk Midnight Poetry (Hawakal Publishers), was out in January 2021. Her most recent poems have been published in the Madras Courier, The Punch Magazine and The Chakkar.
Tapati Gupta is a retired Professor of the Department of English, University of Calcutta and former Head of the Department. An erudite scholar, a theatre, arts and music aficionado and an enthusiastic photographer, she continues to pursue new interests with indefatigable zeal.
Multifaceted artist Ruud Van Weerdenburg converses with Susmita Paul for Plato’s Caves:
Please find below some of the paintings and Poems by Ruud Van Weerdenburg
Caravaggio and Me
Among men I wandered who reigned over the kingdom
below the half-moon and how I enjoyed these manoeuvres
in the dark but didn’t really love the trades of the pirates
the pickpockets, the evangelistimmitators and the
But I learned from them like Caravaggio got in touch with
holiness by fighting in the streets until the whole scene
was “van de aardbodem geveegd”.
Caravaggio and me we found out how to react with beauty
on our half-moon-property no one can steal but
It was only because our city possessed the knowledge
how to satisfy the religion and the customers as well
that Amsterdam remained a playground for grown-ups
and the Italian cities a battlefield for the youth
Listening I did very carefully to their lively explanations
how the prisoners followed their protectsaint Holy
Leonhard and the merchants in spite of all Hermes –
But I, whatever happened on earth, couldn’t imagine
how the earth was flat but my girl for my eye and hand
“The dark is dead and the light is alive”
I won’t protest – but every human being has to find
his way between these extremes
Seventeen years old was my neighbour who wandered
through all the jewish wisdom as intensive as he did
fly with his family from Portugal to Amsterdam
“To simplify our concentration in this complicated life,
you should count on the one and only God,” unveiled the rabbi “
the tree of life in me and I explain you a secret for
glory and success: one should not fear anything or something
because the world actually is round…”
From the dark I learned that the rich lady is the hidden card
in the pokergame. And from a famous healer I got to know
how one person is able to hunt out a disease by visualizing
how Jesus succeeded to make all the merchants in the temple
Abracadabra in spite – for the half-moon I ended up as a
Lost and quilty merchant
16 Amsterdam 17
Amsterdam, this city of merchants and sailors
was once only a flowing river from the seven seas
straight into Europe inside,
but even sailors need to take rest
and merchants have to sleep
Who takes care in the meantime
when the mice throw a party because
the people of the sea find their pleasant ways
ashore: the undercurrent streams, lower than land,
lower than the sea
Once we threw a dam into the Amstel we’d got
A city for beauty and a town of fun
For everybody who likes to have some rest
in the middle of the flow.
For everybody who loves to make money out of
beauty and beauty out of money –
When the circle of houses, compagnies and
cafés is complete and full, we make another circle
where both ends meet.
A bigger one, but we do take care to leave a canal
of water in between.
Ready to come and take off in ships like our
second skins –
We will never leave the water , how far we ever may
go into the land, we still stay in contact with the Big Water,
like the painting with its creator.
To tell the truth: circle after circle our city turned out
to be Amstelrodam, elastic and always different round
and round to catch you while arriving as a rich man
or a drowning person –
to pull your string when you leave, like and arrow and just
like never before…!
Ruud van Weerdenburg was born in Alkmaar, Netherlands in 1956, reborn in Tashi Jong, South of Kashmir. He Doesn’t know the difference between writing, travelling and painting. He has had exhibitions in Guwahati, Vienna Amsterdam. He has written for Hindustan Times and Assam Tribune. Global Player-Reporter. Radioorangevienna presenter. Flute player.