Interview with Lisa Schantl by Susmita Paul

 

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_SchantlLisa 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 

Two Poems by Jagari Mukherjee

THEATRE

He says,
your poetry reminds me of the Russians.

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.

(Ice cream.)

He says,
your poetry reminds me of the Russians.
I reply,
I’ve got a sore throat.

*NOTES:

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.

Poems by Sneha Bhura

 

Bother

 A blank wall is a canvas

On a sore head Sunday

The sitar sings self-care

Fingering oil into hair

 

Bristle brush, watercolour

Camel black, burnt umber

On plastic kitchen palette

They slather and slubber

 

 

Long, quivering iron logs

Go up and down the wall

They stop in their tracks

An arc their rise forestalls

 

 

It still looks like a prison

So I paint quiet creepers

Which fall like ribbons

The bars sing Vermeer

 

 

Is it a floating headboard

Or a secret garden door?

A question not as vexed as

If or not he cares anymore 

 

History, it rhymes

 

 

When you fixed your tie

And cleared your throat

To ask, “Do you like boys?”

I pursed my lips and ran away

You were nine, I was eight

 

 

Now, as I wait

For a flicker of a text

You are that tie-trendy ghost

With wounded eyes

And a bloated nose

 

 

A schoolboy image of a pop star

With hair parted like Jesus

In his biochemistry class

Except you now chase kites

Where the wild things are

 

 

A moonstruck missive

With several dotted postscripts

Was an era of unrequited love

Now I can swallow a toad

Pretend I am above, and far.

 

 

Combat Yogini

 

High up in the mountains,

She is learning the Ras Lila.

 

 

Often, on her way there,

She cries alone in a forest. 

 

 

A lost love laid down the path,

She knows no double-back.

 

 

Along came a guy de diplomat,

She later learnt was also trash.

 

 

Food, internet and a room, 

She asked for nothing more.

 

 

To mummy, papa and sister

She is a bad mother, a whore. 

 

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.

Poems by Tapati Gupta

Indifference

Dewdrops on the branches

Bemoan the loss of lives.

We look at the statistics of casualties

Over our steaming tea

The grocery list demands attention

The imbroglio of war in a far country

 Leads to a webinar on international relations.

The seagull flies away in fear

Of human indifference

The vultures crave for more food 

But shiver at the thought of missile fire

The little sister cries for her mother

Her brother lifts her with his weak hands

Mortar shells hit their house.

I must go and do my grocery

Before prices spiral

Suddenly I hear a sound of soft sobbing

As the dew dissolves in the heat of hatred

Crows start a colloquium in the trees

On the topic of human cruelty

My crumpled grocery list escapes my fingers

Is my sky still blue?

The Old Canyon

The old canyon

What does it hide

Love, peace or strife

Let me collect the love and peace

Even though it may break me apart.

Bare branches pierce the blue

The leafy ones nod happily

Am I bare, I wonder.

I descend the slope

Treading on green grass

Sometimes on prickly thorns

Blood oozes

But I discover newness

A breath emanates from the depths

The blood is now the purple of peace.

A tree trunk softens itself for me

it assures the security of centuries of love.

Let it last, let it last

Somewhere a coyote sings to its mate.

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.

Ruud Van Weerdenburg in Conversation with Susmita Paul

 

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

opiumdevotees

 

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

imitate

 

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

so round

 

“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

flee

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.