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.

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