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Sreemanti Sengupta reads from Losing Friends

I’ve known Sreemanti Sengupta for many years now, and all because of the Internet. Though I’m in New York City and she’s in Kolkata and you, dear reader, are wherever you are, here we are together, optimistic company in pessimistic times. She and I have collaborated in her E-zine, The Odd Magazine, which is a collection of writers and artists from around the world that Sreemanti gathers in online and hard copy editions. You can check it out here:


In the Vimeo below, I am happy to share her reading from her new book, Losing Friends, a title that suggests what her poems of love and pain are all about, stark and real and there like the little universe the poet comes across dying on the sidewalk. Life might seem sad and scary, but don’t you be because the poem affirms with craft and spirit that separation brings acceptance, departure an arrival: understanding and revision and even beauty with open arms are waiting for you there. Enjoy.

Here are the poems read in the Vimeo.


There is a thin pain
in the inside of my thighs
needle like yet feeble
I enjoy mulling over it
almost praying it’ll never leave me

It must be something terrible,
something fatal, I like to think
my fantasies carry me
to white hospital rooms,
agog with the whirring
of life support devices,
worried relatives with
pale, forgotten lunch faces
staining the glass with easy tears

I’d like to meet people
and ask, whether
they too have a pain,
and when they get talking
I’ll stop them good naturedly
Not like mine, not like mine!

(All this while I go home
and pat the pain)

I’ll limp into poetry readings
where a lot of beautiful bodies
will yearn (some day) to hear
about my inspirations
I’ll pause and sigh
take a swig of that tea
tell them in a whisper
and see their eyes grow
In a distant respect
the virtue of best sellers

But there maybe a cloudy
winter day,
when the world is waking
up to pains and chills
my pain will leave me
just like that
without so much as
a nod or a note

I would’ve trusted him
more than love
but what the heck
I’ll always have others
other pains
in other places


They lie
Like two eager
Dirty linen
Quivering on
Moonlit limbs

Little Brown Sparrow

She was fading like ashen fire
so invested in defeat,
that her death was forgotten yesterday

A mere sparrow she was
in the city’s snarling greens
It wasn’t the least miraculous
that I found her quivering
under a drooping palm
on one of my solitary walks
to nowhere especially

A heat stroke, maybe?
I thought, pondering over
the to-be oblivion
of yet another brown winged universe
and some old-time chivalry
asked me to bend down on those ancient knees
and there I was, gambling
between sighs and silences

She stirred and she stood like stone
the unbearable uncertainty between absolutes
such a nuisance when you never know
what you should have been sure about

I stood contemplating her death
and felt the evening breathing on my neck
Was it he? Was it she? Was it that young disturbed looking thing?
and as if by accident, much like I have seen amnesiac fools
in cartoons recovering with
flower pot crashing on their heads

I thought
if the world were to stop
for every dead sparrow,
we certainly wouldn’t be spinning around
to see visit another dying
or a rehearsal of death at best

It must have been a decade
before I looked down at her again
my bones told me I wasn’t the same
and she lay dead to the difference of it all
there goes constant doom amid the warp of change
the kind of death so familiar to the living
that their lust for life prevails

Adieu, my little friend!
I must’ve said
for I was soon on my way
not sure for a single moment
whether I was walking away
or towards the sparrow
so brown and so dead

Love me

Love me
like a great wave
rising from the
the pit of a deep
ocean, gaily foaming
roaring, , only to crash
on the rocks

Love me
like a rare cancer
spreading inside your body
eating up your cells
tissues, your life
your hair thinning,
your mouth hanging open,
and death giving
you the miss

Love me
like the poem that’s never
quite arrived
chasing you down
the stairs,
like skeletons
of the past

Love me
if it kills you
if suddenly
mornings are
made of pure
pain, fluid tears

Only then,
love me

Losing Friends is published by Alien Buddha Press, which you can check out here:


and it can also be found on Amazon here:


Sreemanti Sengupta

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