“Visiting E M Forster” by Debjani Chatterjee

‘But Forster doesn’t live here any more.’

I knew that of course. He died the year before

— before my passage. I told ‘Raised Eyebrows’

That I only wanted… to see his room,

to see the view. Why else would I have come?

‘But this is not a museum, you know.’

(Cambridge, not a museum?) I nodded.

‘An ordinary room.’ Ordinary

is what it takes. I remember my coach

journey from Canterbury. ‘I have come

all the way from India. He was my friend.’

It worked. The brows subsided, defeated.

A bemused stranger occupied the place

— half apologised for everything changed.

The room was functional, anonymous;

he could not have lived here long. ‘I’m afraid

even the furniture is  not the same.’

What did I care, standing at the window.

Olive groves beside the forget-me-not

Mediterranean rolled below, with

a dust haze veiling the Marabar curves.

‘It is the same,’ I said, ‘nothing has changed.’

“I Have Nowhere to Go” by Dilip Chitre

I have nowhere to go

So I occupy a poem

Like a bench

In a public park

 

But a poem offers me

Neither space nor time

No memory of yesterday

No fantasy of tomorrow

 

A poem is uniquely empty

Its sets the world aside

And it unfolds

Words within words

 

Can you hear me

No you cannot

Because I am

Inside a poem now

 

I am inside this grave

This hollowness

And this walled voice

Of the absolute present

Dilip Chitre