June 2017

Dear readers,
Welcome to the June issue of the Wrong Review. We feature three poets this month: Amulya, Aekta and Yashi. Yashi’s poetry has a brevity to it. One of the functions of poetry is to inspire, and her poetry does that well. But beyond mere inspirations, they are also beautiful and bear the scars of linguistic cutting down. The short lines and even shorter one word sentences add to the atmosphere of unspoken losses in her poetry. It is within this frail sky that the stars in her poetry shines through.  Aekta’s works are clever and certainly possess poetic imagination. It is often difficult to contemplate how a singular object has an an overwhelming presence in our lives. True to her obsession, the poem “Red” is an experiment on these lines and crafts the various iterations of red in our everyday existence. Her poems let out a beat and rhythm that is like a mantra or chant. Amulya’s poems are intelligent meditations on love, freedom and poetry. The images of the metal and its evolution across “Storage 101” is interesting for cultural and poetic reasons. Her poem intervenes and fashions metal in its own cultural colours and the poem shines through as an elegantly composed work. The second poem “Angulimala” is more complex. The poem speaks about female freedom and reminds us of the monstrous figure of Angulimala who undergoes a transformation on meeting the Buddha. However in the poem, Angulimala is more a rebel than a deviant. He becomes a symbol of resistance. The third poem is very poignant in considering the poet-figure and derives its strength from its refrain. Hope you folks enjoy this issue. If you would like to send poems of your own or wish to give us feedback feel free to email the editor at thewrongreview@gmail.com

Three Poems by Amulya B

Storage 101

If physical contact is to determine the extent of love
The yellow metal is as lonely as the deity in the sanctum sanctorum,
Only to be touched by few: briefly, ritualistically, in abysmal frequency.
After all, the precious metal is not behind the cupboard doors,
But in the kitchen, used and abused by aunts, mothers and grandmothers.
The stainless exterior has withstood your terrible twenties;
Despite being thrown across the floor, it still remains stainless–
With the names of your relatives whom you have never met, shining under the April sun.

I’m told, all that glitters need not be love,
For, only on the stainless steel can it truly last.

I am Angulimala

On days,
When the summer heat does not yield,
I don’t have to step outside
To hear the voices of bare-chested men
Telling me how I need to wear
Something that suits
This respectable residential community.
As if their respectability depends on
The length of my skirt, the sleeves of my shirt.
On days,
When the rain does not stop
I become a superhero without a sidekick
Fighting the anonymous asshole on the
Other side of the screen, sharing gifs of
Women being beaten to death by their husbands.
They quip in smug confidence, “Chill, you need a dick to suck on,”
“Give me yours”, I tell them, “Give me yours,
So that I can cut it off of you
And make a necklace out
Of it,
And wear it like Angulimala in the wilderness
And dance to the rhythm of
the
Music, that my neighbour would disapprove saying
It is unsuitable for a girl.

There’s Nothing Here

If you’re a poet, I’m told, you must have had your heart-broken.
No such luck, I say, to the agents of cheer, who disbelievingly
Move towards their next artefact: Slipping their cards while
Sipping their drinks. My heart’s still intact—and it seems
It is bad for business.
If you’re a poet, I’m told, you must have had your heart-broken.
Oh yes—I tell them sometime: when I’m bored (so to have some fun)
Or when I’m craving (for a connection).
“The hammer did strike, but nothing was broken”.
Many things were indeed taken (This is perhaps true).
He walked away as well as I: The see-saw broke, right in the middle.
Dark side did not take him; but, saffron did—and it’s pretty much the same thing, isn’t it?
If you’re a poet, I’m told, you must have had your heart-broken.
Oh, I honestly do not know. My heart is not made of glass or earth to shatter like a star.
It is Vulcanized rubber: insulated from the thrill of electric charge,
Impervious—nothing goes in or comes out. As isolated as Nemo.
But, apply heat in the right places and see the muscle crack.
All it needs is an anchor—to hold it in the right place,
So as to not stray away. Beckoning sand misses the beat—
Repeatedly. (I can play skip rope with it)

If you’re a poet, I’m told, you need to live passionately.
Ah, passion is a fool’s fruit.
I live cautiously:
Skull and the bones light my path and hence,
I might have missed my shot (to go for the shores).

Amulya is a recent graduate of MA Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her prose and poetry has previously been published in The Orange Frame Literary Review, E-fiction India, A Literation among others. She also writes in Kannada and enjoys the process of translation between two languages.

Three Poems by Aekta K

Leave

I want you to leave
Unfold yourself
Stretch your arms
Touch your toes
Pack a few clothes
Fill your pockets with lost memories
Let lose of hope and faith and belief
Wear those torn dungarees
That white t-shirt that smells of milk powder
Leave the left over chocolate bar behind
The one that tastes like me and more coffee
A few cigarettes to this abode
A ship matchbox and tissue papers
You have better friends than those
Keep them on the side table that corners our frame
Don’t forget your specs, your shades,
Your perfume, you smell, your touch
your pencil sketches and songs
Take them all along
Squeeze it in
Sit and jump and pack that fat bag
And I know it’ll be heavy
So I’ll just come along.

Breathe

We bend rubber
We shave pencil
We fold paper
We blot ink
We undress our skin
We undress our clothes
We peel fruits
We cook vegetables
Burn them red in a yellow pool of oil
We eat cake and we eat more cake
We stare at the television screen
We look at our reflection in the mirror
We paint nails
We taint our lips
We chew gum between our teeth
We spray perfume
We try to diffuse the heart gloom
We tear paper
We turn page
We open windows
We draw curtains
We bang doors
We fold clothes
We wire up our chargers
We drink cups of coffee
We drink glasses of whisky
We glue our lips to paper cigarettes
We skip breakfast
We measure our waist
We weigh our body and flesh
We rub our dark circles
We blow our noses
We snort and snore
We forget to sleep
We forget to wake up
We forget to dream
We forget to imagine
We emote, remotely
But we breathe, don’t we?

Red

I am red,
Tainting hands of victims
Of those who’ve been stabbed
And, not of the ones
Who choose to chop and slab.

I am red,
Hugging breasts and bones
In deceptive long robes.

I am red,
Kissing lips and spreading love
Through more than just finger tips.

I am red,
Marking boundaries and making rules
Spitting ink
And correcting human fools.

I am red,
Staining pants on days of pain
And driving girls insane.

I am red,
Painted on cubes
Ruling games
Over human brains.

I am red,
Pumping fluids and liquids
And bodily organs.

I am red,
Making one not just pause
But also to stop
And take a breath.

I am red,
Crowning a few heads
And making their necks
Scream and stretch.

I am red,
You are
With me
In some way fed.

I am red.

Aekta Khubchandani wears the color red on her head but loves to work in black and white. She is the author of the story “Together,” that has been published and printed in Mosaic: An Anthology of Short Stories. She also has her work featured in the Aerogram, Mad Swirl, Terribly Tiny Tales and the Quail Bell Magazine. She performs poetry, writes short fiction, life articles and illustrates a few in ink and print. She is currently working on her novel.

Three Poems by Yashi Srivastava

Warriors

find a calm
quiet place
inside you. go
live there today. before
you wear your
armour &
take on the world
tomorrow.

You’re the Universe.

when you’re made of stars
nothing can destroy you.
break you. yes.
but destroying you
would require a whole
new universe to be born. and
your soul is pure enough
to weave your heart
back in shape. and
let you shine more
with each passing day
stay strong. because
beautiful souls
are ruined every day. but
it’s your enigmatic energy
that helps you get back up
and walk through the fire.
every . single. time.

Nights Like Tonight
there are nights
when i curl up in my bed. and
let the darkness take over.
for that’s how
i learn to

break into a star.

Yashi is a poet at heart, a traveler by soul, a lawyer by qualification and a writer by passion. She believes in simple living, and often escapes regular life to admire the beauty of the majestic Himalayas. Her work has been published in a number of national and international anthologies and her Instagram page, Wingedpen has a following of more than 7500 people.

 

Editor:
Arul Benito Gerard

The Wrong Review is a monthly poetry journal. Submission guidelines can be read here.

MAY 2017

Welcome to the May issue. In this issue we bring once again a variety of voices with different styles. They are a mix of both poignancy and youthful exuberance. We feature Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Sritama Bhattacharyya and Soham Mukherjee.

Three poems by Sneha Subramanian Kanta.

Housewares

some quiet terror within
the shovel, scissors, knife,
and the silver spread
of steel utensils.
under a gauzy haze of
a lemon colored bulb
where your skin of being
knits and un-pickles.
with filled jars, bottles
and plates, cold with
eulogies of finished
lifespans. there is much
to decide in these confines.

post-truth

truth is manufactured
between the folds of printed paper
and the machinery of things.
bibliometrics won’t get you anywhere –
you are not allowed to
board an airplane or bus
whilst airports and bus-stations
thrive with the sleet of voices.
we extrapolate things far too much
to find linguistic footing –
the interrelationships have no meaning
faith is pious but not the vernaculars
existence becomes a regulative fiction
much less hypotheses
aphorisms cannot exceed the numbers we have
laconic terseness still is a form –
we don’t feel home
in the distant sea, familiar to us
consciousness is elsewhere,
in the origin of fundamentals.

Writing the city

New York has anatomies in its built of
turnips, deer, weeds
— the international regime of roots and polished glasses.
It is an abstract when the lettuce
you buy is on sale but boasts of nourishment. Some of us are adopted children of the city. We are crossed with binaries more than there are streetlights. The under-cover writers, hoarsely picking wine from street shops, and insomniac pedestrians making decisions about the
shade of coffee they would buy. The red blooded files resemble the rusty red and golden trees, only they are guarded
by a strong backbone to survive longer. People behind the walls are full of money — a thin line differentiates the drunk and sober.
The perfumes are like a chorus from a rhyming pulp of disorders — they are incognito.

Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a GREAT scholarship awardee, pursuing her second postgraduate degree in England. Her award winning poem ‘At Dusk with the Gods’ is the winner of Alfaaz (Kalaage). Her work is forthcoming in Quiddity, Shot Glass Journal, W.I.S.H. Press and elsewhere.

Three poems by Sritama Bhattacharyya

TEN THINGS I DID AFTER YOU LEFT

1)    I scapegoated our neighbour’s guardian angel and drove him off our compound so that when you finally return, you don’t get to meet his stare.

2)    I made a paper mache forest house out of the love letters I had been saving for years, and had set it on fire, so that you get to see the smoke rising from my deceit.

3)    I stopped applying kohl to my eyes, so that my lovers get to know that my eyes look like frozen mashed potatoes, and then,  I know they’ll stop looking deep into my eyes  searching for the story I have only told you once.

4)    I went to meet the sorcerer who once claimed that he could bring up the dead, and had exchanged my hair for the revival of your demented thirst.

5)    I went to meet the mortician from our local morgue and asked him to draw a beauty spot on my face; one that no one could see but you. He did as I said, but now, even I can’t find it and neither can he. ( And I need you to find it for me)

6)    Our neighbour’s son was mourning for his guardian angel.  I invited him over for a glass of lemonade and showed him where it hurts. He touched me right on the spot, and his skin-colour changed as he crept into my skin. He’ll help me find you, he says.

7)    I wore my sundress, and went out looking for you, and met all your old lovers. The woman with a broken smile cordially invited me for a cup of tea; the other woman told me to find the dirty needle in a haystack; the one I remind you of, smiled at my plight. They all confirmed that at you stopped by.

8)    I made our love potion that consisted of my fragrance and yours, my desire and yours, my beauty spot, the mole on your neck, your nicotine stains… and you. I‘ll furtively spike your drink the day you’ll arrive.

9)    I have stolen a sundial and have kept it by the sofa where I sleep. It puts a stamp on my longing as I make the bed for you every morning. Oh! And I don’t sleep on the bed and I have terrible muscle cramps.

10)    I wrote about it all. One letter a day, which I want you to proofread.

And now, you’re here.
How I know you

*
you  were looking
for Basalt
when we stumbled
upon the sea
and the salt
churned
in me

*
you returned
like
an old habit
of cracking my knuckles
or
of closing my eyes
right before a kiss

*
your skin peels off
I watch you sleep
your eyelashes have seen
more nightmares
than you could keep

*
you run
into
a bedlam
you come out
unscathed
you
cut across
frames
where people
tend to meet
and repeat

*
Together,
we made
a drop of
paraffin oil
to stay
afloat
over the
endless
deaths
and debts
of
our ancestors
till
the night
we dispersed
into smithereens
and drowned.

*
Let’s put it like this.
I knew I would split open, like a cotton bolus, if you’d touch me;
or break into dust motes, or be one with the sea.
Last time when I went to the sea, I got blisters from the seaweed.
Last time I met you, you were picking out faces from the parking lot.
How long till we fall in love?

Old love

Old love,
You bring me dregs of reminiscence.
I have often tried to find you in the phone calls with a drunk lover, who calls right before the wee hours of dawn.
Unlike me, you don’t disconnect after the third or fourth ring.
I mutter memories of a listless afternoon, when we left home.
I remember writing on the wall that stood against the window of your room before they took down the place where we grew up.
The four walls never closed in on us until that afternoon when I looked at your wall for the last time. You pointed out the corner where you signed your initials as a kid.
You stood by the door, watching, as I was gathering a constellation of cigarette butts and half-burnt matchsticks.
By then, they shifted the cylinders, the squares and the rectangles from your house.
I chewed away the remnants of the last energy bar that we had left.
We sat on the floor, facing John Lennon, making frail resolutions and speaking of departures.

Evenings are different these days. Afternoons still wade into purples and crimsons. I seldom remember to remember how we had lost homes to petitions and made keepsakes out of Polaroid.
Of late, nights hang heavy on my dark circles and rarely, very rarely, I miss the night falls in your eyes.
I think we have done exceptionally well at departures.

Mepe.

Sritama Bhattacharyya is a student of English major from India, currently pursuing a post-graduate course in English literature from Presidency University

Three poems by Soham Mukherjee

THE WILDFLOWER

As the gentle breeze plays with her hair, she stands above them all
Every blade of grass striving to reach her heights
The sun beats them back
The roaring sea drenches her with it’s bewitching spray
Her wet hair falls about her face
She doesn’t care how
They fall as they are wont
Her face glows with the warmth of a new love that has blossomed in her heart
That love was sown with words
Words that have long since failed to rain down upon her once more
This new created shower is for her
Only for her
The blades of grass will go thirsty tonight
They will watch with bloodshot eyes and aching hearts
As the wildflower bathes in the rain of potent poetry
She will tremble as the drops trickle down her bosom and settle on her heart
She will close her eyes to the world shattering around her
The words, the drops of dewy melancholy turned into ecstasy
Will hold her
She will not be cold
She will not be pained
She will blossom again
She will blossom with the great beauty she holds inside her, her identity, her soul will burst forth in silvery glow hovering like some obscure patronus
She is not to be played with
She is the giver of love
She is the giver of joy
She has given all
Still she has more to give
The shower holds her
Washes away the sand that had been slowly corroding her
Every petal kissed tear will melt away with the shower

And the wildflower will stand tall
Drenched, beloved
Queen of all she surveys

AVALANCHE

I asked her what I was
She said I was a swan
I told her I didn’t have wings
She said you don’t need them
But, I complained, I want to fly away
Far away, from all of this
Because it kills me
It suffocates me
Burns me from the inside
Don’t you burn too?
She kept quiet
She didn’t speak
She smiled
Her voice had gone
She shivered
Her eyes were shimmering
They spoke of a past
A whisper in the wind that now blows her hair about her face
A dream of a sunset that once illuminated her burning eyes
A tear that rolled down her cheek onto a beached starfish
And made it quiver
As if tickled into life
Then dissolved into a champagne supernova exploding over the barren wheat fields where she broke her toenail

She tapes it up now
Just as she tapes up the rest
One bandaid
To hold back an avalanche

WISH

She smiles
Everyday
But her eyes will tell you why she needs your hand sometimes
She tries
Everyday
Or at least she did, till it got too hard even for her resilient self
Her little heart beats a symphony
She reaches out
A little bit more every day
Looking for a hand to pull her out
She will give away her wishes
Each of them
She just wants a hand
Because she is sick of limbo
Sick of rules, and demands, and lies
And evil smiles behind tearful eyes
She is sick
She is numb
She can’t feel her feet or the earth beneath it
Because she tries
Every day
Because she has to
She smiles
Every day
Because she wants to
Because you can’t take that from her
Because she won’t grant you that wish

Soham Mukherjee is a a final year Masters student in English literature at Presidency University

April Issue

Welcome to the April issue of The Wrong Review. This time we feature poetry by Imon Raza, Swarnadeep Banik, Pranam Abbi. They are three very different writers with unique styles. Hope you enjoy reading them.

Three Poems by Imon Raza

‘Untitled’

When will the sun rise again?
When will the stars sing again?

There is a moon nearby,
It is planning to leave tomorrow,

I think the Universe died last night.

12.04.2015

Ahmedabad

‘Balloon’

I tied a string to the moon,
Carried it around like a balloon,

I thought you might follow it
And find me someday.

‘Untitled’

I rolled myself into a letter today,
Then sat inside that red box for days at end.
Counting relentlessly the ink marks over my body,
The nib cuts, the ink smudges.

I read the footnotes, the beginning,
Over and over again,
It was written to me,
A letter to a letter.

As I read on I could feel the sorrow and the agony of the writer,
It was about my behavior lately,
I read on, couldn’t get my paper heart off it.

But then, my own ink soaked me by the end,
Finally, there it was,
Just a lump of twisted words and ink lying naked,
Condemned to be a letter,
That never reached its address.

03.06.2015
KMC, NID
Ahmedabad

Imon Raza is an alumni of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad originally from Assam. He is an artist/designer who thinks writing is an integral part of expression and hence life. He has been a assistant researcher at the Hochschule Luzern, Switzerland researching on Mathematics and Films. He has also taught at the Cotton State University, Assam as a visiting Faculty at the Dept. of Anthropology. He wants to explore the boundaries of poetry and art through his imagery in words.

Three Poems by Swarnadeep Banik

Godard’s Filmography

The winter comes, unprecedentedly,
I try to cope up with that…
The sunlight… it doesn’t give me
enough hopes.
#
Listen, last time I borrowed
something else, instead of anything else…
Le petit soldat… mon amour.
It doesn’t happen to be like this,
something funny…
#
Why do I close my eyes?
laisse moi…
#
It doesn’t give me enough dreams…

Borrowings

The names, uncommon, one after another,
stupidly taken, fixed
#
Cocooned under a reluctant self-defence,
I try to hide between names,
I want to take shelter in names,
only if I’m not dead…
#
This makes me shiver,
stupidly fixed, and taken!
The Late Night Show With Swarnadeep Banik

Specs off. Ordinariness in between…
#
Welcome back again. Thank you,
nice to meet you, too… crossed with fiery silences…
Tired microphones.
#
(U up? Okay, let’s talk)
#
How you’ll see this, it’s your
blah-blah perspective.
People cheer in cacophony,
I responsible… me irresponsible.
#
Specs off. Specs on.
#
(U up? Okay, lest talk)…

# – One Line Space

Swarnadeep Banik is studying English Literature in Presidency University.  He is interested in reading books, watching films and listening to music. He is a die-hard fan of James Joyce, Jean-luc Godard and oasis.

Three Poems by Pranam Abbi

Just a reflection, my child

There was a sigh before she took her last drag of her second cigarette
There was a moment of pause after her drag
And before she stubbed her cigarette

This sigh and pause, confused the writer

She does what he tells her, like a sage he preached
Even though he was nothing
But a brief elaboration of powerful wisdom

Like Plato’s king, he does nothing
Not even sleeps

She sometimes kisses these lips which speak words of wisdom now and then
He touches the breasts which hold the murmuring heart; he returns the kisses as if she was the one

Never mind
What’s right, what’s wrong?
You aren’t the judge
But a jury in front of a mirror with the silver lining

There is a play book he keeps, writing down all his tricks
He feeds his demons, like a host to a parasite

She just looks, tries to comprehend this enigmatic figure but fails each time he blinks

What is there in your mind, you cold heart she asks
Nothing child, just a few broken pieces of glass reflecting you

City girl on the beach

City girl on fire let me take you higher
Don’t extinguish it, with that boy from the uptown
Money, power and sex, is all what he sounds

City girl, grooving to the beat
Slow ride, with a nice boot
Swirling, looking at the sky
Open air dancing, with Nike air

Complexion resembling the sand, below our feet
This isn’t the place for luxury brands
This is the place for the spiritual kinds

Complexion resembling the sand, hair likes a flower
I aren’t a thug or a dealer
I did listen to hip-hop
But, trust me, city girl, that’s the past

Because I tried hating, but it never did me any good
Neither did the rap of the US of A
Neither did the trap of the city life

Because I tried hating, and I was on a trial for a few days
Never mind, but I came out a man
I never fought the urges, instead surrendered my will to not a man
To the universal energy of all spirits combined

City girl, that’s my life
I got two left feet, I got the rest of the body grooving to yours
I know, you want me
And, I want you to know, that I know.

Letter from hell

Horrors of my past, neglected lies
My destination, the unknown land
Beyond the shore of time, she stands with her hopes high
Underlying issues of my personality, makes her think twice
Of my presence near our child, my morning sunshine

I take a hit in the morning, shooting up my veins
I take another hit after breakfast, then another before lunch
I thought I wasn’t getting my fix, but didn’t realize this wasn’t the fix
Blood burst out my vein, like drops of rain; it fell on the wooden floor

Our child faced this trauma with her mother
While the father, I was singing a rap
In the booth, in the zone, spitting out words which didn’t make sense to either

I was so far away, yet so close
Emotional I wasn’t present, but, physically, I became a zombie to them
I didn’t feed on their misery and fear of having to find something else
Something much special to them, on the wooden floor

Their love was kind, till they saw the needle was fixed right
When the needle was all gone, they showed the tough love
I wished death, to see them become stronger with tears
There’s no drink or drug, I tried
That could replace their sight, beyond my comprehending skill
Was this empirical conclusion

Horrors of my past, my failed tries
Introducing her into my life, making her suffer with her child
What went in my mind, was just another fix all the time
The wife and the child, the broken family, living on crashing tides
Hold, I went to the safe, alright, took out the .380, shot my wife
Fixed my child, left him to die as I looked out the window
Thought I could fly, so, goodbye, I flew straight in to ground.