No Hideouts Found

On March 14, 2011 by admin

Avishek Parui



“Say something”

you throat

across our table

where three plates of grapes and the leftovers

furl a forest

between us

in which something had been lost

or maybe cleverly hidden

like a leak…

And as the butterflies in our tablecloth

begin to soak

all that we had spilled

sauce, juice, wine

lies, grease, guilt;

You stretch your strategic smile

as I see the silhouettes sink…

and think of the words that drop

Waves. Dredge. Pills.

Bridge. Edge. Brink…

The rituals would stay

the patterns will remain

but this time when our eyes meet

I hope to cut across to you

with another strip of silence

that the glass I broke

after they had left

wasn’t really slippery

and the blood that curled

my fingers thereafter

was not very red…

But guess you’d stop me


slit across the stillness

I would have built

and say

“I knew.”


Guy Fawkes’ Night

 As the boys outside

were trying to set fire on the Guy they’d built

you were thinking of a way

to say sorry to mum

for telling papa when he had asked over the phone

that she had been out

all afternoon…

You know lying is a bad thing

Mrs. Teresa says that in class

that God is very angry when you lie

but you think now

maybe it would have been OK

to say sorry to God later

than to see papa scream “rotten bitch”

and throw his big bad bottle at mum

so hard that you could hear the glass

 hitting her eye

and then the cringe

and the cry

when the blood

that began to spread

started to chase

you…as you

ran into your room

so that mum could just feel the pain

and not be ashamed…

“The guy won’t catch fire”, you hear Tommy shout

“It’s the freaking wind that blows it out”

You stare at your colours and the page

where you’d been trying to draw a house

that’s become a birdcage…

across the room

papa is watching TV now

where someone’s speaking on how

the world could be turned to a better place

by fighting terrorism together

with love, care, faith

while there’s still time

you think it would be a good idea now

to go to your mum’s room and show

the big cage you’ve drawn

with all the red crayons you have

maybe you should write “SORRY” beneath it as well

just in case mum doesn’t understand…


 Quo Vadis

 After the torchlights had frisked through

my wet insides

and whistled away

into the greasy night

you came in to stay

having walked

through the heaviness of

grey chimneysmoke in nightair

and shrieks in radio plays

despite the moons and purring cars

you must have met…

I had doubled down my stakes by then

with the knowledge that I would crash


all signposts would be strewn across

my tart taste…

guess most of us cave in


when the cold grows frills

across the tiles

and the rosebud shows the sled…

But you showed up with

your hair tied back

too neatly

into something like a bun…

You smelled like


who had stared

at the whole of last night

till the rhododendrons screamed a sunrise

between them…

I’m here to stay,

you voiced

till the claptrap is over

and all the axioms flake off

or die

I looked out and saw the frisbees flying

the stars that had dripped across were drying

of course I knew you lied…



The twilight shrinks

as each day dies

 from the  cold rooftops

 the blood-red tiles

that purple fast

under changing moons.

The hours slide

beneath the lies

the walls cave in

against the tides

the lovers fall

way too soon.

The hotdogs sell

and the salad’s free

see how Afghans die

in flat TV-s

no hideouts found

in the end

 the hunters coughed…


Our eyes meet

in guilty streets

white stripes align

strangers’ feet 

as the swishing cars

race across

the green-eyed gods

who count clock-beats.

Between love-songs

the RJ says

“Very soon

the nation-heads

would meet to plan

a perfect world

where every man is free.”

You stare out at

the lonely stars

that drink your guilt

and hide your scars

from all that should not see.


Avishek Parui  is completing doctoral studies at the Department of English, The University of Durham. He is the winner of The Short Fiction Competition 2010 by Platform Magazine, India, the winner of the Poetry Competition titled Journeys by Sampad, Birmingham, UK. He features in the anthologies of best poetry for the years 2009 and 2010 by Forward Press, UK.

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