Creative Work: ‘Living Abroad is Making Do and Make Believe’ by Bhaswati Ghosh

Creative WorksThis week, we have a poem for those who know what it’s like to feel out of place. Contributor Bhaswati Ghosh uses evocative imagery to create for the reader a vivid picture of culture removed from country, and of family far away.

Living Abroad is Making Do and Make Believe

Every autumn, the
ghost of a drum-beating dhaaki
enters a tired CD player,
his rhythms muffled,
mismatched. Later,
muted lamps
and Chinese flickers
shine in houses.

Outside, the street
tightens its noose of
darkening quiet.
Bylaws contain the
sound and fury.
Festivals are digest-ed
over weekends, rituals
hastily cast
into first world molds.

Living abroad is
hashing the senses to numb
ease. Drugging the
mind to an all-is-well zone
when Mother’s voice
over the telephone line
sounds frail.

Memory is the
clay pot of fresh
fish they salted and buried in
my grandma’s village–
in hopes of adding taste
and finding food when
drought hit.

In the kitchen,
remembered tastes
proliferate with
flies and ants.
Smells become
fragmented, dis-
oriented in failed
re-creation exercises.

Absences are now abscesses,
The clay pot, a decaying hollow.

This poem makes particularly great use of line beaks and enjambement, the result of which is a sense of culture held under wraps, broken to fit into the constraints of a new country.

Stay tuned next week for more!

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One thought on “Creative Work: ‘Living Abroad is Making Do and Make Believe’ by Bhaswati Ghosh

  1. Pingback: Creative Work: ‘Fall’ by Bhaswati Ghosh | Words, Pauses, Noises

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