Tuesday, December 31, 2013

INTERVIEW: SUBHANKAR DAS



Name?

Subhankar Das but sometimes I get confused why it cannot be something else, or does a name control your behavior pattern? Especially when a name means something or has a little history attached and you tend to fit in to the nuances of it? I am still confused but Subhankar Das it is anyway which my parents chose for me from the day I was born.

Age?     50

Location?

I live in a place where you can
rent a baby by the hour
and pinch their asses
to make them howl
as you approach the cars for alms
stuck on the crossroads
and waiting for the lights to go green.
I live in a place where
this poet calls up in the morning and
starts complaining about my poem
where I expressed my surprise to see my father
jerking off in his sleep.
Must be another one from the league
who burns incense sticks in front of Goddess Kali and Marx
hanging side by side on the wall.
I live in a place where the politicians
are thinking to give the place a facelift
and turn it to London.
And we at the roadside tea stalls
with local hooch mixed with orange juice
to cut down the foul smell
testing like champagne
drinking it all up
to help us through the prayer
in front of all these living legends.

Geographically it is Kolkata, India.


How long have you been writing?

A long time now…..

Do you have a specific writing style?

Do I? I am not concerned about that as long as it comes out without much effort.

Do you write as a career?
No.

Do you write full-time?

I wish I could but I also have to eat so …..

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?

Writing accomplishment? I think making friends throughout the world and some of them even like me…can you beat it ! As I type this almost by instinct because of a bad eye problem which I am still suffering from, now almost for the last four months, I realize that writing poetry helped me to make friends who even drop in to my house to type things out, correct proofs of my poetry book and decipher from my bad long hand scripts. Of course complaining the whole time….

What is your ultimate goal as a writer?

To write and maybe meet  a fairy all of a sudden who can grant me a wish so that I can have a magic carpet and meet friends anywhere they call me without the need of feeling up gas to do it …ha ha ha…

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

I write in a language called Bangla which is so soft and conservative that it is not always easy to express whatever I want and no quick, easy, fun way to get in some panties.

What projects of yours have been recently published?

A book of poems in Bangla. 80 pages , hard bound. Cover art was done by the Canadian artist Jocelyne Desforges. Another 32 pages mini pocket size poetry book in Bangla will come out in next two weeks. The Swedish poet and artist Henry Denander did the cover art of this book. I am honored to have such great friends.

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?

The next project is another poetry book in English, Thieves of the Wind, jointly with the great poet Catfish Mcdaris, who is also editing this book. Because of my bad eye , I simply sent all the materials to him and man I am honored to have him as a friend though I love to call him Big Brother. We think the end result is great a real Mama Goose.

Where can we find your work?

I have a blog
http://subhankardas.wordpress.com

       How often do you write?

       All most every day. All most because sometimes it does not come out.

       How do you react to rejections?

      Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him. And the longer
      he is held back the stronger he will become, like a mass of rising
      water against a dam. That was Buke and it happens to me as well.

       How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?

      I smile become happy and go back to the blank paper once more.

       What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?

       I don’t give advice because I don’t take them.

       What is your favorite book?

       Any book by Buk is good, whenever I am depressed I go back to him.

       Who is your favorite author?

       Charles Bukowski

        What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?

         To earn a living and still write because there is no sane way to do it. I think this was          said by a Bengali Poet Jibanananda Das who committed suicide under a tram car, man it must have been real pain when the tram dragged the body for a few blocks and then cut through.

        What is your favorite word?

        Bullshit/Beautiful. I use those words so often they , those young poets, created a publication last year called beautiful bullshit…ha ha ha …he even is doing the mini poetry book of mine this year …thank you Abhishek/

What is your preferred drink while you write?

Usually I do not drink when I write but a cup of strong black coffee is good when I can afford.

Beach or Mountains?

Mountains because I cannot swim…he he he

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

None

Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?

Jimi Hendrix and I want to name one Bengali singer Goutam Chatterjee from the first Bengali band Mohiner Ghoraguli.

Shakespeare or Bukowski?

Ha ha Bukowski but I read Shakespeare also, cannot throw Shakespeare out of the window like Buk.


     Please provide as much or as little of the following information as you’d like.

Personal website/blog: http://subhankardas.wordpress.com


Twitter profile: 5th Monkey

Other page(s) or profile(s):



      Books for sale and/or press By the Banks of the Ajoy, Jaideb Vanishes into the Blue


      Anything else you’d like to share about yourself, your country, its people, or native animals?

Elephants do not run on the streets anymore neither the kings ride on them. Kings have taken fancy for the latest model automobiles and the elephants have gone back to the jungles to starve and fight it out with other starving humans.
Street dogs shout all night for nothing on the streets before getting run over or slaughtered and served as meat rolls in street corners under the guise of lamb rolls.
     
Subhankar Das is a writer, publisher and film producer living in Kolkata, India. He has published fourteen collections of poetry in Bangla. He translated Allen Ginsberg’s Howl into Bangla and is the editor of the stark electric space..., an anthology of international experimental writing. He has produced six short films and owns a bookstore. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent expression ,brilliant portrayal of pain and frustration of past and present ,the struggle of every common man striving for a decent living in our country...The pathetically woeful lamentable situation ,the deplorable middle class as well as the ones crossing the poverty lines - result of the failed promises of great politicians and administrators ....Thanks for sharing the brilliant write up with us ,yes we do make great friends here in Kolkata .

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