Vol. IX | Issue 10 | May 2022

From the Editor’s Desk

It is late afternoon. the light
wraps itself into everything it touches.
the riverbark, the templed lake.
a language of eyes and shoulders and cadence and pitch.
as the leaves fall there’s a music underneath
of bells. then a flock of tiny birds. or,
not a flock, maybe three, maybe two small voices. moving. tree to tree.
looking up, how like seamstresses they seem. making this, making that.
songlines. elemental. as if to wake each leaf.
the story has a smooth-ish, sensical skin, a lettering.
a body, reflected.
a note held. then still. as a picture of things.
or a window in. branch to branch. knotting air to shadow.
making room. a kind of sound-beingness.
—but can it stay? can a word ever BE itself? simple, pure?
—or, so filled with naming, can we only ever hear the barest traces of ourselves?

These lines from William Barnes’ poem, Subtext (featured in this issue of TBR) deliberates on the texture of our May issue rather vividly. Summers in the sub-continent are scorching and harsh, but as much an act of the mind as the sweat and dust on the road. And so, we turned to Indian classical poetry from the 4th & 5th century - Kalidasa’s poems. TBR May presents a special feature with Abhay K‘s wonderful translation of the luscious and vibrant poetry from Kalidasa’s Ṛtusaṃhāra and Meghadūta – wonderfully illustrated by Vishnu Prasad. In other work, do check out A Strange Tale from a College Campus by Seth Kristalyn in flash fiction or the vivid essay by Shannon LeBlanc titled Final Account: The Repeat and Rise of a Dangerous Past where she other than discussing the film also recounts the effects of the Holocaust on her students - as they discuss conflict and the understanding of boundaries, along with the sway of personal biases, while delving into footage from Stanley Milgram’s Shock Experiment.

Butchers and Marigolds by Architha Narayanan in flash Fiction, will take you into a bustling atmosphere. Also in this issue, a diplomat poet’s interview, and book recommendations from Jayashree Kalathil.

TBR is delighted to present to its readers, a rather vibrant May. Dive in!

Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury
Managing Editor, The Bangalore Review