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Poet Alfred Khokon

Alfred Khokon, an eminent and widely acclaimed young poet of Bangladesh, was born in 1971 in the village Goila, in the district of Barisal, Bangladesh. His published volumes of poems include: Ure Jachcho Megh (Clouds, you are soaring, published in 1999), Shombhabhbo Roddure (In the Sun to Come, published in 2002), Phalguner Ghotonaboli (The Phalgun Phenomena, published in 2006), Modhu Briksha Protarana Bish (The Honey the Trees the Deception the Poison, published in 2007).

His work of prose titled Aler Pare Baithak (Conversations on the Bounderland) and volume of poems Se Kothao Nei (That Exists no Where) is forthcoming in February, 2008.

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ABOUT ME

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POET ALFRED KHOKON

Alfred Khokon, an eminent and widely acclaimed young poet of Bangladesh, was born in 1971 in the village Goila, in the district of Barisal, Bangladesh. His published volumes of poems include: Ure Jachcho Megh (Clouds, you are soaring, published in 1999), Shombhabhbo Roddure (In the Sun to Come, published in 2002), Phalguner Ghotonaboli (The Phalgun Phenomena, published in 2006), Modhu Briksha Protarana Bish (The Honey the Trees the Deception the Poison, published in 2007).

His work of prose titled Aler Pare Baithak (Conversations on the Bounderland) and volume of poems Se Kothao Nei (That Exists no Where) is forthcoming in February, 2008. 

As a poet, Alfred Khokon- like his third-world oppositional counterparts- believes that “poetry is not luxury’’ and that poetry is the most engaging and gripping field of humanity’s struggle for freedom and creativity. For Khokon, everyone is a poet knowingly or unknowingly; one just needs to pursue imaginative resources that abound in the world of people’s experiences and languages.

Alfred Khokon obtained MA. in Bangla literature under the University of Dhaka. He edits a literary magazine called Nandan. He has directed two video documentary films titled Akashbari (Sky Abode) and Ke Na Banshi Baaee (Who doesn’t play’s a flute?).

In addition, Alfred Khokon produces national television programmes that traverse a wide range of themes from people’s daily struggles to poetics and politics of resistance to the culture of people’s media.

Alfred Khokon’s professional career began with journalism for a national daily newspaper. Soon he moved on the field of both editing and documentary production. He worked as a news editor and produced a very popular program called Muktakhabar (open news)—a news-based program with teen-agers as its target audience. This program was a huge success. Currently he is working as a senior producer for a nationally acclaimed TV channel. But in his career spanning only five years, he has resigned four times to make only points about creativity and freedom.

 

By Azfar Hussain

January 05.2008

The Phalgun Phenomena

1

Drinking much poisonous nectar have I reclined in this solitude today,

so much restless moan here, so much silence keeps bursting; leaves keep landing in flights from all around, the water of the secret wind lurks in the fold of my lips. Ah, those mild strokes!

Drinking much poisonous nectar have I reclined in this solitude today; a little bird returns here from the domination of a forest, finding delight here—I think it has gotten to know me quite well. An ant—indistinct—moves in the direction of gradual silence in my feet.

There are no sounds, no echoes, or even no signs and signals, no telegraphs indeed; the Phalgun events accompanied by postscripted rivers of clouds keep soaring on Amal’s phone this evening. A magpie robin—it creates a new ripple in my heart.

Drinking much poisonous nectar have I reclined in this solitude today; a colossal noontide here, but it is bereft of scenes and spectacles for now; advised from all around about changing taste, I have reclined solitary; my naive blackboard! You keep getting erased and erased nearby, I see.

2

The more I doubt you, the more I’m the more I will get your address, the more I am the first one; suspicions are always aesthetic, every day as I keep crossing the street, folks one after another keep signaling, “come, come this way.” I keep circling in all four directions and learn the art of dissecting a water melon from the footpath; those pop figures advertised on billboards as I watch them waiting at a bus stop all turn lonely at midnight. If you edge close to the turning point of Chasharamore, a boy would intone, finger-pointing to a distance: “look, look, the cinema posters are hanging out there.” The more I doubt you, the more I’m the more I will get your address, the more I am the first one.

3

I have ranged far away from the core narratives of humanity. Those birds had their songs, the feathers fell as the eyelids did. Coming here do I realize that humanity has nothing to lose; humanity possesses nothing, although life will keep burning in the sunlight; life would return here—you, too, would come here once, and then leave. On my arrival and my return, I, too, resemble humanity itself, although man has never known if ever he has been man indeed; touched, my face also edged close to your breasts in the heat lasting till death. From our elaborate discourses sweating youthfully, from the sexual warmth of a young girl, the worlds have all returned, fatigued; from your pencil-sketches my own face does not emerge all that unfamiliar—your secret mind, coming close as it did to life, desired me under the spell of an enchanting sin. I have moved gradually away from her left side, moved as far as possible; I have implicated the distance in the defeated fragrance of her hair I have burnt myself in fire as I have kept nearing her absentmindedly I have come to embrace my own noontide, undoing her bondage.

All Relationship Indeed

All relationships stay there on the roof like a working maid, quite early in the morning, she clips the sunlight perhaps; at the end of the noisy night, the wrapper of a child, sweat, clinging on to mother’s breasts there remains the saliva of the father; in the pungent smell of nicotine this relationship is born, dies, and is reborn. This is how I smoke, while you remain beside in deep hatred. This is how this relationship with you stags, how this work takes on; this is how in the relations of sunlight you hear the sudden rumble of the cloud. Or a serene day somehow comes to wait; Away from the heaving bosom of the cloud, sounds keep lapsing into silence. In love and in aggression, I kiss the saliva of the tongue and protect If you make sounds, sounds get born if you make something fly, it keeps flying- When those sheltering bars open slowly in fear even a young revolutionary in pain sits around a table in the corner.

That Which Exists No Where

Such is the illusion: that which exists nowhere is nowhere, I seek refuge in the non-existent to see what defeat is, that what exists is, as if, very dear, even dearest: nursing, forgiveness, assassinating shadows sweating in love’s labor; that distributes besides me the illusion of a life lived simple. On such a night that keeps deepening, there descends on to the footpath the primordial print. Dancing wildly in the orchard of joy, the mind keeps surging and crossing boundaries; the fact that I sit here, alone and detached from worldly agitation, points me to you, no longer with me, while the decadent sunlight writes scribbles of misunderstanding mixed with pain. That which passes on as rhythms is old too, but there would be something new—there would descend the chiaroscuro of enlightened encounters. Yet your signals remain all around still in the branches of leafless trees in the depth of the world of my own orchard there would grow flowers and fruits, even there poetry would grow on a night delighting me, there would appear sudden-clouds, there would be songs at the end of the story-telling syllables of the rains. There’s so much intense moonlight in the world, yet it doesn’t have an orchard of its own.

Had I Happened To Go With You

Had I happened to go with you, I won’t have gone, and had I gone with you, would I have gone at all? ‘There’s intense sunlight here.’ What does this turn of expression mean to us at all? Had I gone, there would have been a meaning perhaps— meaningless wanderings and wanderings so far as I go. Stars around the moonlight traverse the remote resembling a silent wound; if love unfurls itself, oblivion written on a mute night and solitude converse with my own child; converses the mind. That exists nowhere; that which exists nowhere beckons, ‘come here,’ The moonlight disappears beyond the fringe of the island while you have been absorbed in your ritualistic orgy. An innocent flower bends near my feet. The glory transcending humanity is quite embarrassed in the moonlight on a midnight. Otherwise the restless nights still embrace curiosities and I keep thinking, my thoughts travel and return from your mansion. Nectar is written inside the mansion, the winter inscribed in the field. In the perpetual moonlight, what I’ve written stealthily in my mind does that mean anything else?

 
     

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