Siddhartha Bose is a poet and performer based in London. He was born and raised in India, followed by a seven year stint in the United States. He trained as an actor, made films, and recently completed a PhD on the grotesque at Queen Mary, University of London. His work has appeared in magazines like The Wolf, Fulcrum, The Literary Review, The Yellow Nib, Tears in the Fence, Eclectica and Alhamra Literary Review. Selections of his poetry have appeared in the anthologies City State: New London Poetry (Penned in the Margins) and Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century (Bloodaxe). Five of his poems are forthcoming in The HarperCollins Book of Modern English Poetry by Indians (HarperCollins, September 2010). Siddhartha has performed at The Whitechapel Gallery, The Troubadour, Museum of London, the Royal College of Art, New York University (Lillian Vernon Center), City of London Festival, West London Literature Festival, Spitalfields Festival and London Word Festival. Times Online dubbed him ‘one of the ten rising stars of British poetry’. He will be touring a solo stage show, Kalagora, from October 2010. His first collection will be published simultaneously by Penned in the Margins.
Chinatown, New York
A nose for paradox
Made me read Chuang-Tsu
On a late autumn afternoon
In Washington Square—
From his butterfly dream
I too emerged with wings,
A flowing gown of red and green,
A taste for wet fingertips.
I wafted down Mott Street—
Bees in my hair,
Pollen on my tongue,
Rain coiling in my eyes.
From your curious castle, heavy,
In a bowl hammered out of lapis lazuli,
You gave me thick soup
Cooked in the entrails of a fatted fish.
In it, strands of the Milky Way
Welcoming, cradling me
From the sluggish approach of
Snow, heating bills, a fading lover.
Previously published in The Wolf and
Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century.
Swansong, Mile End
Pigeons on a tiled roof.
Foreground—bus stop shines in the rain.
Swans—patches of cloud—
float long Regent’s Canal, its
skin, moving fish scales.
Shirt of sky opens.
Hair of stars sprout.
Plastic bags crackle like
pellets of rain in a tin can, like fire
bled on wood.
A southbound train lunges over a
The night is radioactive.
The two swans screech their song of love,
shake their manes, become
proud as horses.
Previously published in The Wolf.
Visit Penned in the Margins.