Wednesday, November 8, 2023



Our Parents

How embarrassing they are!

Some of their views

can be extraordinary.

Increasingly, we were torn

between protecting and

disowning them

for at least fifteen minutes.

In the end, when they left,

it had little to do with us.

They don't stick to a plan.

On one level, so focussed

on organising our lives,

on another, as it turns out,

unreliable in their departure.

The Writers

                On constantly mishearing "rioting"

                        as "writing" on the BBC

There has been writing for ten days now

unabated. People are anxious, fed up.

There is writing in Paris, in disaffected suburbs,

but also in small towns, and old ones like Lyon.

The writers have been burning cars; they've thrown

homemade Molotov cocktails at policemen.

Contrary to initial reports, the writers

belong to several communities: Algerian

and Caribbean, certainly, but also Romanian,

Polish, and even French. Some are incredibly

young: the youngest is thirteen.

They stand edigly on street-corners, hardly

looking at each other. Long-standing neglect

and an absence of both authority and employment

have led to what are now ten nights of writing.



Amit Chaudhuri

Sweet Shop

New and Selected Poems, 1985-2023

NYRB, 2023