The Curator of Banned Books: A Poem by Kabir Deb


With rain dribbling on my spectacles
I entered the broken yet intriguing house,

Silence all over, a small source of sound said “hello” but it was not a “hello”
rather a song.

On my corpus luteum, it was encircling
giving me the clue that I know this song
yet in a old house it felt unknown.

As I stepped inside, dust came over my body
like a Halloween costume on a splendid night
with all the light and darkness inside.

I wondered for a moment who lived here
with all the banned books and grounded
smell of unheard songs.

As I said “Hello”, it replied like a German soldier
with all the diagonal wavelength of saying
each and every word.

Long back in my holidays I read about this house which used to curate banned books
which now believe they won’t be opened.

It had a young curator unlike the old ones
who was killed in a battle field of peace
and barrels of gun.

He used to collect those from the cockroaches
of his father, whose burnt face never got
the chance to be fertile.

But his heart seldom used to catch fire
as he believed that fire would lead him to the place
where the banned books now reside.

To his surprise, I read that the night before the bullet
knocked on his chest he wrote that
he should have invited fire.

I can still smell the curator inside the house
when the pigeon flies outside, I can still hear him
when the lizard welcomes me.

As I knelt before the centre of the room to see
the handmade carpet I can touch him, it was
his end which boosted him to make one last piece.

The rain had stopped and the song became
prominent enough, and my feet started to move
on his creation as it said “Are you lonesome tonight?
Are you lonely tonight?”

I found a similarity between me and the curator
which attracted me to be in a house rich
yet haunted by the dreams of his mind.

The string of Frank Sinatra tugged us and
I danced with him, after keeping my box
on the bed where the curators body was last seen.

Banned books started to spread the old aura
of their torn yet serene, peaceful yet violent,
covered yet nude pages.

They threw a tight rope towards my foot
and attached it delicately with the curator
flying all over me, like a honeybee.

I started to lie to my parents for living the 8 hours
of each and everyday with them, it was seductive
to be with him, to kiss the air around him.

It was a life where I met Satan with all his cruelty
It was a life where I met death with her naked body
It was a life where I met God with all his followers
It was a life where I met the followers with all their belief
It was a life where I saw the beliefs being shattered.



Kabir Deb was born in Haflong and completed his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Karimganj. After that completed his Graduation and Masters from Assam University, Assam. Poetry has been his passion and a hobby from childhood. He looks forward to change the society with the power of poetry. When the society is facing with many political and social conflicts he wants to show that poetry can destroy even the most destructive force in the society as poetry knows how to create. His work has been published in ‘​To be my Valentine​’ edition of ​Hall of Poets.

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