Sofiul Azam




Squeezing syllables for a drop of meaning is just a game today.

Should you think I’m more of a crazy slug limping for fame today?


If one sums up regrets over an amorous walking out in the rains,

people like snails will surely feel better off being lame today.


I’m tired of cooperating with dolts but I won’t do it anymore;

for angels of non-cooperation – to say the truth – came today.


Many times I went on errands while dodgers sat back in pleasure

but I’ve decided to be the wildest horse none can tame today.


There’s no time for freaking out. A male seahorse carrying

the female’s eggs in his pouch and I are the same today.


Like Keats, I wrote sad poems like “La Belle Dame Sans Merci;”

I don’t give a damn about who will be my merciful dame today.


Look at the last year’s calendar where regrets towered over you

and you got flattened out in grief. Set them aflame today.


If you got fortune turned on time like a turbine in flood-tide

but naively pulled it off, there’ll be only yourself to blame today.


Hit hard life’s Gorgon-like temptress at every treacherous bend

and put – if you can – your remaining firmness in frame today.


Would you redline desires on this page white as an Arctic fox

and let go of what others may find in you to defame today?


I’ve too often blackened out my own dreams with extra ink;

it’s time the day dawned with bright confetti of my claim today.


I’ve snatched a small victory over intimidation, it’s party time:

like a caterpillar I will no longer lie curled in shame today.


Sofiul, say Thanks for your sociable lies or sugarized concerns

but don’t be stupid to desire headlines with your name today.


Educated in English Literature at Rajshahi University, Sofiul Azam has three poetry collections Impasse (Dhaka: Pathak Shamabesh, 2003), In Love with a Gorgon (Aarhus: Les Editions du Zaporogue, 2010 and forthcoming from County Clare: Salmon Poetry), Safe under Water (Dhaka: Magnum Opus, 2014) and edited Short Stories of Selim Morshed (Dhaka: Ulukhar, 2009). His poems have appeared in magazines across the world like Prairie Schooner, Poetry Salzburg Review, Le Zaporogue, The Journal (once of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry), Orbis, Erbace, The Cannon’s Mouth, Forward Press, Conversation Poetry Quarterly, Boyne Berries, Deep South, Catamaran, Protocol, Postcolonial Text, Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts, NAP Magazine, etc. and some are anthologized in Journeys, Caught in the Net, Poets Against War, Poetry for Charity Volume 2. He is now working on Earth and Windows: New and Selected Poems. He lives with his wife and son in Dhaka and teaches English at Victoria University of Bangladesh, having taught it before at Independent University Bangladesh, Southeast University and Royal University of Dhaka.