Published by the Writers Workshop, House of Song is Deeptesh Sen’s first book of collected poems. Returning repeatedly to themes of laughter and death, a powerful language of loneliness and nostalgia haunts these poems which take us on a whirlwind journey through deserted streets, the desiring gaze and the dark abyss of laughter.
Memories return like soft miracles within bodies shrivelled with desire as they drift through lonely tube stations or sit in cafes discussing Mozart and Matisse. What these poems are interested in exploring is the violent fall through desire and laughter. And as the memories recede, the remainder after the erasure left in flickering voices and the glittering corpse.
Sen’s poems walk the dangerous precipice between laughter and mourning, desire and forgetting, rupture and redemption. They show us what it is to stare at the decadence beneath the laughter and the horror inside beauty until we are left with broken images of Auschwitz lips and Bernini’s ghost.