Any Given Night at the Press Club

Any Given Night at the Press Club


Winner of the Jaipur Literature Festival competition, 2015


Sun sucked into quicksand of smog

now popping with carbonated stars.

Lager, tonic, cola. Hard liquor

chased by cigarettes.

Half-eaten food on thalis

coiled like slumbering cats

blanketed by the buzzing of flies

squalor only cleared with the dawn.


Punters leave, writers leave.

This sprawling group stays to

bellow laughter into the yard

spill dirty quips on the floor

gum the corners with glee-lipped gossip.


This quadrant air exhales marijuana

as softened palms applaud

this all too easy rebellion.


Always quick to point the finger

quick to ignore

that which points back at



Silhouettes plead their departure

with the click click click

of switch.

Faceless fingers’ final flick

snuff out the last fusty bulb

sending them home

in too cold cars via the

tungsten tracks

where they bark paratha half-fry!

at shadows of the night

dip their paws

into yolks’ hot trickle

close their eyes against the glare

and lick their fingers

with all the relish

of a golden, victorious




Eloise Stevens