On Cities, Heartbreaks and Diseases
Shamayita Sen
MY CITY IS A MURDER OF CROWS by Nikita Parik Hawakal Publishers, Delhi, Kolkata, 2022, 100 pp., ₹ 350.00
February 2023, volume 47, No 2

It is difficult to review this book, as the smooth writing tempts you to pause and ruminate on techniques used, which inspires you to attempt a few pieces. Nikita Parik’s poems are lessons in creative writing. Both My City is a Murder of Crows, and her debut collection Diacritics of Desire, are important reads for emerging poets working on their craft. Invariably, Parik will teach them concise writing. She plays with metaphors just long enough to grab attention, and before one realizes, they are immersed into the thematic depths of a piece. Also commendable is her use of multiple forms—one-sentence poems, prose poems, and haibun are placed alongside lyrical poetry.

Life-situations are layered to create a spiral of intermingled thoughts, sometimes like a braid where each strand holds whole meaning but also consumes one another to complete the tapestry. Parik’s poems use epicyclic expansion of a moment to provide a sense of extended time, parallel life or alternate universes living with us, within us, or overlapping with our present realities. Binaries are drawn to create an object-vs-reflection effect. And, narrative voices are placed in seemingly external objects to establish outer-bodily experiences. These metaphysical experiences deepen in the last section, slowly transforming into soft nihilism.

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