Friday, December 26, 2008

Acid evangelist

So, Morrison’s tipsy dream sequences have been on my mind for some time. I just finished reading his biography. Stephen Davis does a good job, but, the book has a horrible sense of chronology. Holden would say, “You don’t know where the hell you are.”

It is interesting to note that he underlined the following in the introduction to Rimbaud’s Illuminations. It explains a lot.

“One must, I say, be a visionary; make oneself a visionary.

The poet makes himself a visionary through a long, a prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses. Every form of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he consumes all the poisons in him, keeping only their quintessences…. He arrives at the unknown: and even if, half-crazed at the end, he loses the understanding of his visions, he has seen them! Let him be destroyed in his leap by those unnamable, unutterable, and innumerable things: there will come other horrible workers: they will begin at the horizons where he has succumbed.”

The self-destruction was systematic. Cataclysmic. Morrison to my mind was the paragon of the Byronic heroic. So, I was not surprised to see that the biographer quotes Byron.

The book has entailed that I start with Arthur Rimbaud and go back to Dylan Thomas. In the end, Mr. Mojo is still rising.

In other news, I hate malls. Decisively. Whatever happened to the quiet little places where you can hang out with yourself? If you have coffee houses inside malls, you should be allowed books. Not that I want to read inside malls anyway. People in love make them intolerable.

This blog is becoming depressing. I think that I will make myself pancakes now. Food-therapy works. Always.

The end

Last night, you died. Your death was imperceptible. Your death comes as no shock to me. It has become knowledge in a space of two hours. I appall myself. I was sleeping when it happened. No lightening woke me up. I tell myself that fools romanticize life, but, death is inevitable. Maybe, this didactic keeps me sane now. I also know that I believe the other, that, I can live forever. I have no right to mourn you, but, maybe, this is inevitable too. I am young. You were seventy-eight when it happened. A sage once told me that only an old man knows when an old man dies. I am not old. A lifetime is only just an instant. A lifetime is an eternity. A lifetime is both. In the end, only a thought remains till the mind vanquishes even that to leave the remnants of a lost world. Sayan would say a lost Atlantis, but everything is not utopian. But, the thought is conscious of all that is possible because of all that has been made possible. A thought is a very powerful thing. I chant a thought to myself today, to imprint it on the ocean that has become my mind. I don't want to forget.

Harold Pinter, you are dead.

Cancer is a real pain. It kills. You did say:

“They (Cancer cells) have forgotten how to die
And so extend their killing life.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Café Coffee Day

Bitterness takes time to brew.
Freedom is an interstice.
An exemption for ten minutes.
Before the metaphor of life
It scalds.
Sugar can disguise the disappointment
But the distilled flavour remains.
Coffee is best when taken dark
Black and unadorned.
Raised to your lips
No froth.
Like Norwegian Wood
So matter of fact.

PS: Given up coffee. Been having tea in coffee houses.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The reaper

I left my Dickinson volume in the metro yesterday. I hadn’t even finished reading it. I came home and searched everywhere.

I read this gorgeous Anne Sexton poem on suicide just now. It is technically brilliant. Also, so persistent that it is almost urgent.

“Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.

Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.

But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.

Twice I have so simply declared myself,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.

In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.

I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.

Still-born, they don’t always die,
but dazzled, they can’t forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.

To thrust all that life under your tongue!—
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death’s a sad bone; bruised, you’d say,

and yet she waits for me, year after year,
to so delicately undo an old wound,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.

Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love whatever it was, an infection.”

But, my favourite suicide poem is a Dickinson. Not a Plath. Here it is:-

“'Tis not that Dying hurts us so—
'Tis Living—hurts us more—
But Dying—is a different way—
A Kind behind the Door—

The Southern Custom—of the Bird—
That ere the Frosts are due—
Accepts a better Latitude—
We—are the Birds—that stay.”

Dickinson died a natural death. Plath and Sexton committed suicide.

I was right. That Tony Harrison collection is horrible.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Without irony

As furtively as wilderness
Abstracts into spring. As despair

Grows in one sick
Beyond hope. The omitted awareness

Of your memory divests
Into the mind today. As

Shadows in the expanse
Of light. The heart makes

Its choices and divorces
The soul. As the sound

Of a flower withering
In darkness. As death in

Life. As bliss is
A trepidation. And fear a

Prerogative. The heart wanders
Looking for pleasure. And then

Pretexts out of misery.
You knew. You did not

Come. With the Parsons
Of morality. I have no

Brawl. I do not
Dissect my life. I have

Good luck.


“They say that “time assuages,”-
Time never did assuage;
An actual suffering strengthens,
As sinews do with age.

Time is a test of trouble,
But not a remedy.”

Old now.
I watched you
Sleep today, counted your wrinkles.
And ascertained the width between pain and wisdom,
Added the spaces in a lifetime. A longing between desire and destiny remains.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Now close the windows

“Now close the windows and hush all the fields;
If the trees must, let them silently toss;
No bird is singing now, and if there is,
Be it my loss."

I have been reading “A Boy’s Will.” Every poem is a microcosm, a world within a world. And this is a collection of his early poetry. I am amazed everyday. It is a bit like living life “At the Vantage Point” and yet, “In Neglect.”

We went and got the books. I totally lost it there. I only just finished reading “Dubliners.” I did not even pick this one because of this absurd-I-am-not-ready-for-Joyce-theory, but then later I filched it from the friend who did. I think that I went the wrong way about reading it. I should not have read it in one go, but, the book is addictive. Tomorrow, I will read “The Stranger.” I know. Finally.

I brought a lot of poetry. A lot. Keats, Browning, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost. An anthology that features everyone from Milton to Walter Scott. I also got a Tony Harrison collection, but, I am not too excited about it.

I also got books by Chekov, Fitzgerald, Kafka, Lawrence, Hardy……. And other stuff.

No Neruda. No Murakami. Couldn’t find any.

Now close all the windows. It is time to explore. I think that it was Kashiwagi who said:

“In order to be
Forgotten from within
A flower opens outward.”

Friday, December 12, 2008

The hyper-reality paradigm

I study science.

We live life by simulation, so reality is an assumption, a hypothesis. If and when the rectitude of this assumptive reality is proven empirically, hyper-reality is attained. It seems virtual. Surreal and also, vivid.

What is illusion? What is entity?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Golden is elusive

The first semester officially ended a few days ago. I feel a dissolution of space inside my mind as if I live life in the rooms of a castle that I have made for myself. Each room is a brimming, almost ebullient enclosure. A castle that has ceilings and walls of glass, but, no windows. That is soundproof so that you can see what's going on, but, you can't hear. So, if you refuse to see in one direction, you achieve total suspension. There is no sense of time. Just the measurement of days in the literature I read. Sometimes, a passage lingers and defies time. A cycle of seasons passes. Winter hesitates in the afternoon brilliance, as if it wants to retrace its path. Sometimes, you want to capture this indecision and so you put your arms forth as if to enclose this facile radiance. As if to look for a reward or say, a reconfirmation. There is a splendour. There is a splendour. Although refracted. Although silent, intangible.

I saw a production on the Russian Mafia scene today. It was eye-opening. Then, I saw a show about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. It was really interesting. Sayan gave me a one hour tutorial on Roman Warfare (and other things Roman) after that. I am not even kidding and I listened. Unbelievable stuff. So, now I am reading up about the Roman Empire.

Oh, I also finished a Murakami yesterday. I also read Catcher again.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


“They make a desolation and call it peace.”
-Agha Shahid Ali

winter today.
In my palm
Ice perspires, leaving me cold.
The sun may rise, it may scorch me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Music invents silence

“Your ghost will walk
You lover of trees
If our loves remain.”

It is twilight. The quiet
Of my breath, an equilibrium

Of space and sound. Absence
Is a premonition. Soon I will

Trace my memoirs. My echoes
Will confine the exiles of silence

That your voice will vacate. The specters
Of my presence will observe

Nothing. Stealthily, the rain
Will wash away the chronicles

Of ashes. Nomads will come.
Music will invent silence.

Yes, alright. I have been reading Paz.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The lovers

Apparently, there is a method to my madness. Morten Søndergaard explores poetic short story in Ubestemmelsessteder (Indeterminate Places, 1996). Here is a sample by the Danish poet. As if you haven’t had enough.

“I awake in a land where lovers have seized power. They have introduced laws decreeing that no one will ever again have to look away, and that orgasms need never come to an end. Roses function as currency, the insane are worshipped as gods, and the gods are considered insane. The postal service has been reinstated and the words ‘you’ and ‘I’ are now synonymous. After the revolution, it was decided that broken-hearted lovers should be eliminated for the safety of those happy in love. When they track me down, I immediately surrender. The executioner is a woman and it is quickly done. It is winter and I have not met you yet.”


“They would not remember the simple rules
their friends had taught them,
that a red hot poker will burn you
if you hold it too long;
and that, if you cut your finger
very deeply with a knife,
it usually bleeds.”
-Lewis Carroll

Also, if you wear heels for long periods of time, your feet tend to hurt. Excessive consumption of food can lead to inopportune weight gain. And ofcourse, if you drink from a bottle marked “poison”, sooner or later it will disagree with you. Lewis Carroll was a great man. This is the sum total of the past four days. I am a wiser person now.

I am a happy person. Also, life is boring these days. Apparently, I have an obtuse sense of humour. That is also caustic and also subtle, because most people don’t get it.

Anyway, I am going to go shopping for books with some friends in a week, after the practicals. Caustic. Subtle. Again.

I am enjoying the winter. I miss the monsoon. I see my reflection in the waters of childhood. There is a dreary sea in between. My face feels liquid when I touch it. The remnants of my refection do not want to stay in my palm. They drip. I make tired old ships. They sink in the labouring salt. The reflection is elusive, virtual.

Violins await me at the shore. I linger. I linger.