Sunday, September 13, 2009

With a flower

"I hide myself within my flower,
That wearing on your breast,
You, unsuspecting, wear me too --
And angels know the rest.

I hide myself within my flower,
That, fading from your vase,
You, unsuspecting, feel for me
Almost a loneliness."
-Dickinson

I bought myself ten flowers today and put them in a vase in my room. I don’t know what they are called. They last longer than roses and they have no scent. They give me joy and misery. Even, joy is rootless and it fades and it can be bought.

I am no good at identifying flowers. It’s a serious handicap for someone who likes poetry. I make no effort to learn the names. I never ask. It’s easier to hide when everything else is unidentifiable.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Eclipse

“This world is drenched with that drowning.”
-Rumi

We live underwater
I am told that
No one hears the rain.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quietus

We recede into our stasis
I am already dead
You are always dying.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Years

It is time for the gentle luxuries of spring. I haven't slept in three years. This must be like a hangover. I celebrate time. The black continuum of years. Vast. I am careful to not step on dead gulmohur flowers, as if to protect the soiled innocence of them. Everyday, I write in my diary with invisible ink. I leave it around, conspicuously, wondering if you read between the lines of silence.

"O God, I am not like you
In your vacuous black,
Stars stuck all over, bright stupid confetti.
Eternity bores me,
I never wanted it.

What I love is
The piston in motion . . .
My soul dies before it.
And the hooves of the horses,
Their merciless churn."
-Plath

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Veiled Suite

In my next life, I am going to have a life. I spent the day reading Satyajit Ray’s memoirs. Many thanks to a friend for forgetting the book twice. No, I haven’t seen his movies. Yes, poor-philistine-me. That’s going to change soon. But, I have read the Shahid Ali poem about the Apu trilogy. Also, this Shahid Ali extract from his collected poems, published all but recently:

I wait for him to look straight into my eyes
This is our only chance for magnificence.
If he, carefully, upon this hour of ice,
will let us almost completely crystallize,
tell me, who but I could chill his dreaming night.
Where he turns, what will not appear but my eyes?
Wherever he looks, the sky is only eyes.
Whatever news he has, it is of the sea.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Belljar

The snow buried your balled cries.
Acetone corroded your belljar.
But preserved the emptiness.
Stifling full.
Rolled back your eyes never blink.
Never miss a thing.
It means nothing.

Stop crying now.
Here is a hand.
Virgin honey.
Fructose. Sweetness! Sweetness!
Till it becomes bland.
It means nothing.

It is summer now.
April is so cruel indeed.
Your forgetful snow melts.
The glazed ocean of memory.
It hurts the eyes.
I listen to the drops of your deception.
And wait for the tide of your knife.
It means nothing.

Insomnia is anesthetized.
I am. I am. I am.


Sylvia Plath ended her life in the February of ’63. It is fitting that I just finished reading her autobiographical novel “Belljar” now. I also came across a poem that I had not previously read at the end of the book. Here it is:


“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winter morning

Black winter mornings are cruel.
They distort words. I inhabit

Vales of silence. Even echoes
Are respectful here. Time is

Measured in the calm between
Gales. They laid out your

Death. I devoured with my eyes.
I did not know that

I would be so starved
For the vision of you.

Now the cold winds anger
The architecture called space. I

Walk here in my fields
Of desert between drops of

Stubborn rain. Sorrow is ductile.
Watch the changing souls of

This dark light dissolve. Inferno
Assimilates. You walked in sheaths

Of glass. Now I glare
At the angry sun. The

Time for burial is come.
Earth grows barren with grief.

Hades has removed dear Persephone.

Winter scene

“Bring wine,” Alcaeus demanded, “Wine and truth.”

Here is a poem by him from an encyclopaedia I plundered from my mom’s school library.


“Zeus rains upon us, and from the sky comes down
enormous winter. Rivers have turned to ice….

Dash down the winter. Throw a log on the fire
And mix the flattering wine (do not water it
Too much) and bind on round our foreheads
Soft ceremonial wreaths of spun fleece.

We must not let our spirits give way to grief.
By being sorry we get no further on,
My bukchis. Best of all defences
Is to mix plenty of wine, and drink it.”


Alcaeus loved Sappho. She refused his love. They have vanished in the cold sea of indifference that sweeps everything, but, some of their poetry did reach the shores. It has endured. I recall Franny’s gorgeous letter, her devotion to Sappho and to think that I did not even know about her before Franny.