Saturday, September 15, 2012

dear patrick,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!           
Smoothed by long fingers,   
Asleep…tired…or it malingers,   
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.   
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,   
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?           
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,   
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,   
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;   
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,   
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,           
And in short, I was afraid.   

And would it have been worth it, after all,   
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,   
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,   
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,   
To have squeezed the universe into a ball   
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,   
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,   
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—           
If one, settling a pillow by her head,   
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;   
  That is not it, at all.”   

And would it have been worth it, after all,   
Would it have been worth while,           
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,   
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—   
And this, and so much more?—   
It is impossible to say just what I mean!   
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:           
Would it have been worth while   
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,   
And turning toward the window, should say:   
  “That is not it at all,   
  That is not what I meant, at all.”
           
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;   
Am an attendant lord, one that will do   
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,   
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,   
Deferential, glad to be of use,           
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;   
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;   
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—   
Almost, at times, the Fool.   

I grow old…I grow old…           
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?   
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.   
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.   

I do not think that they will sing to me.

   - Prufrock, T.S. Eliot

Thursday, March 17, 2011

She’s got everything she needs/she’s an artist, she don’t look back

The desultory evening breeze is marking maps in the air, like sequined spirals in glass marbles. The trees seem surrounded by the dreary feeling of accustomed darkness, cowering under the silent leaves like a witness to an unsuspecting stranger. The leaves are trying to convince them that perhaps the dark is not so bad if it comes on slowly, you have time to get used to it.

The metropolitan night is the silhouette of the half-moon against gritty glass buildings, neatly wrapped around the reluctant air. You lift your gaze from the concrete sidewalk and watch her resolute steps, she moves from the doorway like a messenger from radiant climes; you remember the words ‘lights will guide you home’ from a long forgotten song. She brings with her a broken waltz, hanging to the rainbow threads of her miniature jacket. The songs she has smuggled through porcelain walls, carrying them in a glass bag, making sure not to let anyone notice. These are the songs that shall cut with tender grief; these are the words that shall levitate in the congealed air you breathe.

She whisks a lazy wisp of hair off her shoulder while you brag of your misery. The night wears a veneer, trying to hold itself together like a flapping tent. For a brief enchanted moment, she weaves a porous cosmos with bejeweled words suspended like little constellations that you marvel. A chance witness to her words, even the night is jolted out of its despair and nods pleasantly, being addicted to momentary strands of cheery thoughts. Much like the resurgent smile on a sulking guest’s face when offered the dry vermouth, everything becomes illuminated in that universe she’s winnowed away from the outside world. Time’s running out, you end up measuring the lengths of her words against the indefinite seconds; a grain of sand, a speck of dust, a pinch of salt, you hope something blocks the hourglass’ throat.

She takes brisk, busy steps; the oblique, interlaced red bricks of the road quickly dissolving one into another; you can see them getting smaller as she pulls away.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Whence no farther


In the damp corner he sat alone, thinking of matters only known to him – wraithlike September wind and solemn dirges, furtive coincidences and freckled hands. The door guarded with the wintry pall of silence and the slavish blinds on the window shut like an octogenarian’s eyelids, his room was a dark recess befitting a grim Tibetan monk. The world belongs to those who wake up early; he remembered having heard that somewhere, however, still not ready to resign himself to the chirpy enthusiasm of the clockwork outside the walls, he preferred the enveloping kindness of the night.

He noticed the falling sand of the hourglass emptying in a minute and fifteen seconds; it seemed to have gathered time, he thought to himself, the last time he had counted the seconds, it stood at 72. A pretty little bulwark of papyrus surrounded him in a half circle – dead men and their printed words of wisdom. Chances are, you could pick a book and he’d tell you who the writer’s third cousin was, or which literary technique he’s adopted on page 317. It was in such gimmicky overtures of pubescent quasi-intellectual kitsch that he felt reassured; amidst the crowding wails of Nineteenth-century graphemes, he was an autodidact monarch watching over his second-floor empire at the bounds of boundless void. Nothing else mattered, except solitude and an endless wait. Being alone in the vacuum of the small room, he had become remarkably skilled in taking inactivity to a level never before reached; even trying not to think for increasing stretches of time. Like an indolent ingénue, he kept his gaze as empty as possible.

In another time, he was fascinated by calculus, constantly amazed by the theoretical possibility of splitting something into a million discrete pieces and then joining them all together to recreate what existed before. Although he suspected a logical fallacy, like a child in an amateur illusionist’s workshop trying to pick a trick; it seemed too good to be true even if it happened only on paper. All said and done, the euphonic chimes of mathematical reasoning soothed his nerves whenever he faced any perturbations of the worldly kind. However, this was when preoccupations almost never outweighed the immediate, and science seemed to be the biblical saviour. Sure enough, he bypassed that vaguely incipient age.

At half past six, he tried getting up and put on a shirt, stained with the afternoon tea. Reasonably sure that it’s dark outside, and his invisibility ensured, barring a few subservient streetlamps, he decided to venture outside. In the filtered moonlight and the half glow of miniature deodars he felt settled momentarily, before trifling in paltry fancies, “these Scandinavians have no idea what they’re missing out on, no wonder they’re a hypomaniac bunch. Imagine a midnight sun! Wait, but they also have polar nights. Ah, well.” It’s a Keats-walk, he thought to himself, he had always liked his sonnets; it’s a funny feeling admiring someone who died younger than you are. Tiny nacreous pebbles dotted the street, each step merging with memories held in violet mussel shells. White sheets of paper, riddled with the abandoned baritone and soprano clefs; he seemed surprised at this sudden discovery, at any rate, this city did not resemble a place for musical geniuses. A million ways of composing a life, and yet one always manages to choose the most inadequate notations. Metres ahead of him, a kamikaze walker navigated briskly, measuring the length of each step, until a petulant, creaking stone found the direction of his toe much too alluring; the burly model of kantian positivism giving a faustian fuckyou to the world.

Behind the theatrical curtains of deodars and firs, stood a sculptured plateau; a silent memento mori for wanderers, a prosecution witness for man’s hopeless stupidity. Reaching a vantage point, you sit and raise a moist gaze and grieve at the shelter of a desert pond, much like a convict condemned to drift in the infinite maze of regret and redemption.

He lay there for an hour, in that antechamber of time, in a glancing reflection of his unending days, days of white heat and distilled cold. Amidst the collected artefacts of the unyielding daily humdrum, he had developed a predilection for afterthoughts. “How obsolete, the desultory ramblings of the blasé; how singularly disappointing, the howling of rogues.”

"Decidedly the night is long and poor in counsel."
               - Malone Dies, Samuel Beckett

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Register

And then some days, you take out the cotton balls out of the spare room.
To dip them in the blue-grey ink of your sorrow, and spoil pages with rhymes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Birthday

They chant in unison, the twenty-five flickers of flame,
Busied by the convex glassed beads; the pebbles of blazes slain.
Settling down in a palette, the greasy involutes,
Quirked in space, glued together for safekeeping time.

The waxwing in the clock sings a thread of a ballad,
Years, abstruse, can not betray their fluidity to her.
The lilacs, watching through the fragile blinds,
Line up gracefully for the tinkling chimes.

Outside the window, dew floats on a mauve cloudlet,
Strayed from the velvet mist, it rests on the solitary rosette.
The shadow lines spin on the ground, weaving a sunburst.
And the forlorn autumn leaves pause and brood;
Throwing a glance to the glazed sun and the greying twig.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Songs I didn't tell you about

Keep Me In Your Heart - Warren Zevon (Link)
Moon River - Audrey Hepburn (Link)
Song To The Siren - This Mortal Coil (Link)
At My Window - Townes Van Zandt (Link)