Thursday, 29 December 2011
Then I dreamed of beaches-it was a lovely beach, but also a backwater beach, with dolphins and little boats and mosquitoes, and the water was greenish and slightly murky, and the beach was just outside this very window. Here where this ugly backyard is. But in this dream I knew I was not only not loved, but that my family and loved ones were receding further and further away into the horizons of that infinite sea, and that I was alone. Alone. This winter is very long. Sometimes, like now, I am convinced I will not survive it.
Margaret, Margaret, or Rosebud- do you know them? Could you tell me where they live? So that on one such winter morning as this, I could creep out of my lonely house, and go walking in the bleak sunshine-looking for addresses and pretty strangers, who give me tea and scones and a little bit of kindness? Margaret is not a woman, you persuasively argue, she is a girl and she is a cruel girl. What of that? I must try my luck. What am I? A young halfwit? In my dream, I also saw I was trying to convince you, but you kept changing the topic.
The dream about the beach was hardest of all. It was not at all like Goa, which is my favourite beach. This was like a pond, except my dream told me it was a beach. I stared at it from this very window, like a stupefied dog asked not to bark by the master.
I have no master, and no slave either.
Perhaps if you are reading this, you will be kind enough to understand. You cannot break a woman's heart by dismissing her as slightly mad. Either you denounce her as a witch, a completely insane genius-or you embrace her as the love of your life. In this either-or plan of things, the middle path of Buddha has no relevance. Come, be my eros and thanatos, let us rediscover how to live.
These days I practise how to die like sophisticated English gentry; sheer boredom and bottled frenzy. I am dying, Oxford, dying. I am dying, my dearest, dying. But you don't care, you timeless and significant proper nouns. There in the rarefied grammar of your existence, madness is typographical error.
While I compose this wretched metaphor, the backyard outside behaves like a chameleon sea-lagoon. This is going to be a long winter.
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Therefore, in my little way, I shall chronicle the stories of some homeless people. It is a little project that I have vowed to undertake, and this not a pretentious Down and Out etc project. You see, most intelligent people take success for granted, but though I know I am intelligent enough to string some beautifully poetic sentences after drinking tequila that somebody else has paid for, I am not successful. This is largely my own fault because I have an ugly naivete that prevents me from doing things with force and conviction. I am dazzling but only in my own mind, and to my own self. This can be a problem when you appear for interviews and suchlike; because you cannot convey your, as the Americans so succinctly put it, awesomeness.
So yes, I think everyone loves me like my grandmother does, loving benevolence that bestows and compliments- and a lot of homeless people are like that. They have trusted people-spouses, children, relatives, friends, the government-and their trust has been betrayed. They have been stripped of money, dignity, friends, everything that we-trained as good liberals-take for granted. Many of them have dogs. Big dogs keep them warm in winter. They love their dogs very much. They love their dogs far more than we love them. Some of my friends give homeless people a pound or so. The kindness of strangers can be overwhelming. Some of my friends (and that includes myself) spare a cigarette. For me, that's a tremendous sacrifice. Every time I part with a fag, my hand shakes, my brow sweats, and my heart feels dizzy. There is nothing in life called a free lunch, but THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING CALLED A SPARE FAG. Therefore, I feel like a Christian martyr when I part with one, and hasten a homeless man to a speedier death. I am a very kind girl.
But really, my kindness is overwhelming when I actually sit and speak to homeless people. There was a woman who openly confessed she was going to get some stuff, ya kno, stuff with the two pounds I gave her. So what does the err stuff do to you, I asked her. The stuff kinda makes me feel at home with myself, she said. Her endearing honesty brought tears to my eyes. I would almost have given her another quid, except I needed it for a mocha. Besides, why would I help her have drugs that would make her feel at home, when I-like the other quintessential Western homeless heroine Antigone- was perpetually without one? Nothing doing.
That night I read Heidegger. It helped me, I felt better. Heidegger's prose cannot make anyone feel better, you argue. You are obviously foolish and not an Oxonian. You might even come from Cambridge. At this point my sarcasm is sickening me, so I will proceed to the next paragraph.
One day, as I adorned the bench in front of Balliol. as majestic Broad Street bustled in front of me, a man with droopy eyes came and sat next to me and salivated at the sight of my Gauloises. Camus smoked Gauloises. So you can see how very l'etranger I was, how well suited to the scene, how the poor bugger was dying to talk to me. So he asked me for a spare cigarette, and I was about to tell him that there is nothing in life called a spare cigarette, when I noticed he looked a bit like my favourite writer Borges (without the glasses, in his prime.) A remarkably handsome man- so I gladly gave him one. I thought he was a nice man, a bit of a junkie, and then he said, "I just lost my job." "Oh no" I sympathized. "Yes, I feel sad. Where are you from?""India."
"Are you rich?"
"Hmm. Would you happen to have 20 quid?"
"That's alright. Could I have another cigarette?"
"So, do you know I don't have a home?"
"I stay on the street now. I want books to read. And food to eat."
I suspect the books bit was to impress me. Alas, poor Droopy Eyes.
"India is a poor country, isn't it?"
Indignant me: "Strange you should be saying that."
Startled Homeless Man: "Hey, no offence. Hey, you're pretty. Do you want to go out with me? Tomorrow, 4 pm, here?"Startled Me:"Hey but where will we go to?"
Sad Homeless Man with Droopier Eyes: "OK, you have a point there. Hehe."
I brooded on this. Why would a man without a home want to date a girl? How could he? I mean, how dare he? I mean, what do I look like, a Dater of Homeless Men?
Me, Antigone? Me, Hamlet? Me, Mersault?
And then, I realized, we are so used to seeing people without jobs, without homes, without love, without success, we whose fathers have money, or something close to money, we sans merit, but with classical liberalism flowing through our veins- we suck. We're ugly. Our flirtations with the Left, with Marxism, with history and the Hegelian dialectic, with life and art, with authenticity and resistance, with our black, white, yellow and brown skins(and masques)- we stink.
As Baudelaire so nicely put, and Eliot so beautifully quoted, and I- in a show of dashing originality will replicate-
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
— Hypocrite lecteur, — mon semblable, — mon frère!
Of course the monster is delicate, you fool. Facebook is a very fragile thing too, isn't it? Sometimes the monstrosity of the changeling called social networking astonishes me. It is so utterly pointless, except we find an illusive home in it- a home within a home.And then there are some people out there, just outside this cozy English house, who cannot afford a laptop with an internet connection and they, unlike my poor third world brethren, even know what information technology is. Hell, they even know how to spell it.
La sottise, l'erreur, le péché, la lésine,
Occupent nos esprits et travaillent nos corps,
Et nous alimentons nos aimables remords,
Comme les mendiants nourrissent leur vermine.
(Now for the non French speaking people, this is from the same Baudelaire poem that Eliot did not quote,translated it means something like
Folly and error, avarice and vice,
Employ our souls and waste our bodies' force.
As mangey beggars incubate their lice,
We nourish our innocuous remorse.)
And now my French has run its course, let me bid you a teary adieu, my neighbour, my reader, my brethren. I go to smoke a cigarette and contemplate the perils of being bored.
Thursday, 15 December 2011
There is much happiness around, but this happiness is not for me. When you realize this, you know that your life is gradually losing meaning or perhaps it is gaining greater meaning. Nowadays I take recourse into fantasy and fiction, and this room becomes my universe, my one little room is Everywhere. But there is no lover here to make my macrocosm into a microcosm, all that metaphysical love poetry is left behind in another world- a comfortable cocoon in retrospect. He is no longer all that I survey.
I am shielding myself from the cold, but I cannot shield me from myself. I glimpse you outside sometimes, but not all the time. In little light, and you disappear so soon, in the blink of an eye. I lose you before I can realize what it is- you're like a blazing shooting star, an elusive idea, a trembling idea, a character, a personality, you're my novel gradually developing in my head- and I have to see you more often before I can write you down. I desire lucidity, the erotic texture of lucidity, its endless possibilities...
Fuck it, come back. I have not yearned anything so much, no lover, no man, no woman, no friend has made my heart shake so much, depressed me so much. I can see your story, I can see your distinct narrative spread over time, and my time itself ceases to matter to me, as long as your unreal and false time can be encapsulated by my worthless fingers on a blank white page.
Love, love, love. They say love is something that you need to live the good life. I don't want any love, the men in the canvas of my life are fading out gradually, the colours are running out, and even he who I loved so much-whose heartbeat I still hear occasionally against my lonely pillow-even he has carved out another life on a better fresco. All I have is you, you are my sole source of solace and desire and love and life. Do not let me die another death, here in my ugly and cold room, make my life vibrant and illusive with the colours of fantasy.
Embrace me, fiction.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Monday, 24 October 2011
Saturday, 22 October 2011
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011
of a life in anticipation; my eyes look for you. There is no comfort
in solitude, no comfort in myself, only a sort of trembling in the face
of the infinite and the vast. I would give myself willingly to you
if you had a body. Then my love would have been meaningful, a pure
sort of love. Now, the bonds of kinship are disintegrating, and all
that remains is terror.
I have lauded my imagination, my ability to make meaning when confronted
with incoherence. I have thought understanding is the greatest virtue
that one can have. But is that true, is that the most beautiful ability,
or is it the ability to lie, face down, on the earth, and inhale the smell
of fresh earth, and newly sprung grass?
It is a terrible thing to feel affinity. I have felt affinity with you
when your mind was in motion, but no never turbulent, never turbulent
like the river which springs in cruel motion from the mountain, and challenges
you to witness cruelty. The gushing stream annihilates the flowers on
its banks; the sweet flowers which blossom only to be destroyed
by one more powerful than they.
I have felt affinity with you when your arms have held me like the river
holds the flowers in its crushing grasp.
And I have been afraid.
Why do the bonds of kinship break? Where is the tenderness of a mother's
embrace, I want to hold my father's hand again, and hear my grandmother
sing me to sleep, but all I see is a long and endless stretch of sand,
a sun dazzling in its intensity.
And I have felt a strange thirst
which no river can quench.
In the distance, a child dies
but I cannot see it. It died
without being aware of the limitless,
it did not see the grains of sand
in a sand-clock. It did not
hear the minutes ticking by.
I do not know whether it was a girl
or a boy.
My eyes looked for you,
but found the sea instead.
As they gazed at the sea,
a bird flew from the north
to the south.
And I was astonished.
You would say
it is incoherence.
Friday, 15 July 2011
Farewell! Thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know'st thy estimate,
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting,
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgement making.
Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter,
In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
I'll invent for you
Such senseless words
That you'll understand
I'll speak to you
Of those lovers there
Who have seen two times
their hearts all ablaze
I will recount for you
The story of that king
Dead for not having
the chance to meet you
Don't leave me now...
We must forget
All can be forgotten
It escapes already
Forget the time
And the moments lost
We must know how
Forget those hours
Which killed at times
With each thrust of why
The heart of happiness
Don't leave me now...
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Monday, 20 June 2011
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
And I- I am Cassandra,
mad, desirable, at times a bit inane-
undeserving, and yet
brought to pain-
by other women.
And I- I am Clytemnestra,
deceiving, adulterous and vile
Gullible, yet capable of guile.
And I- I am Atreus-
Monster, alienated from human
I know not what it is to be
human, only I feel something
strange grow within me-
they called it hatred
And I- I am Cassandra-
my prophecies bring to doom.
I tearfully tell you
And I- I too am Electra-
in perpetual wait,
I fear you are late.
And now, I realize,
I am also Hamlet.
I find the
rest is silence.
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Friday, 8 April 2011
Thursday, 31 March 2011
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Sunday, 6 March 2011
Friday, 4 March 2011
Thursday, 3 March 2011
Sunday, 13 February 2011
|Tonight you speak to me some of my saddest thoughts.|
Say, for instance,'The world is not large enough
to accommodate your solitude.'"
The sea breeze touches your soul with a balmy kindness.
Tonight you speak to me some of my saddest thoughts
How I hate you, and sometimes you hate me too.
It is on nights like this that we made love
I struggled against the infinite blackness we call the sky.
You hated me sometimes, and I hated you too.
How can one not hate your passionate sneer?
Tonight you speak to me some of my saddest thoughts.
To think I've never known you. To feel that thus, I can never lose you.
And this cruel and endless night, still more cruel without you.
The verse is tortured out of my soul like a last confession.
What does it matter that my intelligence cannot entice you?
The night is endless and my beauty might suffice.
This is all. Somewhere, someone might translate me. Somewhere.
Here we do not speak the same language.
I wish I could reach you.
My mind yearns for you, and you are never with me.
The same night which separates our understanding.
We, of shared knowledge, do not eat the same apple.
I no longer hate you, that's certain, but indeed I have hated you.
My voice tried to find words that could articulate my hatred.
Another's. You will be another's. You will read other poems.
Your silence. Your sharp eyes. Your passionate sneer.
I no longer hate you, that is for sure, but perhaps I hate you.
Hating is so easy, but to remember why is hard.
Because on nights like this you held me in your arms
and my soul revolts on knowing that you have lost me.
Though this is probably the last time you make me suffer
and this is the last time we share a poem.
This is perhaps the last time, that I write
or pretend to write
a poem for you.