Thursday, August 30, 2007
He rises upwards
He does not
They all look at him
(He used to be more
He used to be everything
They have deserted him now
He rises though
To his throne
Is all we know
Above our lowly decor
His gaze holds them all
Nor grace –full
I feel true
I don’t pretend
I feel blue.
It’s a fight
to take off
from me -
With such magnitude.
Just like waking
From a mid-dream,
My permanent soul
This depth of feeling
As if by god speed.
An enchanted day
All in a rushed heat.
like an old dream.
but in their own
still smells fresh,
All were enchanted.
A sole wind
around my shoulders.
You hand me dollops
and dollops of talk.
I cannot eat them
Their hands full of dirt
Cleaning each other with some mirth
Swaying in each other sins
As I saw them…
As they felt…
The pleasure of Lust
With the Pain of Love
The three thawed
In their own thirsts
As I felt them..
I asked myself,
Walking down an urban landscape
for my self,
Searching for myself.
I turn notice.
The world is kneeling,
Burdened by this weight
eludes the few
Craving for forced intellect.
Pervades the winds,
Those sorry winds
My thought's scream agony,
I wrench my heart,
Twist my lungs,
Throw away ecstasy.
I ask myself,
Walking on in ignorant darkness,
Picking up bits,
Of my self,
Kicking at bits of myself.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I re-arrange my reality,
I am blinded with clarity
That’s been hidden from me,
It’s close to me,
More distant every time.
It’s only my spotless frame of mind.
I count numbers
On my fingers
As our souls turn to stone,
And without even one nest
I cannot call this home.
The big bare wall
A twig breaks.
The silence of my steer
Into highways that intertwine….
Our world enters a darker light
Worker bees can leave
Drones fly away,
The queen is their slave
Never sing, never mind,
It’s only my spotless frame of mind.
Much closer than I would have liked,
It leers at me through the window,
Through the frost-covered one,
And vein-like cracks appear in the air between
Me and the lonely dark.
The moon is no cure,
For the night’s death-like pallor,
Sometimes even adding to its death-like pallor,
And death is at home, everywhere in the dark.
And death is so close, anywhere in the dark.
You came to give me comfort,
And yet you lie there in someone else’s thoughts,
Writhing in pleasure, in somebody else’s thoughts.
Two feet away, yet in another’s thoughts.
And I extend my arm to touch your bare neck,
But to intrude into your thoughts would
Make me distraught.
The wind howls now, whistling in my
It whispers like it’s passed through hell.
I would if I could, to bleed your heart,
Lift up hell and push it into heaven.
And let you live in the space between,
Where no one can see good or bad,
But they will see more bad than good.
And there you will suffer,
As I have suffered here- flee-er of
Thoughts, digger of shame,
Making me fall into an unending pit,
That cannot be filled.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
it’s a beautiful quiet day,
brilliant golden fireball,
breezy wisps of white
against the peaceful blue void,
radiant green trees,
all changing constantly,
as I silently change for them
with each step
I /they take.
They are each many
as I am;
a series of
surreptitiously shifting shape/s
the contours of
in my mind.
to each other.
units of existence
of each other.
my II hand
perspective radar- ever searching
I ask them-
Who are you?
Who are they?
What are we?
Do we believe what you see?
Are we real because you (singular) sense?
Do you (plural) sense because we are real?
Are your senses real?
What is real?
What is what is?
? is ? ?
? ? ? ?
It’s a beautiful quiet day,
so it seems…
An idle mind...
A wandering thought...
Reckoning about the lost days...
And a lost friend ...
Reminiscence brings up
The laughter... the smiles...
The silence and the pain
It's strange the way
Those moments have waned
A silent little wish
Still lingers alongside
That those times return
As a remembered friend
Remembers another in turn....
A small little thing
you do, generally
Didn't know it would mean
so much to me
A pattern of yours
became habit for me
Setting a pattern
to your change
difficult for me
is the fact
shall soon be
but a memory
that I shall cherish
I know we walk
what'll turn out to be
a forked road
To reach that
for this journey
our final destination
to take the next step
Would it be
Our last together?
Afraid to let go
Afraid to hold on
the familiar walks
I shall gather
those unknown moments
with the other
Eyes I search:
and a mellow
long long road.
the air decays with the sinful breath of man,
With a blank gaze at this rat's alley
No more tears, men have broken
The night torments, I wake up full
A bitter taste
In my throat,
From my heart
Into my skull.
We broke these lights,
ran the show,
Scurried like mice,
Pouring into glasses
Cling and clatter,
Curse and run.
You walk on through
With those shreds?
That you never saw,
crunch under your feet.
Gentle the rain falls,
Silent, as teardrops
Tormenting soft, dry
Dragging your guilt,
Frozen to a moment
You walk on,
a new place
to pitch camp
the sounds progress gently, lightly illuminating
The rain is noisy outside, clattering against the walls.
Soon there would be more sounds, of
Food lies forgotten against hungry hands,
The rain continues and is immaterial to us.
Our fathers sleep peacefully,
Hands under their cheeks.
Returning from long journeys, has taken
Its deathly toll.
A siren distant in its intent, but proximal
In its distance wakes up the sympathetic moods
Of a few.
The world crashes against the shore,
A stone wades into its deep waters,
And calls softly to the wonders that
Lie in its ignorance- or so it thinks.
And the water marks it till there is no
Surface to mark, and then
It is complete.
Beauty and its deceit roam freely
Where the simple music of freedom plays,
A leaf, clean and brown falls,
Kicking up specks of dust, thudding to the base
Of a tree.
And all over again, I stand quietly.
On one tile.
Attempting to be small, and smaller
And sometimes minute,
Hiding away, between my shoulder blades,
I squeeze, tighter.
I would like to disappear-
if only there was,
such a place.
And as the sun goes down, hiding another day,
The rest of the world sees slaughter in a garden
Of fake offspring and conditioned reflexes.
Murdered of many and consoler of some,
Take my hand and impart a few words of wisdom.
We look at him and he speaks no words.
Great men listen with intent at the
Sound of people singing a tuneless song,
The bells crack against each other
Showering the prayers beneath in a fit
Of ungainly chaos, the sun, today red
As always, goes down, with shame.
The mellow colours of a soft summer morning,
Are no balm.
Monday, August 27, 2007
A paradise of grass and man's waste,
Glimmering in the morning rain, unaware
If awake, of revolution.
The monkeys perched slightly, on a wall of stone,
reflecting their larger glorified selves,
with shining steel and no armour.
Food goes uncooked and hearts are heavy,
Hunger is universal, love is glory.
Between my words of stone and steel,
There lies no wisdom or cure for any.
Feed the dog, feed him well,
For he will be your bride in hell.
Every line ever spoken, is not a potion
For the fleeing of things unsaid.
Trees are breathing, breathing death.
Blaze of fire, beneath the flames,
Beneath the fire, there lies only shame.
And after the bath, men lie naked,
Gazing up at the ceiling of steam.
And after a bath the men lie naked,
Glistening, to the sound of bodies raped.
The young boy watches the world go by,
Seeing its birth in his pale brown eyes,
Stroking the green, dipping his clean hands,
Into an ocean of dirt and lies.
And in a single moment of time,
A single, capsule of mirth and rhyme,
He throws the ball into the air,
Extends his arms, and cups them there,
But the hollow globe of our life,
Doesn't fall back, doesn't return.
Everyday we look up, smiling,
(why do we smile all the time?)
Another day, fleeing our lives,
Stepping into the shadow of what we want.
Feeling around blindly,
Finding our way around the barren world.
I find nothing, my hands pass empty,
(Is there something?)
My hands are sore.
Tell me, does the sun bring
Something new, everyday?
It would please me if you say yes.
Come my lover, come my liege,
Come be near my artificial crust.
Don your clothes, wear them right,
For you will be judged on but one light.
The flakes of snow are heavy and frozen
But on your skin, they feel the cold.
You don the throne of ice,
Look around and spread your vice.
Would it hurt you if spoke no lies?
"Feel your lies in my demise-
You lift your finger in your kingdom,
Those that bow, require no pardon.
And speak such words that would wreck my heart,
If but it were made of iron not rust.
Come my lover, let us begin.
Come and peer into my heart's basin,
And glance towards the side where there are
No sins and lies but love and art.
And when you must, dip your hand within
And swirl it such that there can be no end.
Let it drain out.
And there, in your land,
You roam freely.
Without need or doubt to be informed.
Am I a hindrance to your elaborate plans?
Do I belong to your immaculate plans?
Your schemes will have me begging and fooled,
And I will live in this artificial world,
Until the day, you reveal them to me,
I will live in constant harmony.
For I cannot, even if I know,
That you belong to another's throes,
Live a day without you.
this façade needs to end.
Drawn by my ignorance,
I stumble to defend.
Bewitched a little,
I start to fall,
leaving voices blue.
Open to speak
A truth to tell
A game to play
A door to seek?
Out of this,
a memory burns.
yet I stall to turn.
Immature as I,
you fail to listen.
till parting backs glisten.
As façade’s fall,
I seem to feel
like a whirlwind
out of the storm.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
a little bit of that:
you get to see what you can't,
feel the Feel of this rant.
you feel the This and the That
and see the unity of this intricate mat
on which sit tiny little tit-bits
of elaborate wit....
while the mat waits,
for those and these
to sit and seize
the magic in its bait.
They walk amongst us,
though you see them not-
or just barely so.
Feeding and feeling
Stealing kisses under the mistletoe.
They’ve watched you
in your bath-
they snigger and leer
at your nakedness-
with nothing to hide,
to hide it.
Your porcelain mask
serves its purpose no more.
see through the redundant shell-
it fails to lie
as it did before.
So, throw away
the shattered reflections
They’ve seen your wretched hate
and now know
there is nothing uglier
to be found.
Your foul fell stench
consumes their living breath.
Your expensive parfums
even more so.
And the scents so lavishly
your sinful compromise.
Now burn that flimsy cloth
to its last bare thread,
it doesn’t disguise your
E'en the courtroom filled
with cloaked gentlemen
and all your attempted altruistic delights.
How far will you run, woman?
In what darkness will you hide?
what everyone already knows.
As I said once-
in me you should never confide.
SOUND the bells
and spread the dreary news.
The poet inside me
is now dead.
He either left
early this morn
or is hiding-
lurking in the dark
gallows of my mind.
I’m blind now
to the beautiful shimmers
or the spectrum
that I would so zestfully
No melody makes me pine
for lovers I so easily would leave.
No stones, no brooks
no carnal pain
leaves me now but in disdain.
So sound the bells
and raise the cry -
the poet inside of me is dead.
No longer is there
that tug inside,
that unexplained and childish hurt.
I’ve grown up!!
I’ve grown old.
Thus the poet inside
me won't wake up.
I fled- left him behind
for something that I thought shone
became the only
things I owned.
I tried my best to be someone else,
now my life itself plays the temptress-
to everything mundane, ugly
it says, come, abuse me!!
The poet inside
me is dead,
is dead, is dead, is dead, is dead.
it will rise.
Escalating every moment
of this sightless
in and out,
Of the madding crowd.
Drunkenly away -
It clings on…
Leaving me gasping
For a fresh draught of
This time, Jealousy…
of the poison.
You wait for me.
Fluttering among the
Like the sea breeze
you smell still -
I remember, still.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The afternoon started with a discussion on the film and then it made sense to the students as to how it was connected with poetry. The film is a poem. The students saw that it had an epic feel, was tragicomic, poetic, lyrical and in depicting three kinds of poets showed three lives and their end results in terms of poetry. The themes of the film were discussed. Impotence as a symbol for writer's block - compromise and its lack, the connection between sexuality, war, violence and art, writing and literature etc...
Deviance, gods, politics, society, decadence, experience, suffering, love, hate, life, death, anger, patriotism ,vengeance, lust, sex etc.,
were shown as some of the themes dealt with.
After this keeping Satyricon in mind and the poems written by the students themselves this time around they were taken through my handout on poetry so that the entire gamut of what great poetry consists of - a combination of form, content, structure, genre and style -with each of these five divided up into its further components - was explicated upon.
The section on deeper sources of poetic power was only listed out but will be dealt with in the coming classes along with learning objectives and goals.
The final project is becoming clearer - Roshan, Samia, Shyamli, Aditi, Vaibhav, Pratap, Roanna will make poetry books that are e-texts, handwritten or printed. The books must include images and text and - if possible, sounds/music/voices.
Prerna , Ashwin, Aashim will compile their poems and also do an audio-visual presentation along with Pratap and Roanna. the av presentation is a must for the first three because they haven't written too enough poems as of now, in the middle of the course.
Aashim will work on his fourth poem.
Pratap on his second poem.
Roanna on Kaleidoscope.
Ashwin on his first poem.
Prerna on Rabbit.
The others are also free to work on audio-visual stuff for at least one of their poems, if they want to.
You all need to read each other's poems and leave constructive comments and criticism on them , in the blog - this is a prerequisite for the course - apart from Pratap, I haven't seen anyone else really do it.
It's also a must to read all the poems put on the blog like Drunken Boat by Rimbaud etc.
Friday, August 24, 2007
My deepest regret
intended for you.
For I did
I dreamt about you last night.
I heard myself scream.
I could alone -
I would search
for a befittingly filthy -
would be obscene.
I did not train you
They tried to trap me
time and again
But I slipped-
I swung on that swing
shuddering with outrage;
in front of all..
Hung them up
on their own crafty ropes,
but that would be a
heartbreakingly painless fall.
Embarrassment caught them,
froze their inhabited eyes;
not a Twitch dared.
They were cornered now.
The taunting grave
beneath which they could not pervade.
A wall of shame
which would never fade.
they’d be ashamed enough.
But a sickness
such as this
can never be
A scar to mend.
A memory to burn.
For them it’s gratification -
A sinister game
For us now it’s a plague
we will obliterate.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Unleashing sheets of speckled rain,
Washing away red mud.
Scurrying leaves, sprinkling water down,
Twisting the cold, brittle air, before arriving
To gently make ripples and
Little exploding crowns of water.
The people see it too, and stop
And shake their heads slowly and smile again.
The second lasts only a second,
and their estimable lives continue.
the rain falls more than slowly.
Life’s bitter end continues now,
An aftermath of decades of cruelty,
It came upon us, a red mist, over the forest,
Under the bridges, through the narrow alleys,
Until it reached a large, high wall where it waited.
Over the city, it spread now, and children blew
Yellow bubbles from their mouths,
Tugged at their parents' black robes
And asked them in shrill voices for more money.
The world buckles, and turns to man.
Half begging and a little green.
Artificial insemination doesn’t work in the brain.
A transient life form,
Grabbing at comfort, sees another of its kind,
Perceives irregularities in the physical,
Doesn’t sense the mental.
Immediately, after a wait of nearly a second,
It's utterly mystified creator, puts his head into
His hands and cries for years-
Yet again and again, they throb to each other’s
Pulse and feel skin-deep.
And another one tomorrow.
And yet, comfort comes
And comfort goes,
Leaving nothing for the unfortunate.
Where they sell their souls for instant pleasures
Or bleed their brains for alcohol- there
seemingly exists no pain
And unending comfort.
But the barman knows the truth.
And so do the tramps who pick up the bottles
The very next, sunlit morning.
The sun excellently wipes out memories,
Masterfully erases artificial thoughts.
Clear and pure, its warm rays, glow and
Caress the cold flesh of waking zombies,
Until their inseparable thoughts become
The sun appears now, high above,
Carefully adjusting its angle,
Not wanting to sprout unnecessary joy.
For it too knows the cost of extra joy,
And no pain.
The people, like always, walk on.
as I buried
one of my dead selves
he came to me and said
“of all who come to bury, you alone I like.”
My joy unbound
I asked him why
“the reason” said he
“some come weeping
some go weeping
you alone I’ve never seen cry.”
Walking down the hall
I saw a girl sitting
On the tiled steps
At the entrance
Sitting between two men,
Pale, she looked on one side,
On the other, she was blushing.
Dipped in the fragrance of the love they felt
I was asked to fill the ruins with my self.
I sat in the middle
Of the house and the hill
Perched on the hollow
The piercing sun,
In the dark mist
Blazes of lightning
Some gray, some dark- green
Embraced by the in - sight
Washing my in – sides
Falling deeper in – to
The spiral within my – self.
I saw someone scurrying by with a coat and a clock
Guess it was the rabbit
I was tracking,
With the sun above, the hollow within and the dead beneath
The midday dreams glare
and you blink,
a faraway picture
The sounds Scream
into your reality
You care not
Finally finding the sense
The signs call out,
And I succumb
To this seduction.
Melancholy draws, and
Like an addict,
I cut open
For fear it may close
Once for all.
The tune dances
Over and over
Like voices repeating
Filling overflowing vessels
The drops keep falling.
As fragile nights play
with gray streaks,
masters meet their game.
Silence, stellar, throned.
Whirlwinds away from destruction,
the two sit,
heady in their own
pools of melody.
They sit on wild stones
and yet they sit still.
They sit on innocent fears
and misread tears
hoping to catch a glance
of settled emotions.
Careless they sit.
Is this It?
It is This.
(pause) to appreciate
a source of light,
on this fragile nightc
Only a slight sliver
of something vile,
in every ungodly
of the still
It was almost beautiful.
f r a g i l e.
of something crimson,
A flicker of eyelids.
in the winter sun.
the ceiling fan,
to my lovely-
filled with His words,
in her hands.
Gagged and bruised,
something vast, laden.
My rising wrath.
for my something lovely,
To Wake me,
Before singing me to sleep…
Hear your name repeated many a time - like a prayer.
Why are they wailing?
All I see is your body, and I miss nothing.
You lie there quiet, lonely and beautiful, like always.
Eyes closed- even now you are watching something.
(You always saw something in nothing.)
The leaves around you pay their tribute- brown,
Falling from the tree.
Their shadows playing little games on your face -
Soon they will hide you- but they mean no harm.
You liked to play among them - now they play around you.
Soon, you will disappear- another cycle over.
But I will never heal.
Your words will always play in my heart,
Your whispers will gently coax me into living again;
But your touch -
I will never feel your skin against mine.
avoiding the puddle beneath.
The morning, already wasted
before she even fell into her dreams.
The land ahead misty now;
the gift approaches.
Nothing more -
than a subtle hiss.
The smoke can’t get away.
Swelling upwards repeatedly,
Pigeons sit cuddled
to avoid the consequence.
The hiss gets louder -
The lovers lock their door.
No more shadows;
a cold floor.
Tiny blue schoolboys
splash this evening through.
rouse her crouched silhouette;
beside the window.
almost in unison -
into the clear abyss
so steep below.
He rides away from the storm,
taking the sun with him.
It’s getting dark and cold.
Sunny days don’t offer strength.
Thunder adds to the symphony.
She pulls the storm clouds over her.
The mellow warmth
Over her oval face
Is forced to cease
When it sees her resting
The fatigue falls
takes a break
and exhaustion too
She’s up before daybreak
when you are still conversing
with your dreams
She softly calls
asking you to see
out of the clouds
the sun peeking
The sweet fragrance
of her wet hair
mixing with incense smoke
tickles your nose
The soft creases
around her eyes;
each says a story
A testimony to her life
Beads of perseverance
crown her head
celebrating her effort
of her mind and body
strain and exert
with the rising glory
in the sky
That one rare occasion
you get to see her
in her afternoon siesta
just the way she finds you
it seems as if
everyone conspires -
to a mere whisper -
remains as nothing
but an ephemeral wave
existing only to be ignored
everything that’s around
weaves a few dreams,
quietly sneaks in
a little sleep.
on a lone mountain top.
Nothing to fret about,
nothing to state.
the breeze passing -
by and beneath.
A shell, on the
With nothing to undergo
and nowhere to go.
Only to lie there -
float in and out
of the sea.
A seed -
on an old, old tree.
Nothing to hold on to-
Grow all alone.
form myself again -
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
|On the Circuit|
|by W. H. Auden|
Among pelagian travelers,
In My Craft or Sullen Art – Dylan Thomas
(The Poet Speaks on Poetry)
In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.
Not Reading From A Chair
I don't want to read my poem sitting on a chair
For poetry belongs to a time before chairs
Before table cloths and tables, it was there
It should be easy, this poemmaking - just tear
The poem from the air, for it is there, always there
Breathed by the others who breathed before
In the time of whalesong and sea, river and night
Not the carpet under the fluorescent light
Is the space for poetry,
But the panthertrodden ground beneath the tree,
The space between foot and earth, the magnetic line
Between groin and ground,the marrowstuff of the spine
That is the space, the face beneath the mask beneath the face
That is the place, the time of leaf and stone
The time of wind and watersong
The voice in the desert singing to the burning bush
That is the time the space the place the voice
I want to speak my poem from.
Zephaniah – wrong Radio Station
My ears are battered and burned, and I have just learned, that I had been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
My mind has been brutalised, now the pain can't be disquised, I have been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
My future has been brighted, I am so short-sighted, I have been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
I was begining to not trust me, in fact, I wanted to arrest me, I have been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
I have been dancing to music that I can't stand, I have been reciting commercials to my girlfriends.
I have been trying to convince myself that what i really need is a Sunday, a morgage, and some hairspray.
The kind of hairspray that will wash my grey blues away. I have been trying to convince myself that,
I could ease my concience if i gave a few pents, or a few cents to a starving baby in
African babies need my favors, because
Globalisation will bring Salvation, I have been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
I thought my neighbors formed an Axis of Evil, I wanna kill people, I have been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
I was sure I didn't inhale, so why is my mind going to hell?? I have been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
I was begining to believe that all Muslims were terrorists, and that Christian terrorists did not exist.
I really did believe that terrorism could not be done by Governments, not our Governments, not white Governments.
I just could not see what was wrong with me, I gave hungry people Hamburgers you see.
I was begining to believe that our children were better than their children, their children were dying of terrorism, but,
I could not hear their children at all, and a child from
What dispair?, no children, I was not aware, I had been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
Everytime I got ill, I took the same little white pill, I've been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
When it started I was curious, but then it got serious. I've been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
It was cool when it begun, but now I hate
I wanna make friends with
"Where the hell is
I'm sure there is a continent called the Middle-East, and I think I can bomb my way to peace.
I've been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
I've been listening to the wrong Jams, I've been listening to the wrong beats.
I've been listening to the wrong Radio Station, I've been listening to the wrong tones, from the wrong zones.
I've been listening to the wrong Radio Station, I've been listening to the wrong voices, I've made such mad choices.
I've been listening to the wrong Radio Station, I've been listening to lies, I've been listening to spies.
I needed to know what some Pop-Star somewhere was having for breakfast.
I needed to know that I was no longer.. "Working Class"
I needed to know if the stock market rose by one percent, I needed to know that I had a Ruler to give me confidence.
I needed to know that my life would improve loads, if i had an operation on my nose.
I needed to hear that DJ say.. "Good Morning, Good Morning!" I thought he was there just for me.
I loved the way he would say.. "This Show was sponsored by.."
"Oh my!, oh my!" he made me cry.. I have been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
Can you dig this?? I put myself on a Hit-List. I'm laughing, I'm crying, because I'm watching myself dying.
I've been listening to the wrong Radio Station.
The Middle Class Bengali Intellectual Makes Love to His Wife
From somewhere, afar off
The sound of Darbari comes wafting in,
Soaked by the rain, yet
Sombre and dignified
And mingles with our breath
From a recess in the wall,
Framed gods look upon our mortal love-
Do they frown? Are they taking
The measure of our sin? Or do they
Get hard-ons, thinking of framed goddesses
In their divine minds?
Of course, I know there are
No such things as gods but knowing
Is not quite enough. What if
They are there, sitting in judgement
A universe away?
Darbari swells in the night
Stray bits of Neruda flash by,
As I take your little finger and bite, not too hard
Imagining you to be a pale fruit of fire
That I unclasp from the tree of dawn.
See, Pablo? I can make metaphors too
And without private tutions from you;
Unlike that postman of yours.
You lie stretched, taut, still,
And I stop, my finger poised
Millimetres from your skin
Will the first brush of me
Break open each particle of you,
Convert you to white-hot wanting
Squaredvelocityoflight times greater
Than your fragile mass?
Darbari drifts in
Coated with dust from walls
That declaim: "Marxism is true
Because it is science."
And the truth of your erect nipples
Straining against your blouse?
Is that science too?
My tongue traces fractal shapes on your stomach
Creating and obliterating many histories
Each within the other, each like the other
And they pass into half-uttered ghosts
Of memory that find voice in your moans.
In after hours, there will be time for wistfulness
For each day is a graveyard of memories,
And when we've gathered all our graveyards,
In after hours, there will be time for silences.
But now you look at me and see
Hector before the gates of
Though your face might not launch any ships
In our dream-denuded days, and though
Hector's face has mutated for us
Into that of a
There will be a tomorrow of pots and pans
That the milkman and the paperman will bring
In the various sounds the city will make, as it awakes
There will be no music. I will walk
Into my office, a little exhausted,
Be greeted by knowing winks, and you into yours.
But now Darbari oozes
From the cold, silver body of the sarod
And you emerge from your chrysalis of cotton and synthetic,
Lambent witch!! The only adornment left on you
Is your red coral bangle
In deference to the framed gods.
RIMBAUD/VERLAINE - FOLLOW UP
Arthur Rimbaud made his way through language like some crazed channeller of unseen forces. As a Symbolist poet, Rimbaud scrambled the senses and his prose, forging a synaesthetic wash of words sustained by their own momentum and internal sense. There is no clear form (he did not write sonnets); there’s no iambic pentameter; nor is there always clear meaning. Rimbaud anticipated the free-form poetry of the Beats and the odd juxtapositions of the Surrealists while embodying all the angst, suffering, and drama of the Romantic nineteenth century of which he was a part.
Rimbaud was schooled in Charleville, a town in northeastern
In 1871, he sent his poems to the poet Paul Verlaine, who invited the young Rimbaud to live with him in
In his brief tenure as a poet, Rimbaud transformed the face of writing, turning out a prodigious amount of tortured, passionate, and angst-riddled work, including "Illuminations," "Sonnet of Vowels," "The Drunken Boat," "Letters from the Seer," and his infamous "Season in Hell." His combination of bravado, intelligence, spirituality, sexuality, and psychedelia has acted as proclaimed inspiration to a whole generation of twentieth-century rock 'n' rollers -- Jim Morrison, Patty Smith, and Bob Dylan among them.
The Sleeper in the Valley : A Sonnet
(Le Dormeur du Val)
Madly catching white tatters in the grass.
Where the sun on the proud mountain rings:
Is a little valley, foaming like light in a glass.
A conscript, open-mouthed, his bare head
And bare neck bathed in the cool blue cress,
Sleeps: stretched out, under the sky, on grass,
Pale where the light rains down on his green bed.
Feet in the yellow flags, he sleeps. Smiling
As a sick child might smile, he’s dozing.
Nature, rock him warmly: he is cold.
The scents no longer make his nostrils twitch:
He sleeps in the sunlight, one hand on his chest,
Tranquil. In his right side, there are two red holes.
LE BATEAU IVRE ( THE DRUNKEN BOAT)
As I was floating down unconcerned Rivers,
I no longer felt myself steered by the haulers:
gaudy Redskins had taken them for targets,
nailing them naked to coloured stakes.
I cared nothing for all my crews
carrying Flemish wheat or English cottons.
When, along with my haulers,
those uproars were done with,
the Rivers let me sail downstream where I pleased.
Into the ferocious tide-rips, last winter,
more absorbed than the minds of children, I ran!
And the unmoored
The storm made bliss of my sea-borne awakenings.
Lighter than a cork, I danced on the waves
which men call eternal rollers of victims,
for ten nights, without once missing the foolish eye of the harbor lights!
Sweeter than the flesh of sour apples to children,
the green water penetrated my pinewood hull
and washed me clean of the bluish wine-stains and the splashes of vomit,
carring away both rudder and anchor.
And from that time on I bathed in the Poem of the Sea,
star-infused and churned into milk,
devouring the green azures;
where, entranced in pallid flotsam, a dreaming drowned man sometimes goes down;
where, suddenly dyeing the bluenesses-
deliriums and slow rhythms under the gleams of the daylight,
stronger than alcohol, vaster than music
-ferment the bitter rednesses of love!
I have come to know the skies splitting with lightnings,
and the waterspouts, and the breakers and currents;
I know the evening, and Dawn rising up like a flock of doves,
and sometimes I have seen what men have imagined they saw!
I have seen the low-hanging sun speckled with mystic horrors
lighting up long violet coagulations like the performers in antique dramas;
waves rolling back into the distances
their shiverings of venetian blinds!
I have dreamed of the green night of the dazzled snows,
the kiss rising slowly to the eyes of the seas,
the circulation of undreamed-of saps,
and the yellow-blue awakenings of singing phosphorus!
I have followed, for whole months on end,
the swells battering the reefs like hysterical herds of cows,
-never dreaming that the luminous feet of the Marys
could muzzle by force the snorting Oceans!
I have struck, do you realize, incredible
where mingle with flowers the eyes of panthers in human skins!
Rainbows stretched like bridles
under the seas-horizon to glaucous herds!
I have seen the enormous swamps seething,
traps where a whole leviathan rots in the reeds!
Downfalls of waters in the midst of the calm,
and distances cataracting down into abysses!
Glaciers, suns of silver, waves of pearl,
skies of red-hot coals!
Hideous wrecks at the bottom of brown gulfs where the giant snakes, devoured by vermin,
fall from the twisted trees with black odours!
I should have liked to show to children those dolphins of the blue wave,
those golden, those singing fishes.-
Foam of flowers rocked my driftings,
and at times ineffable winds would lend me wings.
Sometimes, a martyr weary of poles and zones,
the sea whose sobs sweetened my rollings lifted my shadow-flowers
with their yellow sucking disks toward me,
and I hung there like a kneeling woman...
[I was] almost an island,
tossing on my beaches the brawls and droppings of pale-eyed, clamouring birds.
And I was scudding along when across my frayed cordage
drowned men sank backwards into sleep!...
But now I, a boat lost under the hair of coves
, hurled by the hurricane into the birdless ether;
I, whose wreck, dead-drunk and sodden with water,
neither Monitor nor Hanse ships would have fished up;
free, smoking, risen from violet fogs,
I who bored through the wall of the reddening sky
which bears a sweetmeat good poets find delicious:
lichens of sunlight [mixed] with azure snot;
who ran, speckled with lunula of electricity,
a crazy plank with black sea-horses for escort,
when Julys were crushing with cudgel blows
skies of ultramarine into burning funnels;
I who trembled to feel at fifty league's distance
the groans of Behemoth's rutting, and of the dense Maelstroms;
eternal spinner of blue immobilities,
I long for
I have seen archipelagos of stars!
and islands whose delirious skies are open to sailors:
-Do you sleep, are you exiled in those bottomless nights,
O million golden birds, Life Force of the future?
But, truly, I have wept too much! The Dawns are heartbreaking.
Every moon is atrocious and every sun bitter:
sharp love has swollen me up with heady langours.
O let my keel split! O let me sink to the bottom!
If there is one water in
it is the black cold pool where into the scented twilight
a child squatting full of sadness launches a boat
as fragile as a butterfly in May.
I can no more, bathed in your langours,
O waves, sail in the wake of the carriers of cottons;
nor undergo the pride of the flags and pennants;
nor pull past the horrible eyes of the hulks.
Translation by Oliver Bernard
"Like city's rain, my heart . . ."
The rain falls gently on the town.
Like city's rain, my heart
Rains teardrops too. What now,
This languorous ache, this smart
That pierces, wounds my heart?
Gentle, the sound of rain
Pattering roof and ground!
Ah, for the heart in pain,
Sweet is the sound of rain!
Tears rain-but who knows why?-
And fill my heartsick heart.
No faithless lover's lie? . . .
It mourns, and who knows why?
And nothing pains me so--
With neither love nor hate--
As simply not to know
Why my heart suffers so.
For Charles Baudelaire
I do not know you now, or like you, nor
Did I first know or like you, I admit.
It's not for me to furbish and restore
Your name: if I take up the cause for it,
It's that we both have known the exquisite
Joys of two feet together pressed: His, or
Our whores! He, nailed; they, swooning in love's fit,
Madly anointed, kissed, bowed down before!
You fell, you prayed. And so did I, like all
Those souls whom thirst and hunger, yearningly,
Shining with hope, urged on to
In art-contorted doubts, weeps its chagrin.
A simple death, eh? We, brothers in sin.
A term used by the Russian Formalist Viktor Shklovsky to describe the capacity of art to counter the deadening effect of habit and convention by investing the familiar with strangeness and thereby de-automatizing perception. Defamiliarization is not simply a question of perception; it is the essence of "literariness." Calling attention to its techniques and conventions ("baring the device"), literature exposes its autonomy and artificiality by foregrounding and defamiliarizing its devices.
A Martian Sends A Postcard Home
Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
and some are treasured for their markings -
they cause the eyes to melt
or the body to shriek without pain.
I have never seen one fly, but
sometimes they perch on the hand.
Mist is when the sky is tired of flight
and rests its soft machine on ground:
then the world is dim and bookish
like engravings under tissue paper.
Rain is when the earth is television.
It has the property of making colours darker.
Model T is a room with the lock inside -
a key is turned to free the world
for movement, so quick there is a film
to watch for anything missed.
But time is tied to the wrist
or kept in a box, ticking with impatience.
In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
that snores when you pick it up.
If the ghost cries, they carry it
to their lips and soothe it to sleep
with sounds. And yet they wake it up
deliberately, by tickling with a finger.
Only the young are allowed to suffer
openly. Adults go to a punishment room
with water but nothing to eat.
They lock the door and suffer the noises
alone. No one is exempt
and everyone's pain has a different smell.
At night when all the colours die,
they hide in pairs
and read about themselves -
in colour, with their eyelids shut.
by Willie van Peer & Frank Hakemulder
(published in In The Pergamon Encyclopaedia of Language and Linguisitics, ed. Keith Brown.
What literature is, how it works, and why it is there at all, are some of the fascinating questions that the theory of 'foregrounding' tries to provide answers to. The term refers to specific linguistic devices, i.e., deviation and parallelism, that are used in literary texts in a functional and condensed way. These devices enhance the meaning potential of the text, while also providing the reader with the possibility of aesthetic experience. According to the theory of foregrounding, literature - by employing unusual forms of language - breaks up the reader's routine behavior: commonplace views and perspectives are replaced by new and surprising insights and sensations. In this way literature keeps or makes individuals aware of their automatized actions and preconceptions. It thus contributes to general creativity and development in societies. The theory of foregrounding is also one of the few literary theories which has been tested empirically for its validity.
may i feel said he
(i'll squeal said she
just once said he)
it's fun said she
(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she
(let's go said he
not too far said she
what's too far said he
where you are said she)
may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she
may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you're willing said he
(but you're killing said she
e.e.cummings (punctuation, spacing, capitalization – unconventional – graphological deviation/ foregrounding - capturing the attention of the reader through these )