Archive for May, 2012

Poem on Syria: Putrefaction

of late

I’ve had this thought

that this country

has gone backwards

4 or 5 decades

and that all the

social advancement

the good feeling of

person toward

person

has been washed

away

and replaced by the same

old

bigotries

 

We have more than ever

the selfish wants of power

the disregard for the weak

the old

the impoverished

the helpless.

 

We are replacing want with war

salvation with slavery

we have wasted the gains

we have become rapidly

less

 

we have our Bomb

it is our fear

our damnation

and our

shame

 

now

something so sad

has hold of us

that

the breath

leaves

and we can’t even

cry

 

— Charles Bukowski, who rarely capitalized words.

We complain about fasting in Ramadan for half a day. They have been without food, and some have recently stopped taking water. They’re written their wells and are ready to die. They deserve to be heard. I wish I could do more, but social media is all I have at the moment. They’re only asking for basic rights. Enough is enough.

Latuff Cartoons

(Click on image to enlarge)

View original post

Jack Gilbert: The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

Seldom do poems leave me wanting more. If this had been a thousand pages long, I would’ve wanted more. “My love is a hundred pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what my body wants to say to your body.” My Lord, this is beauty in its most refined form. This will be my pillar of love; the melancholy of it, the void it leaves, just as love often does. I am speechless. Oh, my. My, oh, my.

The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind’s labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not laguage but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.

I’m losing my mind, but I’m okay.

My problem with putting words into thoughts has been something I’ve been struggling with quite a lot lately. I remember when words were like a vivid dream to me; they’d shelter me from near madness, keep me focused and help me discover who I am. When I reached adolescence, music, specifically piano, helped me put my thoughts into words. I never cared about logistics of writing or how beautiful it sounded; I just wrote, wrote, and wrote. I was focused on cleansing my brain; writing was about me, till I discovered pain. I know that I’ve often written about this in previous blog posts, but I can’t seem to get over this one little thing.

Everyone has their pillar of reality, the one they’d all return to in case it all falls apart. My relationships with people I mostly cared about always spiralled back to their fascination of how beautifully written my words seemed to be. There was always one missing variable in that equation, however – my belief in myself.

It’s hard writing about this, I must admit with weary hopes. What’s even harder is admitting it. There’s this thing about wanting to be a perfectionist; it slowly eats you away. Kind of like when you smoke knowing with every breath you inhale, you’re killing your lungs, but you just don’t care about all these health ads, nicotine patches, and your friends telling you to quit anymore. You’ve grown immune to all these attempts to make you quit. Perfectionism is a cigarette that never seems to die out. It’s fueled by this insanity to defy all odds; this insanity is incurable, I’d like to believe we’re either born with it or not.

I’m not a smoker, nor am I advocating it as a habit. But I’m simply, beyond doubt, tired of feeling insufficient all the time. I hear people tell me nice things; I want to believe them, I do. I just can’t look at anything I’ve ever written or played to be any good at all. At times, I’d stay up just reading what I’ve written and dig through it for flaws. I find so many flaws. It’s depressing. I can’t even find the right words to express the amount of sadness I feel knowing I could do so much better, but here I am doing so much worse.

I wish I could go back to seventh grade. I wrote my first poem then. It was beyond lame. I remember being so happy about it. It was then that I started carrying a notebook wherever I went. I scribbled random thoughts here and there. I had a messy handwriting. It was my little pot of joy. I loved it. I recently went through the notebook and was taken by shock at how childish anything written in it is. But it made me so happy. I want to be happy about writing again.

Take me back to happy thoughts. Pain is ugly. I don’t want to become a bitter writer. All great writers of history had shady endings; they either committed suicide or vanished with mysterious reasons. I’m not comparing myself to them. I could never be that good. I just know that I’m living with the bitterness of a writer, and cursed with a black cat’s luck. There’s this unexplainable sadness within me that I can’t uncover. It’s consuming me. I’ve adapted to it. I don’t think about it anymore. I just let it grow like a cancerous tumor that consists of ill thoughts and voids. I’m okay. I’m losing my mind, but I’m okay.