28 March, 2008

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
Like a knight from some old fashioned book.
..
-Leonard Cohen
(yup, a new fascination)

I've always felt that primal longing for something of elusive grace, flitting just beyond definition, flirting with my consciousness. If I could ever grasp it (or so it was felt) . . . well, no idea as to what, but a deep sense of fulfillment. So easy to reach, so hard to define (hats off to Dylan).
You too have heard it - in the descent of dusk over the cityscape, woven into the filigree of window-lights, whispering with the rampant gusts, the shadowy shades in the corners of one's mind. A voice just out of my ken, a thought never formed. And the sense of lingering loss, of vain attempts to capture the beauty of that perfect moment. But the attempt confounds the intent.

Every path that is now to be tread, every summit attained seems to matter so little, never to assuage this unknown, untold loss. I do not even know of what.

24 March, 2008

A moment please


Had been going ga-ga over this picture a talented friend of mine took. In a Memphis cemetery. Now, I wouldn't expect anything less from Meenakshi Das of course! Memories of projectile slippers still haunt me during the grey hours of pre-dawn.
Then again Present fears are less than horrible imaginings...

22 March, 2008

Summer, family and pet peeves

I hate summer. And Vivaldi is not making things any better. When in the world are we going to have a personalized climate regulator? Custom-made, slightly smaller than a blackberry.
There's something enervating about this heat. Give me sub-zero any day.

The Sun's scorching with a vengeance and even the crows are making only half-hearted attempts at disturbance. A madman stays at the house next-door. The violent sort: his dad keeps him on daily sedatives (and pays for the cars he trashes). The heat's got to him as well. Someone's hammering a piece of metal at the garage. The clang marking time for the rhythmic ebb and flow of the heat waves.

Spring's too short. Either it's the cold of Winter or this mundane nerve-sapping monstrosity. Like...like how most of the time you're too young for some things. And then you are too old for them. Within these two walls what thin sliver of sunlight illumines the 'perfect time'?

I visited family, taking advantage of the hiatus between the exams. A cousin - officially labeled the Chief Shit Collector. Pursuing her doc. at the Inst. of Science on wildlife. Right after the usual 'how art thou? -i'm fine and u are still insane...' I was given a crash-course on the various forms of animal droppings (the fine distinction between spoor and scat) which I tolerated for politeness' sake. Banter, banter. Talk of old times. And how things have shaped our paths. Just because we can't see it doesn't mean the path isn't laid out before our feet.

20 March, 2008

The Fountain of Paradise - stopped

Arthur C. Clarke, that well-beloved of sci-fi authors, has passed away. The bringer forth of classic sci-fi like the Garden of Rama, Fountains of Paradise not to mention the one and only 2001:A Space Odessey - maybe somewhere in the infinite depths of his beloved interstellar space Clarke wheels through the void in a monolith. Maybe.

*sniff*

Well, I'm listening to Richard Strauss' "Thus Spake Zarathustra" as a meager tribute. Somehow, I've identified Clarke/Kubrick/HAL/movie+the book thru those strident opening notes.

C-----C----G----- ---G-B---

03 March, 2008

Never afeard

The mind I sway by, and the heart I bear
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.

I have slain the abyssal beasts
Torn apart their cosmic feast...

But the price - my scarred mind:
Soul-scorches and fading yesterdays,
And something...something just beyond my grasp,
Tip of my tongue but ne'er quite there
Lost in the depths of the starless void....
The end of all silent songs...


High, oh high, the glisten through the sky oh!
Bright, how bright, the twin moons of mine dreams -
Xanadu the lost, the seat of pleasure.
Of the senses, body, mind and soul...
-Soul? Should there be one?
I do not know, nor can e'er.

And borne on wings of the Desolate
My mind flies through space and time:
Countless li's of both...

On a twilight mount
Alone in the cloud
The eagle paused
And the wind shrieked
In it's stead.

And the mist of the cloud
Formed the eagle's shroud
Wings battered and torn.

Shadowless it fell
Into a sunless sea
Black waves on chalk-cliffs
And I so alone for e'er,
Alone amidst the endless lis
Of sand and grit and solitude.

I smiled then, at peace at last
And sat down to cry . . .


For a wistful smile I had wagered worlds
Cheerfully, and the lank wet hair
Dark beside the ivory face,
My ears dull to the sound of the surf...

Fire-fettered she flirts with the
Spray-fraught wind.

I hear still the silent laugh -
The end of all unspoken dreams,
Balm to scarred souls (yes, souls!),
Calm, limpid pools.

My living mind torn apart:
The Fear Machines, Styron IV,
The last stand on Manhome.

Yea, I bled for things, not people.

And you? -were always but a dream.
That I may ride where there are no tracks,
Walk where I had shuddered before,
Fair will-'o-the wisp, my highest
Reverence, I never bled for thee.

The sands are never tired
Of briny waters . . .


Note: li is a Chinese measure, about half a kilometer. My cousin learned mandarin, and I was always picking up snippets. There are other reasons too, that those who know not need not know.

I had just written a long essay on 'Kubla Khan', hence the poem. If it can be called one. I had to write, and publish it you see. This is a sorry sight ...

Any resemblance to people alive and kicking is entirely unintentional. Believe me.

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