Tuesday, January 31, 2006

wish i were black

how i wish i were born a black man. a big, fat, puffy black man. and i could sit in the corner shop and play the blues harp. bend the notes, make them wail and get little Manzareks rushing to find where the notes were coming from.

i got A, D, E, and G now. i play boring, unchallenging hindi numbers. and some country. but someday when i am black, i will play the blues too. problem is, i cannot sit and listen to little walter for long. i would listen to keith jarrett instead. i guess the blues have to get into your bloodstream first. the steady rhythm versus the wantonness of the extempores. blow away, bend the notes, and shed a couple of tears too if they come out right.

but i will try. james here is encouraging me. pappa pappa pappa pap . . . someday i will turn a black man. hold the puny thing in my fat fingers and belt out the most beautiful notes you've heard. malleable, metallic notes . . . just wish me luck.

Monday, January 30, 2006


when, out in the front porch
i look up and it's raining flowers
petals softly kissing and vanishing into the fog
that envelops my feet. . .

when, in a dark room
your letters spill out of my inbox
and my glasses are missing . . .

when you call and i listen (fades)


but you never called, i did, once

your letters i read twice over,
i never needed glasses in a dark room
to save your photos to my desktop

it has never rained flowers
but only dry leaves in autumn
and the fog's never around my ankles . . .
. . . only inside my glasses, if you didn't know

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

If the night has to fall

The city with you was a dream
two days when the sun didn’t set
you don’t set on me now,
resist the night

Delirious night has nothing to offer

Wander around the graveyard?
And then to The Park,
same Someplace Else?
You know their numbers by heart, come on now,
Let the guitars be thrown
Let them walk out the door,

Not you,

Treacherous night has nothing to offer you

Crow’s feet don’t show, you say
potholes neither,
your anomalied day shrouded in velvet, looks long and promising
for me, in the night,
there’s La Martiniere somehow
and a picture of me with a violin
a delectable boy with his brown beard and French accent
talking about Bach

I didn’t like his fumbling fingers
and yours are strumming a dark tune
with nobody humming in the background

You are alone, so strum me someday, play a never-ending song

What’s there for you in the death of night anyway?

Watching the stars? I’ll watch with you
If you find a place,

Can you find one for me too?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

He just called (a sequel to So, Finally, September 05)

He just called. Said he was in love.
In love, he says. “So did you tell her?”
“No, it is too early I think.”
“Why? But she called, didn’t she?”

“She called and we talked about her poetry.”
“I know, she is really good.”
Writes like Sylvia Plath at times. I remember discussing some of her poems with him. I never read anything by Sylvia Plath. I read poems written for her. Oh, and I read the only novel by her too. Only a few pages into it.

“Tina read it. Twice,” I remembered aloud.
“What? Her poems?”
“No, The Bell Jar.”

But then she’s a girl. She wouldn’t have read Ted Hughes or shed tears when we all shed tears. When we listened to Wish You Were Here for the nth time together. And also Imagine. And sometimes Jim Morrisson too. I like Ray Manzarek’s writing more than his piano.
So do I, I am no fan of the Doors. But his poems? Yes, Jim. In our memories, right next to Syd Barrett.

“Women are perhaps strong. Stronger, that is. Or thick?”
“No, sometimes too sensitive.”
But still you are madly in love with her. (and she is a woman and you thank god for that) “So tell her.”

That you want to keep your eyes closed and enjoy this free fall. Or should you? Ask her. If she called today, tell her you read into it. Tell her you read into all her little actions and brood. And then call me up. Your brother.

And the diamond ring that I asked you to buy? Keep it ready, bro, it may come handy any day. What diamond ring? Women like it sprung at the right moment, mostly with the sea in the background.

“But I prefer the mountains. Always have. I always want the mountains in the foreground and Radiohead in the background.” How can mountains be in the foreground . . . but why not, I am not clicking a photograph . . . they won’t block my view . . . we laughed.

“Is it in G Augmented?”
“U-huh…augmented is not a depressing chord, it is probably in G minor. They have to make a song dark and depressing, it must be in minor.” You know, bro, and I will always listen to you.

“Aren’t you calling for rather too long? You could probably have spent this money calling her up,” I tried him.
“Huh,” came his reply.

I love it when he connects.

After the call I went back to some old photographs. Tori Amos kept singing just for me that night.
It was another thing he could hear her too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I've been Catherine's critic for some time now. She writes fullbloodedly and sometimes reminds me of Neruda's translated poems. Catherine has promise, and someday you'll all read her.

But recently, Catherine's oneliners have suddenly changed their hue. She was quoting Anne Sexton and sometimes writing better than her, and believe me she can write a lot of good stuff if she wants to. But yesterday she came up with this absolutely unoriginal line:

"Fine, take your patience and stick it up your ass."

Now Northrop Frye would have none of this. He would definitely argue, and understandably so, that sticking something up one's ass is an archetype lodged in one's mind, that probably doesn't have anything to do with really being sodomized. It is that picture in your mind of the proverbial middle finger being raised in defiance, in contempt, in denial, the world over. (I don't know if the Chinese have some other meaning for it.) Only virgin minds of children and some adults like that of Mr Bean are perhaps unaware of the strength of the finger, of actually being able to tell your opponent to shove it.
So, even when you think you are writing something original and witty, you are essentially borrowing from that archetype which urges you, "go ahead, ask him to stick it."

No, I won't accept it as an original line at all.
Next time, think of some other orifice.