the knife of the slow word

In the murk the Way advances
    as the knife of the slow word -
    in the murk there is a mark that 
    breathes   which poem gets lost 
    in that breath? the knife of the slow word 
    cuts only when the river flows -
    I collect quills and count moons - where 
    the worries are taken to pitch and the quills 
    remain, there I anchor my poem -

I do not know its name
I style it “Tao”

– Lao Tsu

Until her knife had pared
The moon to a rind of little light.

– Sylvia Plath

Khadija in her own words

I did everything in every field, I just didn’t like cleaning jobs like sweeping and dusting. My mind was always towards creating different things. If in a day I wasn’t able to make something, or complete something, I would feel my day is wasted.


I had so many questions about religion. I go for logic, you know, unless something convinces me with logical reasoning, I wouldn’t accept anything.


Being a mother… I don’t know… I passed the formative years of my children very busy in my work. I would stitch clothes for children and supply to shops. Most of my time was busy in stitching away…


…and I don’t remember how much attention I paid to them… though my children are always saying ‘Mummy you did so many things for us, you made such lovely clothes for us, you cooked such lovely meals, you did everything for us,’ so I don’t know.


In a way it’s a good thing to get yourself ready for your final exit from this world. I created so many things, so many things, I’m proud that I did so much work…I’m not materialistic, I like to collect art, that’s it, I like beauty…I made something, for everybody, I took interest in so many things and it was worthwhile living life like that.

Quotations are from an interview Khadija gave to Sakina Marvi (her cousin’s daughter) a few years ago.


Khadija Mamuwala
Mother-in-law, Creator of all things beautiful
January 23, 1940 – February 10, 2021

In my daughter’s name
I bless your child with the mother she has
with a future of warriors and growing fire.

Audre Lorde

machine unlearning

Buying a plot of land, I saved the deed on my hard drive, and it began to run out of space. Not knowing what to do – imagination limited by happy endings and twist plots from too many movies – I attempted to de-fragment the drive only to find it had already been optimally atomized. How do you come to terms with a drive that has opted out of alternative spaces? Overnight, the plot thickened into a miasma filling up dropbox which then complained of fatigue, oversubscribed by technophiles dreaming of escaping to Mars and buying a plot of land.


I am silence of the boat
carved of necessary wood –

Will I sink with the voice of
the heaviness of name or

Will the fight in me fly home as
song, as the otherhood of song?

the Wounds of Capital & its Undoing

It is pointless to resist power – the brea(d)th of powerlessness is precisely the point

The only truth is non-truth & the whole of it is untrue, therefore full of holes

The macro is but the sum of individual micros – even plus odd is forever odd

The foremost poet wrote perhaps the greatest poem ever written, but it was untrue

There is no alternative, no such thing as society, except when you forget, except when you don’t

Poet as resistance

  
How does a poem resist?
          When you say thrush
          It removes the palpable green from your
          Hooved beginnings 

Why does a poem resist?
          If the chances taken
          Are multiplied by its hoofsteps, you get
          Nothing as quotient

Who does a poem resist?
          Ice, palindromes, hoovicles
          And clarified ribosomes, mainly because
          Structure is a myth

Poet as Indigenous

Poet as indigenous
      as tenacity is indigenous
      does it grow with the river or will the seed of word become song?

The dwelling is indigenous
      there are as many indigenouses
      as there are houses nestling the words that hint of becoming song

The poem is indigenous
      to the steel that is fraught with love
      that burned as seed that was housed in spring to become song –

Poet as insight

– it is transformed as it is birthed: as it becomes it is no more
– master’s tool no more, but the inch that peels off the foot
– it reverses the voyeuring oppressor’s gaze; it has survived by looking back, unrepentant, unfazed
– build your ivory tower upon it, and it spits it out, whole
– it is the silence that gnaws, knows

If greed were a pencil

How far is this sun from your
    winter’s moon? take this

parchment of dust & leech it with
    the shadow’s ink leech

it with another white while the
    eyeness of this red lingers –


If greed were a pencil would its
    nib pontificate? & the bleed of

its hue: would it fill the room
    with chance or would the

ooze serve only as passion to
    delay the evitable forever?


Tremor is amused at nothing
    as the chimes roll

Rumor is coffin it is mist
    as too the daybreak

Ardor is one with the weave
    as this gift unveils –

No mind

What brews below is symptom, nay act
   it follows that the feather is free


Communion with the people ceased to be a mere theory, to become an integral part of ourselves

– Che Guevara

What haunts below is wish, nay will
    it follows that the word will suffice


The wise have no mind of their own, finding it in the minds of ordinary people

– from the Tao Te Ching, transl. by Ursula Le Guin

When the river speaks you listen you
    tend to the bend of the river they say is pain as it tends to
    the shadow     you hark to the sense of
    the shadow
    at the heart of the river –