the ruined temple

The fillet of rain catapults its
Necessary drain of exfoliated dew
In the arms of an unwanting sea,
A seafaring want open to rhythm and
Shoal; the cut of the sentence is

Harm, the grammar, its sheath; and
When the dew coalesces, each mint
Of meaning is ripe for flight, and
The rain sings, the unwanting sea
Wants a new now;  the ruined temple

Begs to be recast as the begging
Bowl, the fascist thug is thus the
Preacher, the lie and the absence
Of rain; the eye completes the holy
Rounds of excrement and smoke.

“Take your holiday, my boy; there are the blue sky and the bare field, the barn and the ruined temple under the ancient tamarind.

My holiday must be taken through yours, finding light in the dance of your eyes, music in your noisy shouts.

To you autumn brings the true holiday freedom: to me it brings the impossibility of work; for lo! you burst into my room.

Yes, my holiday is an endless freedom for love to disturb me.” – From the Fugitive; Rabindranath Tagore.

sword of mock

“It is not enough to try to get back to the people in that past out of which they have already emerged; rather we must join them in that fluctuating movement which they are just giving a shape to, and which, as soon as it has started, will be the signal for everything to be called in question. Let there be no mistake about it; it is to this zone of occult instability where the people dwell that we must come; and it is there that our souls are crystallized and that our perceptions and our lives are transfused with light.” – Frantz Fanon, “The Wretched of the Earth.”

I constitute the molecules of
an inner space as my answer; the

finality of plumb endings, filial
beginnings – ash, crumb, din – I

constitute the banal necessities
of atoms as my answer; the bits

of reason which have sworn allegiance
to a historic passion, an eager

resilience to foretelling, a sword
of mock, thrust of rock, sand, green.

Presentism and the poet’s rage

Presentism is a modern stain. It is vehement in denying all explanations of now that go back in time, wanting to start anew with such passion that the past becomes trivial. Forgetting becomes less an explicit act and more an implicit elision brought about by massive distraction.

(The social forces that compel presentism are the same that animate the modern assault on understanding, restricting the scope of vigorous debate to a limited spectrum (Chomsky1) creating the illusion of diversity.)

When we are robbed of the past, we have no choice but to project the image of the present onto the future (Galeano2). The assault on imagination is terrifying. When our language is robbed of historical consciousness, the sensibilities brought into play are dystopic.

If language is fossil poetry (Emerson), then the poet should be all the more outraged by such an appropriation of expression. Dylan Thomas rages against the dying of the light. If we accept Kundera when he says, “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” then Dylan’s rage is sterile unless the dying light is cast in the light of the ever alive past.

rage is the new normal; night is
an interpretation; flip open the
valves and let the ink bleed the
catchments dry for a new version
of night, a variation on history

rage is the new normal; the long
machinery of myth, the stench of
an older order, more primal than
the scream of the new version of
night, permutating with mutation

rage is the new normal; delights
in the rediscovery of the ultra-
mundane, the hodgepodge factotum
and mishmashed equilibria - this
is no more primal, no more night

rage is the new normal; the fist
that dares to open, to ask, want
to dare to ask, to stamp its bit
on the new version of night, the
variation on theme, an older one

1. “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” Noam Chomsky, “The Common Good”

2. “Incapable of recalling its origins, the present paints the future as a repetition of itself; tomorrow is just another name for today.” Eduardo Galeano, “Upside Down”

the frock of time

In elementary school we are presented the table of elements. Once Democritus had postulated the atom, it became a logical imperative for those that followed to reduce nature to a fixed set of elements. Some went further and broke the atom down so much so that very little remained except dark space. Democracy, in a twisted but popular neoliberal interpretation, allows us to counter this darkness by postulating the freedom of choice to buy anything. This leads to what is called atomization, a skewed tribute to Democritus.

Slew of tar, bromide in
Anticipation, grime of the

Feather’s hurt: an admonition,
A reckoning of two and a half

Yesterdays; the frock of time
Kindly braying a tick, the

Fish in anticipation, a flower
Demanding the forest to bare.

When it clicked

This is a different post. /The Rules, an activist organization “pushing the global narrative in a new direction”, has recently started a “When it clicked” series of “stories from people working within the ‘international development’ sector who want to share their experience of challenging the dominant narrative around poverty and development, how it felt and why it’s important to question”. I felt compelled to share my story, and here it is: “When it clicked: I chanced upon a series of eye-opening discussions on social justice with a friend”.

My poems tend to get a little abstract at times. Sometimes I anchor them with a reference, but mostly they tend to float. The post above should provide some context.