Reflections on the pre-poem

۱.
The uncherished drum is the donkey
That keeps your eye from wakefulness; the
Point of contention that reveals wheatberries
Plummer than ambition, and the full white

Fear of gray premonitions; the unperished
Angst flies in the face of a luckless chant;
That which is content with knead and
Pull, and taut vials of an unmistaken hue;

The unblemished prune is your horse’s
Ass; and its broom that catches a nap
When stars are wobbling the stratosphere
With quantum vibrations unbeknowest.

۲.
The knots of now are basically an umpteen
Then, a smorgasbord

Of resistance bound tangerine woes, the
Stress of an unmade

Bed, the hound of a mistaken tread, the
Bead of micelike arms

Craving your sanity, double the strength
Of harm, perhaps triple.

۳.

What to do with the non-existent
   sense of the urgent, the non-
   exigent, the not-yet-ready at
   hand?

When to submit, who to call, why
   to sing at all? The flames in
   tandem, the crimes of ink, we
   think

We do, we can, we call, but who?
   the sun is not impressed, the
   field of particles jump unwil
   lling

۴.
The tongue patterns of universe weave
A mottled weave that grazes the roof
Of hardened stares by and large stately

Yet uncomfortable; the weave of a bodily
Fabric condemned to a rural veracity that
Bleeds color onto the sky and so tales are

Told of how the anvil of the fatherland raised
The delicate balance up to the level of
Concern; and concern there was, of course.

٥.
The sanguine cart of a thousand woes
Has a breadbasket full of untended
Sores, household names, keychains that

Are flung in hurried postures, stylized
Vacuums, hybrid waystations, this is
Not heaven, this is not the highway nor

Its cousin; the sanguine house is terror
Is your personalized vision of fear; do you
Know when it’s time to breathe in tandem?

The poetics of skin

۱.
the poem’s warm soul awaits your
ax, and its cut is cut from the forgotten

ribbon, the blight that soared in at half
past when, the riddle to cure the hunch

and bare the knuckle that sheathes the
curve that moves the curtain of a timid night.

۲.

There is a poem stuck in
  midthroatwhere
  pillageofnight
Dwells it is here that the ...
  The defanged poet is the limitless unbite
      We could pit an
      Inkpot of stain
  Versus context clamoring ...

۳.
The poetics of skin is
the fecund saying of

Yes; the laughable saying
more; the immutable

Want and the desecration
of dust as it mixes

With sweat; the sweet
Musk of the tall whispers

Masking a small anxiety.

۴

This poem rasps an aspiration balks at the tawny mold speaks night when what is 
true is not near at hand this poem is the antithesis of a humble dawn but breaks 
no bone no 
                   bone at/
all - we climb clamor call
      we              call what is beneath the calm           at sundown you 
shake down syllables
                           what is beneath the calm
                                                              at full moon you 
remember the one from yesterday the same the blood of the same the calm of the 
blood as it thawed
                      call what is beneath the calm    speaks night when what is 
true is not near - the hub of becoming stalls the broom of what is at hand is at 
hand and now

Where exactly?

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi

Where exactly? Beyond morals - peeve of the evolutionary creed?
               Beyond night/day - where philosophy shoves
                                  and you move the castle
                                  of happenings/unhappenings?
               Beyond Thou & I - where self is wrought
                                   ere self is naught?
               Beyond earth soil the lounge of the nethervilles
               Below  earth soil the sum of all veils SurelyYou
               Jest RumBoy SurelyYou
               Jest

Notes from Monrovia – II

An unverified lock, at
Peace with the key of dawn, at sea, at
Tentive

To

   War as it unravels
       as it un

Derstands nothing, at
Sea;
                   the argument rolls out
                                rolls   t
Oo another seemingly benign tap
                            tap
                            tap.

Aug 25, 2016
Fresh out of a family trip to Malaysia, after taking in the expansive green, I was struck by the unapologetic African green on my hour long drive from Monrovia’s airport to the city proper. But proper it wasn’t in so many ways. The lush green of humanity that underlies all earth has its peculiar infringement here: the stark signs of an unasked for ‘development’; the fancy NGO cars contrasted with mostly older local ones; the few good expat-catering restaurants with security guards and the others unguarded, catering to locals; the expensive everything in a poor poor city.

In the sense of following two different trajectories of neoliberal development, Liberia is similar to Malaysia, only on the opposite ends of well-being; the one being a model for the other. While Malaysian greenery is being tamed to showcase exotic development, the rawness of African green has yet to be tamed; always a reminder that something more powerful lurks below the sheen that is currently being desperately aimed for.


Undone by what I admire, the in
Most anchor, the

Brass measure of all that is bold,
Is crass, is class,

The feed of foul and its brethren of
Impure, the brew

And vole that burrows each hold on
Touch and bruise.

Sep 6, 2016
Left Monrovia three days ago and came back home yesterday. Since the first impression I wrote above, I spoke with the people I worked with, getting their take on the history of Liberia and their take alone (deliberately avoiding reading up online), and this is what I got.

In the 1820s, freed American slaves (Americo-Liberians) started colonizing a number of African states including Liberia and Sierra Leone under the organizing umbrella of a religious organization, the American colonization society. By 1847, the Americo-Liberians, who had pretty much taken over the country, freed themselves of the yoke of the controlling church. This is what is referred to as Liberian Independence. More than a hundred years of being under the Americo-Liberians, the 1970s saw two favorable rulers in the 1960s and 70s in terms of having an inclusive stance towards the indigenous Liberians, especially William Tolbert who ruled from 1971 till he was executed by the ‘accidental’ indigenous military coup-leader, William Doe, in 1980. During the ten years of Doe’s rule, the Americo-Liberians tried this way and that to remove him after which the horrible civil war began in 1989, and Doe was removed by execution in 1990. Charles Taylor entered the fray during this period. In 2003, war finally ended and after a series of interim governments, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became president in 2006 and still rules.


That poet, he don’t do justice; does
Artful thought, renaissance

Crumble on a peach souffle, does heart;
don’t do justice; does wire

frame necessity capturing mouthful of
soul, prancing about the

hoary precipices of Saturn’s myth; don’t
do justice; peachy pie – chalk;

Tagore Kabir XIV: Is it not like a bellows?

This is the sixth post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

The bridge is the swan that tickles your
fickle feather at night; it is the shadow

That falls between heaven and
The idea of earth; it is the

Bellows that swings between the
Real and what passes for the act

Of motion and its resting place; it is
The poem, but you knew that, no?

Tagore/Kabir

II. 59. jânh, cet acet khambh dôû

  Between the poles of the conscious and the unconscious, there has
    the mind made a swing:
  Thereon hang all beings and all worlds, and that swing never
    ceases its sway.
  Millions of beings are there: the sun and the moon in their
    courses are there:
  Millions of ages pass, and the swing goes on.
  All swing! the sky and the earth and the air and the water; and
    the Lord Himself taking form:
  And the sight of this has made Kabîr a servant.

T.S. Eliot/Lao Tsu
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow – T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”

The space between Heaven and Earth
Is it not like a bellows?
Empty, and yet never exhausted
It moves, and produces more. – Lao Tsu, “Tao Te Ching”