nursery rhyme

left copped out coopted by right1
let our children play out the folly of our plight
mindful eyes shut to keep out the light
shall we just play peekaboo with night?

The difference between poetry and rhetoric
is being ready to kill
yourself
instead of your children.

Audre Lorde, Power

1. “Right coopted Left copped out” – Coined by my friend Faraz Hussain while discussing how adept the mainstream is in appropriating all progressive talk and defanging it of radical potential.

iv ifs & one but

  1. If you can smell death, how shall the vulture speak your say?
  2. If you taste the rule of law, will the bile repeal what you know?
  3. If matter was round, would it not balloon into a missive?
  4. If rain splashes your vanity, can it foretell the sound of pain?
  5. But death is law & matter is forever rain.

Parallels between us

“I know the answer lies somewhere around wherever love resides”. By Amina, our daughter.

zoomkawali

Over the past few weeks of our lives in lockdown, we’ve had the pleasure of interacting with a small family of cats in our building. A mommy cat, who we saw through her pregnancy and her extreme neediness and shrill meow, and her three identical ginger kittens. We spent one fun evening with them in the entrance corridor of our house, feeding their hungry stomachs constantly for about 45 minutes, playing with them, and creepily watching them sleep (the last bit was just me). Despite the kittens being identical, I learned to differentiate them quickly based on their personalities. The biggest of the lot was the most playful, always chasing after the string I’d entice his little self with. The second one was the most timid yet curious; he’d always seem to want to play with his brother but greater fear of this human made him run back off to…

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urchin ways

when the urchin boy
  girl go out to sea   I
ask them of that old song the one
  their parents’parents’parents’ knew by heart the one about
  water   & salt –

when the urchin boy
  girl go out to sea   I
ask them of that old song the
  one about fire & salt & fire & naught and how loud
  how loud it was –

People ask about the Cold Mountain way:
plain roads don’t get through to Cold Mountain.
Middle of the summer, and the ice still hasn’t melted.
Sunrise, and the mist would blind a hidden dragon.
So, how could a man like me get here?
My heart is not the same as yours, dear sir . . .
If your heart were like mine,
you’d be here already.

– Han Shan, “Cold Mountain Poems” (translated by Jerome Seaton)