to the scribble of my pen on paper:
ardent, desperate, hot:
bird caged in barbed wire and wool,
fed ground coffee and coca leaves.
of my other loves:
none as big
none as beautiful, but just as real
between me and sadness,
so that i don’t have to do it myself:
a mediator, a true constant.
you are the paper i write on,
carving words into the thick muscle of heart:
water is thinner than blood.
you are the dream I must have had
before you held me in the night.
you are. you are. you are.
i’m more a reader than a writer, a passive comma in the midst of life. born to incite something or other, born to launch without ever going anywhere oneself. but there is time. time changes all, time smooths out the edges.
last night, T let me read the first two chapters of his working book. he started writing because he was inspired when we went out and about London for a bit. he started writing because he’s in love with me, but never mind that since he never put it into words. he’s a friend of ours and if dreams fill up the length of lonely days, who are we to begrudge him? in any case, the writing’s good, the writing’s solid and if i push someone to something more than they were, that is achievement in itself. it makes me happy.
it’s strange, this writing, when all i’ve written the last year were essays. creativity has a propensity to seep out when you no longer use it and it takes all the will you have to take it back. all world needs a muse. for burroughs (“naked lunch”, “junkie”) it was joan vollmer, whom he killed by accident and who poured out the guilt in words, whose loss left him to seek a way to replace the void; for nin (“delta of venus”, “spy in the house of love”) it was miller, who interrupted her life and frenzied her with his roguish charm and bohemian life; for me it is you. for i can read all i want but unless i have you near me, unless the warmth of your lips touches mine, ideas cannot solidify into something more than a wispy dream. when you were gone (four weeks and three days, for i was counting) interminable minutes seemed to stretch into infinity. no matter where i was or who with, the thought of you made me ache all over, made me hungry for the staunch presence of you.
now you are back, your touch is fresh and i’m learning to write again.
the words stand on the page. they sing, jabber, holler; they are the answer.
i’ve often wondered how one finds themselves. last night i promised you that i would look further, deeper; that i would be stronger freer. and yet, i do not know into which chamber, nook or cranny one ought to look.
it’s always been art. and writing.
it’s always been the sashaying silk of kimonos and the pungency of opium-filled dens that jumped out at me from the pages. it was the sexual odour of it, i guess. the implied liberation.
liberté. more often than not, français. how lucky then that you should have french blood coursing through you.
i read so much of writers with insistence upon their refuge in books. it’s been the same for me, albeit i am no writer. i scribble on a page like a child holding the pen for the very first time.
i remember learning to draw. properly. my sunday lessons with an art restorator. i was the youngest there; and the worst. but i’ve always believed it was art that would save me.
i never did learn to hold the pencil properly so that it would fall on the page unrestricted. i promised to myself that i would one day. and that was all. i promised.
through my paperround last year i met a wonderful man. he used to walk his dog as i’d deliver papers and we started talking around the time i started writing this blog. i think he’s 82: he must have mentioned it a while back. and i’m afraid there’s nothing literary about him: his existence is one of uncouth coutesy.
i quit the paperround a while back now but i still see him every sunday. nine o’clock in the morning, like church. he’s my little christian connection: even S is nowhere near taking his place. he gave me a bible with a picture of him in his youth stuck at the back, so that i remember him. secretly, i think, he believes that it will help me find him in heaven: he believes i will go there after all.
to my friends, this man is “the old man”. to me, he is much more than that. it may be true that i meet him every sunday partly because i feel like it’s my obligation, but also because somewhere beneath my skin there’s a tendon that connects me to him.
his wife died last night. or the night before that. and there’s no more words because i’m hurting for him. because how can one even begin to describe his pain?
i had made them a card only this march: they celebrated their 60th wedding annivesary.
sometimes he told me he wondered if she ever loved him but i know that was only because he loved her more than anything else. ever.
and it’s a little late for him to tell her, but i hope she knew. i think she knew.
Posted in chapters of my life
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dear world, i’m writing to you tonight. everyone else is either waiting for my call or doesn’t care at all and i’m tired of always turning up on time, of always taking no more than is mine, of feeling guilty for having the sheer components of this life.
i’m meant to be hopeful. imagine! i’m meant to dream, as if i haven’t dreamt all my life. i’m meant to be good, as if i’m not already on my best behaviour. i’m meant to burn without fire. is this what they call desire? surely not!
i’m told i have an addition to my caged harem. S. whipped into submission, you’d think. can you think, dear world?
another poor boy. never out of my sight, never in my bed. i should either lay him or let him go, no? no.
i will be crude tonight for i have an itch in my gut. the bile of the world is rising in my throat. and you can gloat. dear world, please gloat. because i will keep on living, so long dear god keeps forgiving all my wrongs and rights.
Posted in chapters of my life
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i’ve realised not long ago how shame has filled the crevices of my life. and yesterday i let it out on you, because in all this time you hadn’t realised.
you bought me presents that i liked, you told me things i longed to hear but deep inside me there was always fear of shame. and now you’re walking streets with me, early in the morning, carrying my cargo of paper and shame. just for today. this burden in not yours nor ever will it be.
and this song’s alive in me and you can hear it, but you will never feel it the way i do.
so hold my hand in yours, my dreams scattered on your palm because i’m a dreamer and dream too much. let this free soul forsake it’s body and fly into the open sky like a red kite soaring amongst the stars.
and i want to tell you you’re closer than you were tonight,
but today we’re further apart.
Posted in chapters of my life
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