Monday, June 29, 2009

Der Einsame (The Lonely)

Der Einsame (The Lonely)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translation: Philipp Kellmeyer

Wie einer, der auf fremden Meeren fuhr,
so bin ich bei den ewig Einheimischen;
die vollen Tage stehn auf ihren Tischen,
mir aber ist die Ferne voll Figur.

In mein Gesicht reicht eine Welt herein,
die vielleicht unbewohnt ist wie ein Mond,
sie aber lassen kein Gefühl allein,
und alle ihre Worte sind bewohnt.

Die Dinge, die ich weither mit mir nahm,
sehn selten aus, gehalten an das Ihre -:
in ihrer großen Heimat sind sie Tiere,
hier halten sie den Atem an vor Scham.


Like someone who sailed distant seas
I am with the ever natives;
the full days standing on their tables,
but for me distance is full of shape.

In my face a world reaches in,
perhaps deserted like a moon,
but they leave no feeling alone,
and all their worlds are inhabited.

The things which I took with me
look rare compared to theirs -:
in their great home they are animals,
here they hold their breath in shame.


Artwork: Faraway by Joe Sorren

Monday, June 22, 2009

On Love (A Brief Tale In Five Vignettes)

What is love?

i. Lava

Love is the simmer of bubbles that breathe out on the stove, where you either find your balance above the water or submerge and boil. Either way, your heart becomes marked forever.

ii. Anchor

Love is the sharpest end of an anchor, weighty and piercing through your heart. But you don't say a word as it drags you with the ship far from home, to places and feelings unfamiliar. For some reason, it's okay to die bleeding, facedown, if it is for him. Even if he doesn't know a thing.

iii. Skin (Part 1)

Love is the stranger who came to your bed one night and turned your skin inside out. When you look in the mirror the next morning, you are scared by this new skeleton girl, all blood and pulses and gleaming bones. Then you see the exaltation on his face when he lays eyes on you, and suddenly your new body is an old friend.

iv. Skin (Part 2)

(in a future parallel dimension, you are both dead by your own hand. again there is a mirror, and again your old skin reappears. you don't recall it being this hideous before, and you try to stretch it back to how it was before, and all the while it hisses and claws and screams at you.)

v. Scarecrow

Love is a scarecrow in a vast lonely field, chasing away birds that never come. The other scarecrows do not like him; he never joins them when they mourn (for scarecrows need to weep too and it hurts beyond anything you know that they can't). But their empty eyes don't see the little sparrow nestled in the pocket of his tattered shirt, singing about the silliest things. They don't understand the strange way the wooden corners of the slash across his face always curve upwards now. They think he has a disease.

Stories In Six Words

I'm sure that a lot of people have heard of this classic by Ernest Hemingway: "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn." Recently, I decided to try this exercise of telling stories in just six words too. Owing to the time I have to dedicate to work, I find it increasingly impossible to write anything of any kind, hence the multiple poetry/short story projects lying incomplete on my desk at home. So this was a nice exercise to do even if the results seemed quite inadequate to me. If anyone has any good versions of their own, share it here too.

I've been depressed for quite some time now, no prizes for guessing why. So a majority of attempts came out in this vein.

  • He never asked. She never told.
  • Behind his smile lay gruesome tales.
  • She fell, but nobody caught her.
  • Callous hands, too rough. "Please. Don't."
  • "Hey Mister, you want good time?"
  • Sometimes, ghosts were all he had.
  • Breaking news: Child shot, eyewitnesses laugh.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sweatdrop #3

Yesterday, I needed some artwork to be drawn for a children's book I was editing. I went over to my artist and showed him what needed to be drawn. Specifically, the instructions on the page were for the illustration of a pear to accompany the question.

The artist nodded coolly, his face akin to an expression I like to call 'practised machismo'. Probably wondering why he is always given such mindnumbingly childish tasks to draw. I left him to it, and went back to my desk.

Fifteen minutes later, he showed me the fruits, pun unintended, of his labour.

He had drawn a mango.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Blind March

Does this darkness have a name?

This cruelty, this hatred, how did it find us?

Did it steal into our lives or did we seek it out and embrace it?

What happened to us that we now send our children into the world
like we send young men to war hoping for their safe return but
knowing that some would be lost along the way?

When did we lose our way?

Consumed by the shadows, swallowed whole by the darkness.

Does this darkness have a name?

Is it your name?

- OTH 3x16, With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept

The Looking Glass

All that you are is all that you know.

But if all that you know is nothing,

then you should stop wondering why you loathe yourself.

It's too easy and unsympathetic a habit to weave,

because nobody is your friend in that world.

The saddest part is that many of you do not resurface.

The saddest part is that between us, we aren't that different at all.

Three Words (Spoiler-heavy)

I knew it.


Naruto, Issue 449.

Faith pays handsomely.

I am happy. :)