Thoughtful Brain, Troubled Mind

{ when music fails to invigorate, let language heal the soul }

The first of May

A Cheshire cat’s smile follows me tonight. I think of incandescent purposes and of what poetry means. I don’t think I can write poetry like before.

I am reading Plath again, after almost 5 months of a complete abstinence from her gravely melancholic confessions. May has come and spring should denote the freshening of oneself—a moulting, of sorts. I have been reading so much and so deeply into academic writings and Literature that sometimes I am drugged by their elusive and seemingly bizzare ideas. I find myself sick upon dealing with thematic concerns about death, about how “[you] only begin to live when [you] conceive life as tragedy”, about why people who know too much must die, about exhaustive explanations of technicalities of poetry (especially by the oh-so revered Aristotle). I am sick of all that is convoluted, heavy, of principles that command what should be and otherwise. Literature is not about writing about how the sun teases with the clouds, not about what the waters choose to reflect of the sky. I am sick, but am afraid simultaneously. Simply because of the gravity of the bond after graduation—of the lives I’m supporting or possibly destabilising. Yet am honoured, uncontestably. 

I can’t be sick about literary theories and the daunting future of being an academic. I must discover what I want to research and go further: make what is dead appealing and make what is sickening, lively. I need a break from all that is literary, for a moment only short. I am saturated, utterly so.

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Alive, alive!

I am losing the flavours I breathe and the sights I taste. I don’t feel tethered by any human connection, by any conscience, by any emotion I want to dispose of so willingly, but, with a metastasising futility. This liberty brings me breeze.

I am reading, reading and reading! ticking texts off literary canons and ingesting delectable syntaxes, intellectual debates about structuralism and humanists’ views! nursery rhymes are made tragedy; tragedy is made simple and independent. Pages that are only less than 300 seem so deathlessly delightful. They make me alive, make me come to terms with the scarcities and plenties I feel within myself. The writing comes alive; I come alive.

I feel insane no more. There is no intensity in emotion, but I am writing. There is no sick obsession with melancholy, but I am writing. I am creating new rules for myself to follow, but break them for evolution.

Golly! I have found a great musician just yesterday and everything falls to place, like snow back to lakes.

Under Sirius

On dying moments like these, I wish I was never sensitive to language. Now, I have to convince myself wholly that the subtleties in your voice and intended purposes are a projection—and a shaping—of my own’s from yours.

Under the silver moon, our skins touched but you shy away most genteelly as if this consequence—from what had accumulated before—was unwonted. Your confession began heated, intense, powerful, unequivocal, but crashed like a dandelion’s strength. I saw through hidden figures, of metonymies that came alive, hooking the insides of my pupils, taut.

I wish I was never sensitive to language so that I wouldn’t write pages to you every night: noting my growth, or a lack thereof, sans a full satisfaction. An incompetence would cloud me from proclivities to poetry, and I will be mellow not.

I always draw parallels

I think I now know how it feels—to be painfully misguided by another’s equivocal actions: of concern that stemmed from passion not but with a heart only pure and intimate. I parallel everything in films to the grim impossibilities; I listen to lyrics more closely, of which my understanding has risen to a patient and doleful comprehension.

Everyone seems highly content with company! excessive mentions! great smiles! what joy! there’s bliss undefined in the restoration of a dilapidated house together and then making it home; meaning in soulful company notwithstanding sharing individual interests—like an engineer and artist speaking about their métiers. (how selfish, but welcoming at the same time)

I think I want to speculate no further, I want to speculate no further. Oh, so let biology work its way: flourish or fetter, regenerate or reduce, batter or better—laissez-faire.

Litanies of plague

some days the sky
is a little
bluer than most

deadens feelings
brings light foretold

clouds are prancing
delightfully
and so we share

maudlin moments

on days when this
sky is but blue

we seem to let
internecine
tear both our
  ligaments

o I observe
more than I should

litany in
a time of plague

whence does morality
get its power—
from religion—
is it natural?
are we guided
or are we pluming mindlessly?

so long as eyes can see and we can breathe
so long lives this, we’re nothing but carefree

I saw, I am not

green towel dances in the wind
the windows are slated with dust—
 abhorrently!

iron & wine is my company tonight
my love for indie folk grows again
 out of the sick contemporary
a love for meaning, not for rhythms in disarray

I write like I bleed
keeping thoughts private
but end up keeping them one after another
who are they for anyway;
who gives a damn for bloody literature!

I see it in the mirror and in contemplations
seeking from those who observe
more than I do
a womb of cynicism
I see growth: a different man

a different man I, I
perhaps
so desperately wish
to be

They ate the cake while I kept the candle


Humble Abode I
If grandfather was here, everything will be different. Perhaps, more make-believe and a greater satisfaction for food. If cancer was kind to my uncle, everything will be different. Perhaps, less situations to worry about and a greater satisfaction for food. There were conversations needed to be censored, of fury that needed immediate quelling. There was happiness to be found, of joy buried.

Humble Abode II
Dover Road. A homespun aroma of fresh wood and glazed floors. Of displaced books all around. Each apportioned a dying moment of joy, a phase of torture, all to an eternal growth. Curtains that cue privacy, a quasi-hermitage of sorts: for times that impel an imperative stroke of paint on canvas, mixing dark colours with bright ones, reflecting the deliberate mess of what we witness, of what we so unwillingly want. People of the arts! How detestable! Be real! Why can’t they be normal? In the house, there was a visual arts student, a student adept in design, a history graduate soon-to-be, but all men, in the army. I was observing more than I should. What manners! Everyone glistened with impure talent. He talked about admiration for Kerry Hill, how his masterpieces made us—both pundits and greenhorns—sway in reverential wonder. It was above all, a climate best for detachments. I will set foot there again, with certainty.

Humble Abode III
Imbibe! We drank Pu Er with over-sweetened pineapple tarts from Johor Bahru, conferring with a mom and daughter about inter-racial marriage, about politics, about relations that are brittle and fading soon, about you and I, about those that made us sigh. She was wise, an archetype of post-suffering. A growth out of grief and utmost torture. 2 years ago, back in Literature classes, I couldn’t quite fathom a notion about death. But now I understand: “death is nothing but a great leveller”. We end up in coffins built in uniform dimensions, of space largely similar. Every man becomes equal. Nothing follows, nothing can be followed. And then we left—with a sweet aftertaste on our tongues, tranquillity ruled yet again.

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