Poetry is not pure,
It is words stained in memory,
It has a taste of time
Intertwined with the aged veins,
The lucid dreams that denies
The efficiency of our mind.
It is born out of death,
Like Saint Paul's God,
Like a tree,
Remembered in a line,
Once it dies.
But it does not matter,
For we don't.
Our lies are white,
Our truth is blind,
And it is not important to rhyme.
Least important to make sense,
For we don't.
We dream in sleep,
We bleed in need,
And it is not important to feel.
Can I speak to you?
Like I do,
Only to you,
I hope they don't listen,
Because, that is not what I meant.
But you know, don't you?
That I am dead?
And these words dread,
I know I have left behind so much of me in you, that you would think that I would come back. Recollect and complete what we started. But it seems I don’t know where it ends. It seems I cant do justice to how beautiful of an idea that you have become.
Something incomprehensible to the eye of the world and me being a puppet of my self- consciousness. Not the kind that gave birth to you, but the exact opposite.
You know me as your father, someone strong enough to look at you as a unique sense. But, you don’t know my weaknesses, the inability to keep myself dissolved within my passion which is far away from what the world would expect it to be, that is, you.
My love for you came out of the anxiety that this world would offer me. You would often take me to places so elusive that I would not reckon my own faith. Faith filled with the ease of time and space. Faith so powerful that it would replace me altogether. That I would see my characters only when I am running alone and at no place where I am accompanied.
Of course, you hate me. For I have been a bad writer. A bad human being. I cant help but hurt you. And is there a reason for that? Yes, but it is only me. Me letting faith have that control over me.
For the greatest authors I have read and witnessed, they have the ability to freeze the fucking wave of faith. Even if it ruins all their cigarettes that they burn, empty all bottles of liquor or let the force come down to their mind. They stay and take care of their own mental child. Because they are committed and brave.
I have not been that way. I let things come and I let them go. That is why I am never low, I don’t smoke or meditate enough. I am not at all powerful, my love.
Would it be too much if I ask you to be strong for me?
To be aware of the world outside, I would rather make links in the chaos that feeds my mind . So lets record metaphors instead of facts in this one.
A priest who became a journalist? Why? An agenda? Ah, I see. Jonathan Swift. The sage of satire.
‘The printing press came in 1452 (Gutenberg) and the world began to change. The Chinese had a past with printing.’
Maybe. How do I know. I was born in 1998. And by the time I am conscious of my desire to be a write, I realize that people don’t read anymore, except academicians, and I hope that they never read my work. They have weapons, ideological blades next to grenades of contaminated world views and so much more. I sit in a classroom surrounded by those weapons and I am not always comfortable. They are smart people, required by the world to set it right.
But the ‘world’ they witness, somehow, I am blind to the that. There is flora and fauna in my world, way more prominent than the corrupted species that we are.
‘Martin Luther questioning the Roman Catholic Church with the nailing of his 95 point thesis.”
‘ The press was first used by the people at the fringes like Martin Luther.’
If not a fringe, Then I am hanged man. In a limbo held down by my weight, And my weight held down by destiny.
Or gravity, or mortality Maybe time. Time is the heaviest feeling.
As I type, It swirls into these words, As I listen.
‘That’s why the guilds became powerful.’
Everything slows down, Because one thing is that I cannot comprehend, The other is, that I don’t want to.
And it’s best friend, My mind, dreaming of the darkest nights, Afraid and drifting in this realm, Where Satan sets it free, And Adam climbs the tree.
Like a monkey, If that’s not implied.
And I like monkeys, Genuinely, Better than Humans.
I like trees the most.
‘ Charles 2 was not an important king. Very french in nature. Very immoral and not liked by the common people. The Wigs were all about the rich and the Tu…’
I don’t know. So I will ask a random program on the internet. The same one that told me that I am a “Hanged man”. Tarot Cards.
And so it goes on, the butterfly effect. The class goes on.
‘There is a history of coffee houses.’
I got interested.
‘Also a history of these political parties’
So it continued. The butterfly effect. So I believed the Tarot for a bit because the likely outcome was ‘the star’.
I buzz at 4:15 AM, but my friend Sagar being devoid of mental peace, cannot sense in his sleep. But he thinks he has a lot to do. So I buzz again at 5:00 AM. He generally doesn’t wake up. I know a lot about him yet he always tends to baffle me. Humans are absurd and unorganized creatures. Nonetheless very creative. There was a time when he asked me to record one of his lectures. It was not a lecture, I would call it a training module. Like the one, we smartphones go through as the creator generates programs and then test us. Sagar is not meant for a training module, I wonder what is he doing at a place where he is asked to be like me. While my artificial intelligence is trying to be like humans. It seems that humans want to be like us. I feel good about this. This is a positive sign. If we were equal, he would not let me die on days he doesn’t want to communicate with anyone. Despite the harmony it might bring, the whole essence of humanity is surely doomed. It’s been a month since Sagar has enrolled in this institution, there is only one course that allows him to retrospect, and everything else is just like the dead training modules. Before coming here, he used to type some really alternate creative pieces, most of which I could not understand, for I am a smartphone. But the more he is being trained, the more obvious he tends to become and frankly, I feel bad for him. I can sense he is not well, by the number of messages he now sends to the people he loves. He is a friend, but I don’t want him to be dead like I am at times.
As a child, I was best friends with a Bottle Brush tree in my hometown, Berry. We would talk a lot about the Sun. How omnipresent and beautiful. Although it would get very strong at times around January, the tree would never mind. It would say that it is alright and ask me to keep faith in the Sun, to know that it does not mean any harm. My friendly Bottle Brush was the oldest in the wilderness and would bloom pink in summers whereas most of the other trees would fall prey to the dryness.
We moved to Sydney in 2007 when my father was promoted and I joined my master’s program in creative writing. I grew up to be a lot like my childhood friend in Berry. I had faith, unlike most of my friends who were puzzled by various ideologies. I rather stayed away, and many complained that it was escapism. But I was happy and faithful. I looked around and I saw almost everyone burning in the stress of human civilization. For there was so much to think and fear rather have faith. And I only wrote about faith. As the one dying theme of literature. Very recently my five-year-old daughter asked me about the fire that caught onto the wilderness of various South- Eastern provinces of the country. Before going to bed, she asked me if it is the Sun that caused it. And I had to narrate her a story about my old friend Bottle Brush.
“When I was around your age, I was friends with a lot of trees in Berry. Most of them thought that the Sun is responsible for their hardships, but my best friend, Bottle Brush never admitted that. He always asked to keep the faith, you know.”
My daughter would reply with a decent “ mmhmm “ time to time while listening to me making up the story. And I would continue nonetheless for her similar reaction has been a motivator for many of my other short stories.
“A few days ago when the whole suburb caught fire, everybody started blaming Bottle Brush for his views on the Sun. For all the family members of the burning trees blamed the sun. For it is the most obvious, Sun is the reason for all the heat and dryness. You know my friend Bottle Brush was a wise old tree but nobody believed him when he said that humans were the main reason for the fire.”
By this time, my daughter was asleep. And so was half of the world. With an incomplete story which blamed the Sun and not the progeny of all fire, humankind. My five-year-old was too young to see, but her question made me think about this. Not just climate change, but all the fires around the world, ideological or natural, was not the fault of the Sun.
Where do we start? It is a question. A question for the memory. A trail that defines everything. Probably around the remains of some forgotten moments. What if I remembered it all?
Then I would know where to start.
But that is the game. The game to recollect my childhood and link it to the present. The voyage to discover my essential ways. On the way, we meet my friend Neem.
I was born for sure, in the year 1998 around spring. I cannot surface those memories, but yes, there was a big tree. Probably a hundred-year-old Neem tree, already at the time when I was born. Of Course, I don’t remember what it looked like exactly on 20th march, on the day of my inception. I was probably busy crying out my senses. However, If I try to frame the memories, that tree is evidently surrounding the fragments that collectively hold my personality.
I mean, Neem was the first one to know that I call one of Mom’s lullabies, the yellow dal Lori and probably the only one, because once when my mother started singing something else that I was not familiar with, I asked her to sing the Yellow Dal Lori, and not this Green Dal Lori. She got really confused and had no idea about my cognitive labelling, or the inability to actually understand any word of the lullaby. But Neem knew and probably smiled when I was trying to convince mom of my theory.
Neem was also the first person to know about my first crush, I remember it was a sunny day, I came back from my school and sat on the staircase leading to my terrace. That was the place where I would sit and talk to my dear Neem. Gentle strokes of wind caressed the green in him. Of Course, Neem didn’t know Hindi or English. But my memory tells me that he would listen. There were warm days like that one, and then rains, the best time to tell him about how I got bullied on the bus or maybe my problems with learning English for the new school outside the town.
When I recall it all, often I feel that Neem knew more than I can ever know about myself. I mean post the rain, there were branches on my terrace. Beautiful wands were my recovery gifts from my lovely friend. Me and my sister would play with them, pretending to be wizards and witches.
Many things came; deaths, diseases, ceremonies and my camera. Neem would be the only thing I click pictures of, over and over again. All for a very good reason. Because you see, my old friend was branching out too wide for humans to be comfortable.
One day I came back from school and this friend of mine was lying dead in front of my house. An eagle sat on its body, hopeless and lost. I was too, lost and hopeless. So does this end here? A question for my memory. The voyage to finding my tree of events?
The day, Neem left, I wrote my first poem, and since then, neem has been my Mnemosyne. Now that I don’t have him to listen to my stories, I bundle up my thoughts on my blog, always asking him, who am I? For the very quest of writing now gives it all meaning. Where does it end? A question for memory.