Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Author’s note

The cynic and the happy fool

Words inspire words, inspire words. And somewhere in this circuitous route that strives to take us back to where it all began, we tend to lose one of two things. The words may lie in corners preferring to fade into the two dimensional humility of pages. Or inspiration- that prodigal son- sucks the agony and the ecstasy out of us, to leave us with nothing, to return with nothing.

It is for the happy fool and not the cynic to take a trip to the museum. For the fool will wonder and marvel at every crack and chip in every artifice, worship every layer of dirt and come away speechless at perfection. But the cynic will shake his head over imagined flaws, grumble at destructive missiles darting about in their school uniforms, glare at glass panels, and come away nodding in agreement with his own dusty ideology.

Sometimes it takes but an afternoon of introspection and a flash of humour from the calm eye of a brown dog to discover the happy fool, masquerading in the suit and polished shoes of the cynic.

This is the story of a girl who, much like her words, preferred to hide in the stale shadows of corners. The curious concentrics of time shifted often, like quirky sands. From joy to sorrow, from success to failure, from love to its shattered remains. From trust to mistrust. From innocence to betrayal to cynicism to sense, and back again. Much like every other concentric of time in every other life.

In realisation of this simple fact, I present, Memorise my number. And I have only the flashes of humour from the brown dog to thank.

The cynic.

The girl in the cubicle

Today, you have been cancelled.
There are three blackheads on your nose
your nail polish can't tell
your fingers from your toes,
your hair is having a bad root day.
Your sweater is very old
your fingertips, too cold
the irony on your lips
incredibly stupidly bold.

But mostly there is nothing in your eyes.

Three hands

I wish this was a painting-
I could have changed things around.
His head on your shoulders,
your method to his madness,
his angst on your unfurrowed brow,
your logic on his lack-thereof.

But real life is no Renoir-
and this, an impossible menage-a-trois.

So these colour images are faded.
Here lies the sepia and grey
of a lifetime of dreams:
my truth, your cloak, his dagger, my heart.
Our unfinished masterpiece.

How to write love poetry when not in love (OR) 9 o' clock blues

9 o'clock in the morning-
The traffic lights and speed breakers
are making love to vehicular smoke,
one little schoolboy wails piteously like a siren
at his academic plight,
the cows practice their fly-swotting,
raging hormones make their way
through college gates.

9 o'clock in the morning-
Blue suits are already growling into their cell phones,
buses are already running late,
my day and I have already started out on the wrong foot
without you.

The residue

Supremely uninspired.

You make my poetry as cliched
as the impression you left on me.

I hang on to the memory of your shoulder

I hang on to the memory of your shoulder.
Each morning, the shadow of your beard,
like breakfast in bed,
sits abandoned by my sanity,
and all the books on the shelves
grow cold.

I hold hands
in a single moment of sepia,
cheek to cheek
with your frank declaration
of things I should have heard.

I play footsie
with boots too big
for your logic and
my penchant for sucker heroes.

I kiss the face
of reflection too young
to be so old.

I fall asleep in the heady warmth
of a nightmare you left behind.

I hang on to the memory of your shoulder.