Monday, November 28, 2005

About taxis and need

There's a thing about certain songs. They sing loss and need with such potent life that no cliche can ever hurt them. For me, Father Figure will always be one of them.

Its a thing about taxis. And dark streets.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Love Letter


I wanted to write to and tell you of how I long for the moment when we will be together again. The cold winds pace, howling, in the balcony every night, and the moon is unsympathetic to a lover’s sighs- Even the Countess Rossini said so last night while at cards, while Lucia was at the harp.

Ah, the pangs of love. The pain we must endure, the pain we seek even— do you not think that it is most unchristian of us, feeling and thinking and mouthing all these words, and then seeking redemption every sabbath? But I lose myself in the writing of this epistle, and now must focus on conveying my thoughts to you.

Precious light, how goes it with you? Are you well? Is business all that it must be? I pestered Claudio for news of you when he returned last sennight: he tells me you are somber at business, gay in company and morose when alone. He tells me that you are in solitude most often, writing verse dedicated to me. Dear dear heart! It will not be long, I assure thee. Not long at all.

In fact, our moment will have arrived with you opening this little parchment with your hands. How well I know your habits, dearest: how often have I traced your attitudes and postures, your sweet brow and your full lips in my mind, closing my eyes in the middle of the day in spite of mama’s remonstrances. I can in fact see you this very moment, as you read this very line.

You will throw your coat at Francois, and place your cap atop the bust of Pericles. Still reading, you will cast your eyes over the cards you have received for tonight’s revelry. Picking up the wine Francois has brought you, you will make your way into your chambers, first bidding Francois to not disturb you for an hour, during which time you will caress the folds of this letter, imagining it to be my arms under your fingertips—Tell me if I lie! But you cannot. You laugh now, I can feel you, in merriment over this precocious little chit you have chosen to favor with your love and regard. And now you will chew at your thumb or forefinger, peeling away tiny bits of your skin, smiling as you read my girlish avowals of love.

There. The door is shut, and Francois has gone off with your boots to scrape off the mud of the day. You are in your bed, and the windows are shut tight, as you like the warmth. For you always did enjoy warmth, did you not my love? From laying your face against my breast, to drinking cider with Claudio, how often have I remarked upon your attraction for the heat, and for light.

At this moment, if I see true, your eyes are beginning to prick you, and your throat burns you till you wonder at the wine you are drinking, and put away the cup. Perhaps now you detect the faintest odor of garlic coming from the parchment, and your fingertips? You must needs cough, splutter, perhaps choke now—I wonder if you will read the rest of my love-letter to you, my heart… but I, your beloved, will continue writing till its conclusion, for I do have so much to tell you. Like for instance, how Venice is beautiful beyond comparison, and filled with the most beautiful and intelligent people in the world. Claudio’s lover, Beatrice, is one such delight: what a lovely creature! In spite of her great heritage and her honored name she carries none of the head weight one notices in the other Medici’s at Court. But she is young—my age, in fact—and we are both fast friends. It was she who told me that Claudio had whispered in her ear of how you played fast and loose with my name and our love in the taverns of Ravenna, in the company of sailors and militia. My dear you are feeling quite well? Beatrice told me that arsenic has a horrible way of catching in your throat till you cannot breathe—Perhaps Francois will not hear you calling?

I should add that Claudio, following Beatrice’s instructions, has bolted the windows from outside: we would not like you to catch a chill in that horrid weather, my lord. I’m told that arsenic works quickly, and is delicate—So delicate that I could paint my lips with it, and kiss you as is our wont, and you would die in my arms, as I would live, your face pressed against my breast in agitation and want. Are you quite alright, my hearts ease?

Perhaps this parchment would have fallen to the ground by now. Claudio is to climb in after, a wet lace kerchief across his mouth and nose, and retrieve it, after which it will be burnt. Flames will eat it, the heat and light licking at my writing, as they now lick at your throat and mind and heart.

Farewell, my lord. Isn’t it unchristian of us, feeling and thinking and mouthing all these words, and then seeking redemption every Sabbath? Such is what passion does to the soul. I will unburden my heart to the Virgin. It is sad that it had to end this way. But surely, where you will go now will give you far more heat and light than my arms ever could?

I loved you truly, and was yours for the taking. But now comes death, and thus we part.

Cara Giuseppe.

13th November, 1519,

Friday, November 11, 2005

Weak and Powerless

Tilling my own grave to keep me level
Jam another dragon down the hole
Digging to the rhythm and the echo of a solitary siren
One that pushes me along and leaves me so

Desperate and Ravenous
I'm so weak and powerless over you

Someone feed the monkey while I dig in search of China
White as Dracula as I approach the bottom

Desperate and Ravenous
I'm so weak and powerless over you

Little angel go away
Come again some other day
The devil has my ear today
I'll never hear a word you say
Promised I would find a little solace
And some piece of mind
Whatever just as long as I don't feel so

Desperate and Ravenous
I'm so weak and powerless over you
Desperate and Ravenous
I'm so weak and powerless
over you

~A Perfect Circle, 'Weak and Powerless'.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Diary of a Lovesong

31st December, 2004.

11:05pm, and lights out throughout the house. In one room, a couple who missed their son flicked channels, waiting for sleep but always returning to National Geographic. In the second room, an old wrinkled woman dreamt of her brother and of a son who had beaten her but only afer eating the fish curry that had sat up with her, waiting for him to come home. She dreamt, her mouth moving noiselessly. The maid, all dark sullen heated sex, snored on the floor, bed pan forgotten.

11:23pm. From where she sat-- the warm corner of the couch, curled into the cloth-- she saw the pale light of the television go out. Like other nights, her parents would consign her brother to the grace of god, and mark the time on the clock, knowing they would wake in an hour and a half to check if she was in bed, or still sitting awake-- in the warm corner of the couch, curled into the cloth.

The things they didn't know:

1) the old wrinkled woman had pissed her sheets, again.

2) the girl, their daughter, was waiting for a miracle.

He called. During their conversation, midnight came and went. The darkness of the house swallowed the new year, and ate her smile forever. For the rest of the year, the girl preferred the night to the day.

It is better for a man and woman to shout and weep their anger and loss when they part ways. It is better that all the love that has been is burnt up in one huge pyre, the flames licking at their eyelashes, warming their cheeks the way they will not touch each other ever again.

It is far worse when they stay polite, and invite the cold inside them, turning their love to ice so that nothing is heard melting, slowly. Running down to form a salty well where your arms close your breasts against the couch, into the wall, into the night which falls around this building like soft warm cloth.

"If only you had asked me to stay back, jo. I was waiting to hear that, but you never did"

Her mouth froze with all the cold she had allowed inside. She clutched at the phone, burying her ear into it, painfully eager to hear him breathing in the silence.

"It's better this way"

For the first time in her life, she said nothing. Knowing that he was in control of this conversation, knowing that her mouth was frozen, she squeezed tighter into the corner of the couch. He said he had to go, and she closed her eyes, falling back into the cave that was behind the corner of the couch. She fell far, and it was all fast and dark and cold like an underground train. The ground was hard. She closed her eyes.

12th May, 2005.

She sat next to the wrinkled old woman and smelt the talcum powder, the faintest aroma of decay. She touched the wrinkled old skin, like she would touch the shell of a sea turtle, the bark of an ancient pine tree. Like a trapped whale, the old woman lay there calm, knowing she was being watched, being committed to memory. She went on the plane with the phone, knowing it wouldn't work outside india. 3 months later, she would bury it in foreign soil, without a marker.

13th May, 2005.

They sat at a lazy right angle. She was sitting forward, holding onto a single neat linen crease at his knee. The world was in that crease. Between her fingers, in those fibers was where they hugged and kissed and forgave and apologized and laughed and cried and held and slept. He spoke. Her mouth was frozen. The beer was flat. the hotel bar was loud, filled with people that did not read poetry. She watched the car pull out of the driveway.

6th November, 2005.

The train passed by the city you live in. Twice. The first was in the daytime. The second was when towers of blinking lights rose against the night that fell around manhattan like a soft cloth. You did not know. And if I ever bring myself to stand in timesquare and increase the volume on my 'pod, you will not know then either.

7th November, 2005.

A perfect circle's cover of the Cure's Lovesong is playing. The wrinkled old woman, contrary to all expectations, has not died.

"sanity now and beyond me
i will always love you
however long i stay
i will always love you
whatever words i say
i will always love you
there's no choice"