Tuesday, 29 May 2012

taming of the shrew

i believe that my life currently is this. but instead of being tamed, the object is doing... elsethings. my heart is dampened, but it is yet not broken. i still have hope for a farcical and meaningless relationship, that it may blossom into something that means more than life itself, but, as i  keep reiterating, the poet jalaluddin al-rumi said:

'to find love, one does not need to search externally for it, but merely dissolve internal barriers that bar its entry'

maybe, in time, this will dawn upon said shrew. but until then, i can only hope for first contact.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

but dove

long life lines in arabesque,
that intertwine and seethe of lust;
a glass of wine upon this desk,
that smells of sweat, of blood, of must.

another cry for help is heard,
but, oh, how placid is this bed;
ignored like filthy, stray blackbird,
do not let it get to your head.

so sing your song, that cheerful tune,
while neighbours die to smoke and flame;
they still gave you the sun, the moon,
and then themselves, they left to blame.

and court!
forget not that they court!
and promised all of life's good will,
with ice and frost they bravely fought,
but fire, comes he now to kill.

another cry for help is seen,
but, damn, these prawns, they taste so good;
ignored like fat, like bone, like lean,
drink that milk like only you could.

but love!
how could you blind such love?
the bitter taste of charcoal becks,
and marred that blackbird was a dove,
now slaughtered, cut above it's neck.

oh, mistake, so i have been told,
it's slaughter not, but sacrifice;
let body remain safe and whole,
the bill? you should not pay this price.

so let the neighbours take it on,
their tab is infinite like stars;
your jacket, sir, do take and don,
and leave in one of your fast cars.

but hope!
this hope, they gave, you too!
a gift so sordid while you part,
that dove died not from blood and dew,
but for you broke its fragile heart.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

foreign comprehension

languages are interesting things. even if one were to understand all the available languages humans have come about, would one really be able to understand the ideas behind written work? language extends beyonds the use of words for conveying ideas. languages are born of thought processes and ideologies, they are tainted with culture and limits of knowledge.

for example, notice how english has an ever-expanding and dynamic vocabulary, whereas, say malay has (relatively) not. or how some languages have feminine and masculine modes. or how japanese speech and grammar and choice of words depends on gender. or how rough the arabic language is, when spoken or written. these are only a handful of examples that i present based on the languages i know, and i'm sure there are a million more peculiarities associated with each and every language, that are attributable to how the language originated, is used, evolved, and is envisioned for the future.

this brings me to my particular dilemma. reading through the list of nobel laureates in literature, i find that, without understanding the native language, and having to rely on english translations, i am lost. i find the works lacklustre and begging for something more than the mere translated words can offer. and it is simple to use the term 'lost in translation', but really, there is something more to that. something i cannot ascribe. the 2011 laureate, tomas transtromer's poem reads, for example:

April and Silence
Spring lies deserted.
The velvet-dark ditch
crawls by my side without reflections.
All that shines
are yellow flowers.
I’m carried in my shadow
like a violin in its black case.
The only thing I want to say
gleams out of reach
like the silver
in a pawnshop.

why are the ideas of reflections and velvet-dark associated with april? is it to do with the fact that it is influenced by scenes in sweden? why shadows during summer, which is more associated (possibly) with the equinox, when shadows are at a minimum? why violins and pawnshops? who can say, really, even if we were presented with a dissection by the author himself. would it make sense?
to me, this poem is lost. i cannot appreciate it, much to my dismay. but i do not hold language responsible. i do not hold the author. and i do not hold the ideas behind his inspiration. 
in comparison, my poetry is simple, and discernible, but i wonder, if anyone read it, would they feel the same? would it be translatable and still lost? and would it even be comparable, in the first place? unlikely, but it is comforting to know that if anyone is responsible, it is myself, instead.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

mon soleil

réveiller, mon soleil,
et de tarir ces larmes,
with time that with space, that with heart will grow farther;
but time is a price that when paid laissez-faire,
is cheap, mon soleil, like this burden i bear.

what freedom is light, when darkness abound?
what paltry is like, till 'nother you've found?
but night is not endless, with dawn breaks the day,
tarir ces larmes,
réveiller mon soleil.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

best. drama. series. ever.

i never really understood relationships. parents and children; boyfriend and girlfriend; husband and wife; etc. even the most basic relationship between friends continues to puzzle me to this day. i think this enlightenment about my lack of knowing came when i first saw an episode of house, where the anti-hero (house) mentions to his best friend (wilson) that friends only exist because of a 'social contract'. i cannot remember the philosophy in its entirety, and the episode probably did not centre around this, but of importance is the concept that we are all predatory beings, and friendships are a mutual benefit, where we invest (emotionally, financially, temporally, and cognitively) in the hopes that one day, when we require cashing - out, that friend is bound by some moral value, or reciprocation, to return the favour. this is why morally bankrupt individuals can exploit the system, like parasites who feed when they need but feel no desire to extend their friendship beyond what is necessary, and some friends would quickly abandon all concept of relationship when the times get tough, or at least the outlook is bleak and there would seem to be no further use of said friendship. of course, even the most optimistic amongst us could argue for the flaws in this idea, but it is an easily-extendible one, that those who see past the simple use of friends are just more patient or play their hands closer to their chests. for posterity, in the episode of house, though he preaches so, house eventually ends up acting above and beyond his ideals, and though he will not admit it, the episode will go on to show that even the cynic in him is soothed by the need for his one real friend.

moving on, as all will quickly question the motif of this post, is the even more complex relationship between partners. most easily described as boyfriend/girlfriend, i am not quick to exclude boyfriend/boyfriend and the various variants of vagary-inducing relationships. semantics and generalisations aside, i cannot fathom the need for this, but let us pen it down to being 'human nature' - the need for another so special that (s)he / it warrants a whole new set of rules and relationship dynamics. having myself reached but failed to grasp any semblance of this, i cannot begin to explain the concepts that apply, but, just like the 'social contract' idea between friends, i would imagine that this rule does not yet break. but i am wrong. apparently.

in its simplest, i would hope that the very basis of friendships holds true (first and foremost) in a budding 'love' relationship; that the portends of mishap may be reason to abandon ship, but otherwise, we tread cautiously and hope that the increasing value of investment does not creep up upon us that we one day wake up bankrupt or in debt. debt so deep that we cannot exit the relationship any more - and this is what is defined as commitment. alternatively, some may want to invest entirely, and (god forbid) hope that the other does as well, and i must admit that i am guilty of such charge, though no longer. the individualist in me (and us all) should rise above this, for it is ironic that such reluctance to invest is perceived as a strength and only encourages the other to invest - a cat and mouse game that i will never understand.

and yet, going back to that basis, one would imagine that cradling and nurturing said investment would be an advantage in all situations, even though commitment is undesirable (though in most cases, imminent). and here, my theory falls flat, again... and i am confused as to why this is so. maybe when one develops a 'loving' relationship, one proceeds to test it. vigorously and unrelentingly, savagely and brutally, till it is battered and broken and unsightly and appalling, and then, should it survive like a mangy mongrel that nobody will want or care for, that is when we adopt it, full on, and without want for reciprocation (as love is blind, but also pure and expecting no reward *sarcasm here*). just like the most bitter medicines are the ones that work the best, the most thoroughly-tested relationships may last the longest? i suppose there is logic in this, but as a person of logic and wanting open lines of communication (as opposed to this whole covert operation of indirect testing, though i must admit, like a beautiful experiment, there is an aesthetic value here that i am yet to appreciate in its entirety), when does one relent? when does one abate, and finally settle? and most importantly, when does the testing stop upon oneself? how much more can one endure before it is no longer worth it? is patience the key to success, or a recipe for disaster? i cannot begin to answer all of these, for i am not even in the slightest way close to any of these checkpoints in a budding relationship. however, i can say this, i don't think i will want to put up with any of this. and, as the wise saying goes:

b*tch, please

if i wanted drama, i'll just go watch another episode of house.