Sunday, November 2, 2014

For You. My Adored Fragments.

All at once the hazes, shadows and silhouettes became tangible bodies. An abstraction of conversations, brief flickers and surreal telepathy turned into real voices, nuances, corporeal inflections, juxtapositions. 

We became palpable. A diffusion of clouds brought together - condensed to a rain, a storm – a downpour of emotions. 

We became the ephemeral limbs and blooms of an ancient rhizome. Sprout from the same essence, wrought from the same gem, molecules of the same ether and verses of the same requiem.

My unfurls and my concaves were loved, in turn I too fell in love with a certain giggle, a jiggle, a certain glisten of a lash, an endearing smell of a delectable book, a dazzling shyness, an imperceptible act of kindness.
Life returned and raptured.

But it was over too soon. We all parted like dismantled delicate parts of a clockwork bird being packed away, wheel by wheel, feather by feather.
Soon only the memory will exist, in its own timelessness - sun, shades and shimmers. And I shall find despairing resonances and reflections in the afterwords, afterthoughts and aftertastes.

Photo Courtesy:


My head is a garden gone to seed; my eyes are curtained windows of an abandoned house. If you stare too long you might see vague shadows move, and sometimes doubting your own sanity, you see an almost-face, a figure peering out, stir of indigo echoes in the cobwebbed stairs, a flutter. 
Losing one's mind is a cliché, these days, what with the grimy urban chaos, the seamless integration of communication through internet, it’s easy to imagine and portray a carefully edited, instagrammed madness. Artistic blurs, a gently fading line of ellipses in Fertigo or Garamond, hair becoming expressions of wildness, sensuality, tragedy, objects becoming disturbing and despairing metaphors.
A profile picture becomes a limpid mirror reflecting a person's splintered inner cosmos; a single status update shatters you with its deafening silence. Pain becomes crystal violins under your skin effusing searing light.
We are unconsciously trying to get attention, perhaps. I am not denying that. But it is more of a documentation of our stream of consciousness, the terrible and oddly euphoric incoherency that is building up inside each one of us out here. Articulated anguish. The cacophony rising in our bones. The wing rustles of insomnia's mocking angels.
This is a systematic filing of my descent into madness, melancholy or something else. Slowly verging onto a temptingly nebulous brink. 

Image: Cathedral Vegetal by Remedios Varo

Friday, August 22, 2014

I look at people and notice their veins, the biscuit crumbs on their chins, the stressing of the‘t’s, their voices turning into long, rusty iron chains rattling against an abstract train track beneath my skull. Sometimes I don't even realize that I am clenching my jaws. I listen to the holes, little crevices in their narrations - a tiny space between a verb and a proper noun and hide there. Each such chinks are like hidden quarries, bowl shaped grey caverns to disappear into, a suspended animation. What normally might result in a frenzied outbreak seem to have the opposite effect on me – a bizarre meticulousness. I don’t understand those annoyingly cheerful people saying ‘wake up, live!’ when life in itself is an oxymoron. The outside of my body is alien to me; I puzzle over the transience of my nails, the swelling mosquito bites and the sudden bruise on my knee. It’s so easy for something to suddenly break, tear, bleed, sugar levels to go down, pressure to shoot up, and heart to stop beating. Right now, the ideal thing to do is numb my mind. Give it anesthesia, suffocate it with chloroform, fit a clockwork it its place, practice the smile, the nods, the cheap conversations, cooking tips, some local gossip, mindless bits of news, who killed who, who married who, skin problems, weight issues, balancing femininity, classiness, brainlessness, banality while inside me that howl grows louder and louder.

Art by Paula Bonet

Monday, August 11, 2014

Becoming Post Rock

"A band's journey through rock to post-rock usually involves a trajectory from narrative lyrics to stream-of-consciousness to voice-as-texture to purely instrumental music". - Simon Reynolds ("Post-Rock") 

Due to life's necessities, I don’t get to read as much as I liked to these days, instead I’ve been listening to music - a lot! It stabs, soothes and suffuses into the unblended silence of my aquamarine space – a space I am slowly building that includes a vibrant, make-believe, diaphanous sense of myself that extends from my dark immutable quiddity, circles the soft creaks of the window in the breeze and flows towards the languorously blossoming forest and beyond into the starry depths of the galaxy.

  I try defining this imagined space - it could be a cultivated or intrinsic awareness, or perhaps it is simply I, expanding beyond the prison of my body to become everything – a benevolent, sentient ecosystem smattered with grasshoppers’ choruses, avian refrains, ochre-tailed love-making crow pheasants and a wild, glorious flurry of pine, casuarina, eucalyptus, ferns, crowding climbers, tumbling shrubs, unbridled downpours, and flitting dragonflies. Perhaps it is the manifestation of my belief in art’s boundlessness.
I’ve never been a great connoisseur of music, but while skimming through genres (mostly classic rock) I came across Paper Birds by an Icelandic band called Parachutes. From the very first moment - when the first strain of that haunting, alluring music trickled into my soul, I was smitten. It was beautiful - elemental, raw and unutterably and compellingly beautiful. It was as if this piece of music was slumbering in my veins for so long and has suddenly been awakened. It fitted into me; it filled into my solitary green space and steeped it in the richest variants of iridescence, softest gradients of mauve, deepest oranges of dawn, and the darkest shades of night. It poured into my marrows, replaced collagen with the purest pellucid ecstasy, and turned my spine into a wildly shuddering cluster of moths. I hunted every single recording of this now-defunct post-rock band, and spend hours listening to them while my fingers mindlessly tapped and tapped churning out articles. Soon I plunged in wildly, sampling and drowning in the magic of different Post-Rock bands – inhaling the gentle mellowness of Hammock, the wind-rustle-feel of Library Tapes, gentle ripples of Tiny Leaves, Slow Dancing Society's euphoric high, The Echelon Effect, Message to Bears, Stafrænn Hákon, the swoon-effect of Balmorhea, Musk Ox, Sigur Rós’ child-like exquisiteness and oh, so many more – a world in itself.
Post-Rock music is strangely evocative - it changed the very vibration of my body and added something so mellifluous and wondrous to that precious universe that I am building around me. It was the music I heard in my dreams right from the embryonic stage; it was the music to which my poems secretly danced. It was the croons and gurgles of all the palpable creatures that resided in my space, it was the throb of each condensing dew drop in the forest that found a reverberation in my pumping blood. It defined me. There was no turning back. 

Just as I fell in love, irrevocably and fatally with Nabokov’s prose (to the point where I sometimes cannot read anything else but his words over and over again), I’ve fallen in love (much to my own amazement) with Post Rock – with the dreamy, subtle art of the albums covers, with the evocative haunting videos, with the elysian, subdued vocals (sometimes just soft humming or droning) the way they make use of ambient sounds, soft timbres, delicate tremors of guitar and piano, where human voice becomes an instrument. For instance, Sigur Rós, is known for singing in a strange fabricated language (glossolalia) created by its frontman Jón "Jónsi" Þór Birgisson. Critics call it "Hopelandic", which has been described by the band as "a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music and acts as another instrument."
Enamored. Drowned. Enlightened. What should I call this?
Presumably we are looking at the prototype of how music will be in the future or perhaps this is the oldest form of music - the very hum of the universe, the resonance of existence. When the first ethereal coos flowed out of a primordial extraterrestrial/supernatural/empyrean/mechanical throat, a fragile and tragically beautiful earth shimmered into being.

I've given links below to some of the finest Post Rock that I've curated on Pinterest.  I hope you will listen and love:

 P.S: I wouldn't say all the music/recordings under the  'Post-Rock' label are good, some of them in fact are rather harsh and incomplete. But on the whole, I love the experimental, elemental and unrestrained nature of this genre. And yes, it moves me in a way that no other music could so far. 

Image Source: Google Images 

The First Strands

A tremendously mellow silver web
summer’s end signified
silver line rimming
night’s long lashes-
last of an owl’s wail.

And these tremulous strands
now suffusing my mane
the finest crystallofolia, interweaving
from temple to nape, tangling

first touch of autumn
emvermilioning the wilderness.

Reminder of life’s rebellious brevity
the ethereal drama unfolding.
a languor. a despair.

running out of time,
What if I disappear before comprehending
even a fraction of this marvellous universe?



I don’t believe in God. But if I did, he’d be a Russian lepidopterist who weaves ethereal wonderlands with words. In this world of circles, he is a crystalline sphere, an iridescent spiral, unspooling endlessly.

Nabokoving with a flask of tea. Basking in the arboreal soughs and sighs.

My Bit for You

Start the day with finding patterns on the morning light filtering through the curtain, the top of buildings catching the first rays. Greet a plant, a bird. Meditate 10 minutes with a dictionary. Drink your morning beverage from a beautiful glass, cup or mug. Savour each sip. 

Write something each day. Even a beautiful word will do – like ‘inflorescence’ or ‘diapause’. Don't just look - observe, internalize, infuse yourself in everything - stir of smells from your quick meals, bird cries, wind wails, proses, stars, crunch of apples, cracks on the sidewalk, rust on the bus window, graffiti, a happy sleeping dog, a fascinating nail paint. Eat interestingly. Touch something new each day, feel the raw textures, silkiness, coldness, crenellations and softness. Don't waste time talking, think instead.

Be intrinsically yourself; develop an informed sensitivity and tolerance. Be kinder than necessary, detached but aware. Disconnected but not indifferent – plunge into the heart of things that matter but stay away from the trite, the shallow and the inane. Don’t develop a hasty opinion or take sides without fully understanding the problem and exploring every aspect of it with an open mind. Learn history, study it like a subject – it is not a tiresome waste of time, it helps you have a better understanding of the world, and will stop you from making rash judgments. Acknowledge niceness – in a country so torn by corruption, violence and general nastiness – every tiny gesture of goodwill should be cherished. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Browse meaningfully; internet is the biggest archive of knowledge, make use of it. Learn something, research intensively, be obsessed, be curious, be in love.

Take leisure seriously, even the tiniest break should be planned, every element in perfect harmony - make enjoyment an intense experience. Minimize life, hack away at the inessential – distil your being to its quintessence, a trembling drop of dew – you are what you are becoming. Read more, collect and curate beauty. Be worried that life is short.

Be wary of people who say they are bored or don't know how use their precious time. They are the ones who will mock you and will trivialize your passions and interests. Never even for a moment feel that you need to do something to pass the time. There is nothing that is "just a time-pass". Time is not a useless hassle that you want to somehow get through. Enrich, nourish and cherish your surroundings - grow plants, recycle, find beauty in the uncommon, in both simplicity and complexity, imagine, love your body and strive to keep it healthy. Fall asleep reading or listening to music, or simply watching the stars while your body drenches in the moonlight. Dream.

Jeena Mary Chacko \ Mikimbizii

Image: Still from Into the Wild.

In the body of the word - The Hindu

In the body of the word - The Hindu

My garrulous gabble turned to lovely quotes :)

This Poem

This poem bears my anxieties on its spine-
social-anxiety disordered, cornered,
see the words sticking to the rims
a diffident stain, that sheepish grin-
refusing to speak up, nibbling on cuticles-
this poem prefers to observe the cervices on walls
avoiding eye contact,
It is annoyingly harmless
not meant to shout, reconstruct, revolt.

A wiggly string of words, loosely bandaged
straining to become that language that makes
breath condense, teeth crackle, toes curl.

I am not enough to contain this poem
germinating, crowding pushing-
I tear down its waxy honeycombs
smoking it out
free-verses clinging to the under-side of organs
rush out rhymeless, flapping, falling out-
scratching my face
their bellows knock against my jaws
I tame them, clip their nails, brush their hair.
They emit frothy allegories at times
they stab themselves
half-evolved, unadaptable
dying out before the wings had dried
or eyes learnt to see all colours.

This poem chortles and coughs often-
cries too weepily, messily
(It sets my teeth on end.
babbling things I don’t dare to think of)

This poem is
the glide in the crow pheasant
the slickness in a neon nail paint
the whir in the elevator
the triteness of a tea growing cold
in a forgotten table (orange table cloth)
in a forgettable room (pale, cold walls)
in an arbitrary apartment (#32, fifth floor)
in a random street, in an accidental place
this poem is the banality within this specificity.
the primordial craving to shriek out
a bloated blob of nothingness, daisy-fresh, vacuum sealed
a cavity in a chasm.

It has very little to go with-
I’ve plucked out all its feathers
it has survived countless ice ages
a meteor attack, an earthquake.
This poem has been in my pocket for too long
lint, gum and dust sticking to it-
it nicks feebly at my bones
at times does a half-hearted strip-tease
It develops allergies, boils
and a craving for future tenses
it begs to be given a proper noun.
hovering and squawking
trying to get in the shower with me-
rubbing against my feet.
It enters my tongue and sings itself to exhaustion,
converses with my tomorrows,
ingrains into the scheme of things

This poem has held its breath too long
The words suffer from tooth decays-
a pastel, gasping fabrication
too sugary, a low-fat concoction
forced into existence, into meaning something
sentences running off broken bridges and banisterless stairs.
a rain of shining, spluttering mirth
This poem comes
from the protozoa that made it all happen
from the evening news, changing weather
a release of endorphin,
or the simple compulsiveness
of an infant
with a chalk and a wall
the logic of primeval lust.
It is my wound’s way of remembering,
recording, remodelling

Image by Amy Judd

Stalking a Poet

(For Aimee Herman)

Stealthily I get inside her skull-
a tedious process, she leaves no maps
legends disintegrate upon touch
I track her scent-
In the raw free verses she sheds-
scrapping samples
bagging tagging - her verbs and iambs;
cells arranged assonance-wise-
I test, taste, navigate-
her dark alleys, dead-ends.

Through unclimbable fences, I peer,
piecing together jigsawed sights
thirsting for one glimpse of the whole
(not the tail, not the trunk
the whole darn elephant!)

Scars on her shoulder blades, flight dissolved-
breathes swollen with fireflies
she breaks open her body-
bi-polar ends of her axis
cloning herself over and over-
a composition of mountains
a haemorrhaging story.

I wept over her autopsied corpses,
labyrinths losing into each other.
studied her dissociations,
heavier than secrets and dying stars;
bedless lakes,
I swum in her until my eyes wrinkled
the language of her shut doors and open wounds,
the enjambment of her silence
each a thorn, a tear - untrammelled.

                                - Jeena Mary Chacko \ Mikimbizii

Sunday, August 10, 2014

While Visiting an Old Stream that Loved Me

A single pebble holds the memories of all the ancient rivers that flowed over it, ingraining their essence in its smooth roundness. It has witnessed so much! Seen seeds turning into forests, a clutch of eggs turning into pirouetting shoals, a million lunar-cycles, cloudy sunsets. It lay there warmed by dawns, cooled by stars for ages - an elemental, pristine being. ah! Why don’t you see! I picked up the pebble you left behind; something of you remained in it as your hand, like those primordial rivers, caressed its surface, transferring a bit of yours into it. The pebble was warm. 

Ode to Memory

There is no misery more agonizing than being in love with love, that malignant, hugely dysfunctional, carcinogenic, drug. That strange thing that gives birth to so many cancerous feelings, eating into one's body, permineralizing it, replacing each cell with something volatile, limpid and effervescent. It’s not about falling in love with an object or a person that you cannot possess, that’s easy; but oh, the misery of falling in love with love itself. The feeling of plummeting into a vortex; the exhilarating heights to which one soars! Love, tremblingly delicate as the thrill of an old violin, toe-curling, teeth-peeling, stomach-churning, tear-inducing; every pain and joy associated with it! One longs to feel it at every waking moment for an eternity and is in distress when s/he can’t feel it. I desperately seek it in the cloud soaked twilights, in moonlight’s embraces, in lachrymose dawns, in the gathering storms, in the words of dead authors, in the eyes of dreaming strangers in cafeterias, laughs, ripples, rainbows, verses and vaporous hills… in everything that comes under my spectrum of aesthetics. I want to subsume in its intricacy, evaporate into its undulating caresses, disintegrate molecule by molecule into its translucent mellifluousness.

I try to create it; delving deep into nostalgia, conjuring it from memories, moments that made me want to die and relive it over and over again, an old sun-lit classroom, a hall filled with the twangs of a guitar, a teacher, a blue tie, a rain, a book, a lost pebble, a postcard, a touch.

Photo: Google Images

Read More:

Speech is redundant here, instead-
we balance the quietude on our tongues.
while inside us 
a thousand golden hornets
stir up a tempest. 

Image - Thomas Dewing

Ayemanam (A Project)

At Ayemenam imagining the shady, green spots where little Estha and Rahel must have played. An unfolding in my head, mossy feet and green air. 

Every belch becomes a song
- an ode to the last foraged meal;
salted sardine specters tip-toe-
over the rooms’s breath. 
the wee cat's whiskers twitch .

My grumpy old telly on a broken stand. 

Four haunting, profoundly peculiar and picaresque movies re-watched back-to-back. It was a life-altering pilgrimage into the alluring, langorous side of feminity consisting of dreamy nonchalance, amused curiosity, blissful madness, delicate lassitude and glorious indifference. Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s feature debut - Innocence, Lars von Trier's Melancholia, Sofia Coppola's Virgin Suicides and Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rocks. All the principle characters are strange woman-like children and child-like women with an aura of nuanced unearthliness and gleeful remoteness about them. Phew!

Picture: Still from Picnic At Hanging Rock

Sunday, June 8, 2014

On Writing Poems

Picture: Collected Poems by Wisława Szymborska, an old, broken anklet, button from a bag and a wooden cat rattle.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Today I

Today I-
pure plant-sap;
coursing through wilderness-
sun-shade, rustle-repose.

shard of a faded lakescape
broken mirror-slivers,
shivering reflections-
in my mouth;
tang of sinister rotting-
glassy, exacting and discomfiting.

                       - Jeena Mary Chacko (2014)

Image: Still from Innocence.


From the delirious contours-
of your larynx, pours-
a pebbly brook of enunciations.
an unruffled, put-together thought-
you- became both ‘night’ & ‘gale’
each tremulous lilt-
the fever & fervour in your ‘fret’,
a path within me gives-
an aching twist.

under your gutturals linger-
a wilderness of timbre-
fermented in honeyed thunders-
(Oh! Your “Oh”s!)
Each cadence resonates-
an ululating verse in my spine.

a dappled quiver, your-
gently bristled Adam’s apple
vocal-folds luxuriate-
ripples from sheer mauve to cerise,
its impassioned whispers igniting-
my sobbing axons,
toes curl & squeal.

I come apart, my lungs unthaw -
into a flock of quetzals;
pour forth – ecstasy
– immortal bird
I wake. I swoon.
- Jeena Mary Chacko (2014)
{On listening to Benedict Cumberbatch reciting ‘Ode to a Nightingale’}

Intransigent Lines

Moon is an adorable creamy smudge; a gentle rain, faded stars dissolve and reform behind the shifting, soughing clouds. A single dancing candle in a re-purposed jam jar, a delightful languor. Suddenly all the tiredness and triteness of the weekdays seemed remote. Quietness regained.

Image: From Sylvia's collected poems -old precious copy, slowly dog-earoding.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Will it Rain?

Dead bees curl on fabric rose, drunk on wild nectar of rain-soaked blooms. Last of the tea overdose. Deepening green remoteness shot through with dying gold rays. Tongue laden with delicious irrelevancies, pages brim with aftertastes. Air fills with avian voices exchanging weather predictions. Will it rain again tonight? yes? no? yes? yes? A grey-blue day of abstract-verses concludes.

A wild rose unfurls.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Notes from the last two months

April blooms and fevers

Sip stale tea, keep pacing, room to room to half room. Watching the fascinating effects of capillary action as the cloths become wetter and wetter in the bucket. Chaos and Chronos in the eternal battle. Bed takes up too much space, I could dance there, build a model papier-mâché volcano, play volleyball with the wall. I talk to the doors and they creak. I drank lime all day. My face smells citrusy. I have come to loath arguments because I am bored easily and I empathize too much to get through with it. My fingers are stinging. I want to eat this nimbus cloud gathering overhead bit by bit. I want to read and read and read and read. My phone is dead, this summer I dread. There is something so enticingly brittle about the air, it hangs like a fresh cream-biscuit dipped in tea, allowed to soak so thoroughly until it is butter-soft and shaking slightly between ones fingers. Taste buds are so limiting, I want to see what lies beyond this spectrum of senses. The hot black cloak of fever has been lifted from my back, I killed the frogs prancing in my throat. I am well.

Random cat by the pork shop

Every day should a piece of poetry, every second should exude poetry. Your body should weep conifers and ferns with every exhale, take in the intricate verses of the air with every inhale. There is poetry in each rustle of these blooming trees, in the thickening dregs of my tea, in my headache, in the horrifying news I read each day. There is poetry when my blood boils with helpless anger, in the quiet, cowardly way I try to fight the system, in the nonchalance with which we approach every day wear and tears, the broken flush, the torn clothes, the dead phone. Poetry is not just a noun, it is a verb...when the sublime beauty of the most ordinary thing, gesture or sight makes you pause for one breathtaking moment, your soul poems....

Last year, before the rains
I want to paint my walls with instant coffee; sleep in the fragrance. Peel off a bit of the landscape, sniff, eat. Examine the contents in your face. Don't erase anything with antiwrinke-fairness-anti-spot-darkcircle removing-anti-tan-anti-expression-anti-simplicity creams (its an international conspiracy to keep you suspended in this corroding emulsion called everydayness) instead, decipher those marks, read between the lines, connect the dots, translate the dark circles, don't forget your story, interpret the voice of your skin, its sighs and screams. If I didn't have such a massive consciousness I'd like to swing a dead fish (a rohu maybe) and slap somebody with it; a dead snake would be better. I'll eat the rohu instead, crisp, greasy, peppery, juicy. Dissect sanity, question instinct, unfold chaos, roll out discontent, remember the in-betweens, turn back toes, talk to the shadows, stop walking.

Immeasurable love.  
In the End: 

Death is either the instantaneous gaining of perfect knowledge (similar say to the instantaneous disintegration of stone and ivy composing the circular dungeon where formerly the prisoner had to content himself with only two small apertures optically fusing into one; whilst now, with the disappearance of all walls, he can survey the entire circular landscape), or absolute nothingness, nichto. - Nabokov

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Obscure Visitors

While coming and going,
my silent summer breezes
do rustle a few leaves;
obscure visitors, tantalizers, 
sway the curtains-
drop a twig, stir the dust,
let the dew-drenched cobwebs dazzle 
and dance.

Before you leave-
 speak to me, I am lonely.

Image: Screen cap from Picnic at Hanging Rocks (Source: Google Images)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Keyboard floats away, another word appears without a foetal cry, a cityscape of lies luminesce, slow evaporation of the gurgling drain, dog pee, despair.

In the midst of moving from one chaos to another, I discovered a slumberous, tiny, cramped second-hand book shop in Church Street. There I found rare old cloth bound editions with cracked spines and yellowing pages all sold at ridiculously cheap rates. Many were easily between 50-150 years old. When I asked the shop attendant where all these books came from, he said apparently all the "oldies" are dying out leaving behind all this "junk" and their kids have no time to read or preserve them so they sell them off in bulks.

Some days I crave to become a guerrilla poet, walk the streets in the neon night wearing a bird mask, spray-painting free-verses on the sullen walls.

Skill, intelligence and sentience transcend gender, region, religion and language; I hate, hate this patriarchal, heteronormative society which judges my principles, opinions and choices based on all this human-made crap. Desperately wish I were an androgynous or asexual mollusk, a piece of time (the 60s), a patch of lavender sky, a laughing stream or April shower, a snowy peak or an old, old layer of earth full of well-preserved fossils, caves and mineral deposits whispering their stories to me.

Image: Painting by Edvard Munch


Mayonnaise in a plaster cast
eaten with hand,
a house made of straw carpets and glue, a neighbourhood
of bizarre, evocative old building,
a sneaky photographer, a pervy man
in shiny violet coat, a glass shop,
a preparation for a marathon,
an over-decorated living room,
falling down as the roof tears off, a wall peels away,
a child gurgling, a staring family dangling from rope ladders,
rain filling the gaps of the fractured pavement
reflecting the iridescent desolation spreading the sky.
Wake up finding a dead moth on your elbow.

Image: Painting by Sam Szafran

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Despair comes when you realize that the ocean you painstakingly tried to comprehend was merely the pattern on a piece of imagined mollusk shell washed up on the edge of dream sand. The vastness will never be yours. My eyes water, I sieve the footnotes and peripheries. My time runs out.

Image: from Google Images 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Quotes and Bits of Life through Pictures of Books

Petals and broken thoughts gathered from a walk; a slice of Nabokov from the weekend's read

"Whenever I start thinking of my love for a person, I am in the habit of immediately drawing radii from my love - from my heart, from the tender nucleus of a personal matter - to monstrously emote points of the universe. Something impels me to measure the consciousness of my love against such unimaginable and incalculable things as the behavior of nebulae (whose very remoteness seems a form of insanity), the dreadful pitfalls of eternity, the unknowledgeable beyond the unknown, the helplessness, the cold, the sickening involutions and interpenetrations of space and time. It is a pernicious habit, but I can do nothing about it. It can be compared to the uncontrollable flick of an insomniac's tongue checking a jagged tooth in the night of his mouth and bruising itself in doing so but still persevering. I have known people who, upon accidentally touching something - a doorpost, a wall - had to go through a certain very rapid and systematic sequence of manual contacts with various surfaces in the room before returning to a balanced existence. It cannot be helped; I must know where I stand, where you and my son stand. When that slow-motion, silent explosion of love takes place in me, unfolding its melting fringes and overwhelming me with the sense of something much vaster, much more enduring and powerful than the accumulation of matter or energy in any imaginable cosmos, then my mind cannot but pinch itself to see if it is really awake. I have to make a rapid inventory of the universe, just as a man in a dream tries to condone the absurdity of his position by making sure he is dreaming. I have to have all space and all time participate in my emotion, in my mortal love, so that the edge of its mortality is taken off, thus helping me to fight the utter degradation, ridicule, and horror of having developed an infinity of sensation and thought within a finite existence"

- Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)

Pale Fire and a lolitaesque lolly

“Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture. Everything is blooming. Everything is flying. Everything is screaming, choking on its screams. Laughter. Running. Let-down hair. That is all there is to life.”

— Vladimir Nabokov

Charles Bauldier's Flowers of Evil
From a stranger, from the other side of the globe. I 've received some of the most beautiful gifts, most touching kindness, the most interesting conversations, most searing, soaring forms of love and friendships from strangers. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

You are an immeasurable ocean

in a grain of sand-

caught under the lid

of my gritty, infected eye.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Placid Tones

My dreams taste of espresso shots, take shapes of anagramed haiku, geometric contemporaneity, misty lakescapes through the wrong end of a telescope, the beguiling cerulean details of a butterfly wing under a begrimed pane.

Picture: Still from Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express (I've almost forgot how much I used to love his films)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Willows

These willows never attain to the dignity of trees; they have no rigid trunks; they remain humble bushes, with rounded tops and soft outline, swaying on slender stems that answer to the least pressure of the wind; supple as grasses, and so continually shifting that they somehow give the impression that the entire plain is moving and alive. For the wind sends waves rising and falling over the whole surface, waves of leaves instead of waves of water, green swells like the sea, too, until the branches turn and lift, and then silvery white as their under-side turns to the sun.  -  Algernon Blackwood, The Willows

I must have read this story over 10-20 times all through my pre-adolescence. It was part of a moth-eaten, colossal book of horror stories that was in my household since forever. I dug it up every summer (once I have thoroughly exhausted the local library) and plunged into it, lost to reality until sleep or parental concern forced me to resurface. I slipped from the book’s tempting brink into a swirling, poignant abyss of exquisite horror, horror at its best!  

"Altogether it was an impressive scene, with its utter loneliness, its bizarre suggestion; and as I gazed, long and curiously, a singular emotion began stir somewhere in the depths of me. Midway in my delight of the wild beauty, there crept unbidden and unexplained, a curious feeling of disquietude, almost of alarm."

The Willows depicted a kind of fear that didn’t have a concrete source; it was a more primal, diffused fear that hung in the air suffusing the characters and the readers slowly with dread. More than horror, the story brought out a sense of a melancholy that is so tantalizing and terrifying - a sublime, contemplative anxiety – a subtle hinting, a mere wisp of a suggestion, a slow weaving, entrapping gold and green mesh of panic. 

"But my emotion, so far as I could understand it, seemed to attach itself more particularly to the willow bushes, to these acres and acres of willows, crowding, so thickly growing there, swarming everywhere the eye could reach, pressing upon the river as though to suffocate it, standing in dense array mile after mile beneath the sky, watching, waiting, listening. And, apart quite from the elements, the willows connected themselves subtly with my malaise, attacking the mind insidiously somehow by reason of their vast numbers, and contriving in some way or other to represent to the imagination a new and mighty power, a power, moreover, not altogether friendly to us."

The Willow is so lyrical, so eloquent, so profound that I sometimes forgot the undercurrent of fear until with a sudden jerk I notice the goose bumps on my forearms despite it being a humid, tropical summer noon. 

Strangely enough, I don’t recall any real horror stories (gory, slasher, on-the-face) in that book. All the tales were more or less lingered on the edge of surreal, fantastically blurring the boundaries between sci-fi, folklore and reality. There was a story of a man who had once seen a green door and spends all his life looking for it, another chasing after an elusive music, another who travels from body to body, a mysterious crystal orb that is a window into a different world… and many more, many more
I now rack my cobwebby memory to recall those stories, but all I can recollect is the rush of excitement as I turned the pages in pleasurable anticipation, safely inside that old house, safely inside my childhood, still blissfully unaware of the triteness and sadness of adulthood. Oh, let me remain! Forever in that little, mellow slice of memory, turning pages, eternally 11, eternally euphoric. It was a book I lost with many other things sometime later - borrowed, stolen, hidden away in some forgotten nook - I don’t know. But the stories come back to me in dreams, in leaf rustles, from the shivering moons, from the whimpers in the late afternoon air, peeping from tempting, unexplored woody paths beckoning me to run, run, run away. 

Why did I think of this story today? I can't remember! I re-read the Annotated Lolita (3rd time) to give shape to a vague point that was bubbling in my head for sometime now - something to do with a character reincarnating in each book or something like that conjured up by my bog-water logged brain. It is related to another work of Nabokov. Then I worked for a while, I am having a slight, annoying delirious fever for the last three days. While tossing in bed, the skimming landscape of Lolita, fragments of Wasteland and an eerie flute music from youtube mixed and succeeding in extracting this golden little memory from a corner of my mind. Ah!

Image Courtesy:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Heart Only Whispers

My teeth is tingling with euphoria, my toes are twitching! life is worth living! I am elated and honoured to know that my poem has been included in an anthology of love poems, THE HEART ONLY WHISPERS  edited by Glory Sasikala. It was launched online on Valentine's Day. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Act of Thought

I am trying to turn my mind into a repository of the most exquisite memories. To collect and curate beauty, turn it into something porous and arborescent. When I think, I image a tendril creeping skywards up, up reaching for something. But the moist tip turns transparent, swelling into a wobbling, lustrous fruit. The tip droops low, low… until with a small twang, the fruit detaches from the branch and falls down through the webs of my semi-sleep. While falling down it takes the form of bird droppings, pigments, antlers, pug marks, a track winding away into the woods. While falling it starts growing shadows, develop bioluminescence, here is a trembling eye, a trunk, a pair of majestic ears, a mammoth ambling through the pearlescent nubecula of consciousness shape-shifting as dawn grows brighter.
All my scribbles have no moral message, no greater end, they do not address a social issue, no rhyme nor reason, just the pure tingling lyrical abstraction tip-toeing down my spine leaving behind a mist of goose bumps.

An almost inaudible tintinnabulation vibrates the air. I awake, I wonder.

Image: Karin on the Shore by Carl Larsson (Wikipaintings)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ponderings While on a Walk Back from Nowhere

I am experiencing that late-January chill and sublimity. There is a hush in the rooms; a tickle in the soles of my feet at night, a rustle in the air; I love it. Because of my jobs, my reading is slower, books I could finish in 3-4 days now take 2 weeks! So the red tick-marks against the titles in my 2014 reading list is disappointingly few. Hunger Angel by Muller is the first book on my list that I crossed off last week; I'll post a review on Goodreads later. 

These days I am listening more and more classical and contemporary concert pieces and poetry readings;  violin concertos are the best. Today I melted into Mozart, Sibelius and Paganini.  

 I should be writing more, but everything is so slow, the laziness is almost seductive. It is as if I had taken a draught of that mythical mead that has put me on a drowsy euphoria. Even at noon, I feel like I am gliding gently through the mellow, fluffy clouds. I speak to myself more often and it is becoming a little obvious. I think I am becoming transparent, leaves flutter through me, my veins are turning into shimmering dust, my hair melting into the sky. 


Monday, January 13, 2014

To Margaret Atwood

Dear Poet _
I read you to subdue the cyclones sucking my bones;
I want your rivers to corrode me
your verses becoming glistening flotilla-
in my tongue; sprouting virulous clouds.

Dear Poet_
I need your poem like an intravenous drip
soaking up your elegies-
my skin exhaled warbling thunders.

Dear Poet_
I drown in your poems while-
my organs weep conifers and ferns;
in the hypnosis of your embrace-
I become porous,
I become the brightness between trees.

Dear Poet_
I gather the sunsets falling in your eyes-
disassemble your pauses-
you make me cry in free verse.

Dear Poet _
Shall I-
navigating through your body
drive a creaking van over-
the winding alleyways of your veins.

Dear Poet _
In trying to figure you out-
I become-
a floss, a filter, an algae trapper;
sieving the secrets in your wild hair
I carry an ectoplasm reader to find-
the ghosts of your finger tips.

Dear Poet _
I need to delve deep in your story
tell me, from the start-
the first mitosis, the first fin,
the first tentacle, the first flight.

                 - Jeena Mary Chacko (2014)

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Hunger Lies Between Your Words

Yet you elude me-

I give my words legs and watch 
them walk away, giving birth on sidewalks
and eat up all creaks and chaos 

Old crones and crows walk under my eyes at night,
leaving footprints-
they turn to voices in the rays
drifting away, pieces running off-
Into places inside me that I didn’t know existed
piercing them;
and then infused in you,
I write my story, the unremembered epilogue.
You shall read me like a river
(Yes, like a river - with a zoologist’s precision
examining its halolimnic ramblings)

While your words,
a pebbly brook of pauses and punctuations,
I waddle through feeling-
the tingling incoherency of its hydric warbles;
my ankles squeal.

Every time you exhaled, a tendril within me unfurled-
I pause, I pen, I poem.
- Jeena Mary Chacko (2013)

Picture: Me at Kotagiri, 6 years ago.