Haunted by the ocean
Another lost shark
A mythic memory
We eat what grows without us
Tendrils and roots
So many directions
But in darkness you hear only one.
When it rains I dream of Mangalore. On nights in quiet rooms, with the power out and my eyes closed an old feeling comes to visit.
Intangible and, sadly it would seem, incomprehensible to others is my old sense of longing. As I would look out, as I spied the grey houses, the lights inside, the signs of life that the houses breathed I wished I could be inside them. I remember the rare lights, the deserted roads and sometimes a stream in the village revived by the rain.
The houses weren’t too impressive, a 2000’s Indian aesthetic that’s quickly pulled down by an out of breath middle class. Still on those glances outside, through the rains and sheltered by black clouds I felt there was something missing. I got the same feeing when Animax would offer slices of moody, sepia, angst. Stories I’d never complete or find again. The channel is gone now, a tangent that means too much for no good at all.
In my longing, I wish I could see the life inside, but I am formless in the rains outside. I can’t have what I’ve never known.
I write when something inspires, the second I read something nice I’ve gotta write.
The problem with tethering your creative instincts to the world around you is that you’re caught in the tide. The colours you bring to story come from outside. When the world’s just the same, uninspired plastic happiness why write? The time you had isn’t enough any more, the drive isn’t worth dishonoring. You’ve gotta find a muse or wither way in some complacent routine in some complacent life.
My work as a counselor inspires, sure, but you leave that in session and honestly I’ll leave work at work. The most important step I think is to do some reading, its been a while and the world’s all the greyer for it.
A cat rolls on his back
In the shade of smoke trees
Shadows grow on moss
Nights crawls through a wormhole
His eyes shine feral
In yesterdays sky,
Sounds of life
About the stuffy room
When'd the mist get here?
In falling leaves
Smells like lavender
Sunday, Cubbon Park, a dog came up to us and sat down. He was disturbingly round. His face grew wider into his neck, which lead to a trunk that seemed like it had two extra layers of fat wrapped around it to keep him warm.
He was a rusty brown, with bald spots all over- skin disease- and faint black strips. When I first came to Bangalore I was awed by these rusty stripped dogs that seemed to slink by street corners, like little tigers all over the city. I haven’t noticed them in years, I guess they never seemed to play at anything else. Now and then you see a few mutts, strays with distinct features of more becoming breeds, of course you don’t wan to think of much them . Their ribs, their earnest eyes with ears slicked back, a paw missing and yes unhealthy, annoying when they turn wild on the streets treating human indifference in kind.
When they hung around bakeries and street vendors that severed oily snacks, they seemed to get a weird kind of fat, that’s my theory at least. So it stood to reason this stray had gotten fat the same way- of the indifference, litter and kindness of visitors. He looked at our bench and went right to sleep in front of us. My companion pointed out that he seemed to find it difficult to move.
What I really noticed though was the contrast, walking in we saw dogs brought in, sitting in cars, collared and well fed. There were Huskies panting in the heat, large dogs, tiny dogs,dogs shaved and pampered sitting in circle while their masters watched them closely. A lot of them must have come at a high price, somewhat inbreed and incapable of surviving the wild or even the streets.
It reminded me, so much, of an article on Jacobin (https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/10/victorian-values-fitness-organic-wealth-parenthood/) , which looked at how the rich and poor saw their bodies. When the poor labored in the heat, being tan and lean weren’t fashionable, now that they are desk bound the rich tan themselves and take care of their bodies. How funny that this was paralleled in our dogs, the strays fat on a diet of junk food, and the pampered breeds lean and about.
Spider webs on a corner ebbing
still probing, staring and confessing
a life now former, still hear the phone ring
the world no longer in sync
order, reorder- it grows warmer.
A face dripping daylight
A seaside cafe
Over a story
The skyscraper spire
They wear clip on ties
The unseen order of things
Talk of war, sugar in darkness
They color the stone
Back and forth.
Sounds like breeze
Under one umbrella
On a mountain path.