Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rehan Qayoom writes

Smoke & Mirrors

Image result for Maria Kreyn, 'Alone Together’. 
                                      Maria Kreyn, 'Alone Together’

So long as men can breathe or eyes can ſee,
So long lives this,and this gives life to thee,

William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s Sonnets. (Thomas Thorpe, 1609).

Sans toi, les émotions d'aujourd'hui ne seraient que la peau morte des émotions d'auterfois.


Can we only love
Something created in our own imagination?
Are we all in fact unloving and unlovable?
Then one is alone, and if one is alone
Then lover and beloved are equally unreal
And the dreamer is no more real than his dreams.

T. S. Eliot. The Cocktail Party. (1949).

Tonight the moon reminds me so much of you
It is as lonely as the night is making me
Penetrating the mind with its black fantasia
Learning me how Mir was moonstruck for Mah
So there are no words but the memory surviving yet as in a chrysalis:
You dancing widdershins naked in the snow, prancing
Jigging on a wibbly wobbly bridge
Swinging and unafraid to risk a fall

They laugh at me that sometime did me seek,
But once at a party I overheard 2 fictionary beaux mondes
"Ought you to wear a skirt with legs like that?"
I laughed like there's no tomorrow
And in short, I was afraid.

Woman creates so that she may destroy
Beauty's arch-rival: time - Subdued into a diorama of death
The drowned belle de la Seine humming
(Unknown who saw or met her, saw her weep)
To have but not to keep

The mouth in the mouth
Under the mouth
Is the round tuffet that becomes us
Because it doesn't have to, because
It can because it is
The unreal and the real

So these are the roots that grasp at the fly in aspic
Clutch at the crystalline moon in a spray of sea-mist

 Henry Holiday - Dante and Beatrice - Google Art Project.jpg
                                 Henry Holiday, 'Dante & Beatrice', (1883).

So you were your own Church
Your religion was Love.
Its sacrificial murder –
That killing in heaven –
Was flow of passion here on earth
Where your kiss, your real lips,
And your words
Were the blessing.

Ted Hughes. ‘Religion'. Collected Poems. Edited by Paul Keegan. (Faber & Faber, 2003).

... Tu se' ombra vedi.
... Puoi, la quantitate
Comprenderde l'amor chi temi scalda,
Quando dismento nostra vanitate
Trattando l'ombre come cosa salda

[... "For shade thou art and look'st upon a shade"
"... Now thou'lt know
How large and warm my love about thee clings
When I forget our nothingness, and go
Treating these shadows like material things."]

Dante Alighieri. Divina Commedia: Purgatorio. Translated by Dorothy L. Sayers. Dante - The Divine Comedy ii: Purgatory. (Penguin Classics, 1955).

Love answers all the ogress' grave questions
Offering even as counter-question (a salve), itself in a frisson
Saying "Silence and I speak the same language, share one quiddity
I, knowing my incapability
Interlock fingers on Imagination Road
But if holiness is a mystery
Corruption is a mystery
Sin is a mystery
You and I are history"

Love does not question
Love does not reason
It survives
The headaches, the worries, the vague, the vogue
It is all there is or ever was or will be
It is everything I know
It is what remains of us
It is God
Behind a caboose
It is death, haunted by hostile shadows
(And death is not the enemy
Time is the enemy)
Lives, the Life-in-Death, an antevasin
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
The fire and the rose are in symbiosis as one

Sometimes love is unable to share
Is delicate and vulnerable
Cannot show wishes, tell desires, touch
Nor share a joy to the senses
Far greater than makeshift individual pleasure to the spirit
Though living with oneself does not make one less human

So you are a gazelle of light all by itself
Your own muse
Your most beautiful poem
Yesterday's dream
Was love
Too much love
In every sacred place
Of your ‘Jour-Nuit

I am not going anywhere
Because I am already there.

            Love is you
            You and me

Love is what we cannot be
‘I am you,
you are me.
I am a tree.
We …’
Love you love me
Love is lonely
Love me and give me
Life - Its poison - Love me or kill me

Only love
Can justify the art in verse
The just and the unjust
The intended and the intent
Jackknife at the diabolical form
Of the devil's opus in Pandemonium
I know what it is
Did nobody tell you?
This is what it's all about, what were you expecting?
It is the only way to go, you know
Echoic: the music playing
The screen flickering
And our first meeting.

Awaits (from profundity) with baited breath
Its turbulent exertion welcome
To the garden
In the garden
Under the rose-garden
As the Earth's axis tilts towards the sun, tilts away


  1. Mīr Taqī Mīr, known just as "Mir," was the leading Urdu poet of the 18th century, often referred to as "Khudā-e sukhan" (god of poetry); "mah" is "moon." He dismissed a rival's poetry as merely "kissing and cuddling." Widdershins is to take a course opposite the apparent motion of the sun, counter-clockwise,lefthandwise, unlucky. Fictionary is a word game in which players try to guess the meaning of obscure words. "Beaux mondes" pertain to high fashion. "La belle de la Seine" was an unidentified young woman whose body was pulled out of the Seine river in the 1880s; her supposed death mask became a popular fixture on the walls of artists' homes in the early 20th century and her visage was the fashion paradigm for German and Russian girls; it inspired many writers, including Vladimir Nabokov in a 1934 poem (Urging on life’s denouement,/loving nothing upon this earth,/I keep staring at the white mask,/of your lifeless face.) Eventually, in 1958, Norwegian toymaker Asmund Laerdal and Austro-Czech physician Peter Safar used it as the basis for "Rescue Anne," the first CPR training model.
    Aspic is a savory jelly made with meat stock that contains pieces of meat, seafood, or eggs and is set in a mold; and used to contain pieces of meat, seafood, or eggs; its name derives from its color, resembling that of
    the small, venomous snake called an asp (which Cleopatra used to commit suicide). Flies have been preserved in amber, vut the expression "flies in aspic" has become widespread as a simile for an anachronism. In Ted Hughes' unfinished "Crow," the eponymous hero was forced to cross a river carrying an ogress on his shoulders, but she gained weight en route until he could not move; to decrease her weight he had to answer her riddles. His answers to her questions, beginning with, "Who paid most, him or her?" and "Was it an animal, a bird, or a fish?" were wong but progressively better, until finally he was able to answer her seventh question: "Who gave most, him or her?" correctly -- "Bride and Groom." Then, "Like two gods of mud / Sprawling in the dirt, but with infinite care // They bring each other to perfection." When they reached the far shore, the ogress leaped onto the bank, transformed into Crow's intended bride. "Jour-Nuit" is French for "Day/Night."

  2. Antevasin is Sanscrit for "One who lives on the border." When Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of "Eat, Pray, Love," was living in an ashram she discovered the word. In her words, "It indicated a person who had left the bustling center of worldly life to go live at the edge of the forest where the spiritual masters dwelled. The antevasin was not one of the villagers anymore – not a householder with a conventional life. But neither was he yet a transcendent – not one of those sages who live deep in the unexplored woods, fully realized. The antevasin was an in-betweener.... He lived in sight of both worlds, but looked toward the unknown. And he was a scholar."


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