Monday, January 22, 2018

Akash Sinha writes

To feel the burn of the fag end of the cigarette,

When you oscillate between nether worlds and waking life

Smelling the sweet camphor of self-destruction.

How many recorded tapes did John smuggle from multi universes?

A man must regularly conduct Soul audits, like the good clerk among the disarray of his trashed room and pungent pizza boxes where ants march.

Emily used to hide Polaroid pictures in her push up bra. She was shy and every other college party made a drinking game out of her. She pasted yellow stick notes reading social anxiety disorder on her head.

Emily’s freckles and braces were sacred geometry. She was fond of crayons and rabbits.

Cough syrup soothed her soul, pink codine oceans drowned her feelings. Xanax bars were her best friends.

The misfits of nowhere town always rode bicycles every evening. John, Emily and the boy who never spoke.

On prime time television they sold us happiness, on news channels they sold hope.

But the darn infomercials made every thirty five year old want to blow their brains in nowhere town. Dear lord why were they so were long?  They made time go slow and botoxed blondes sold vacuum cleaners. Vacuum cleaners to clean up the muck on our souls or 30 day money back guarantee.

Dad is getting old now. Whenever I call him, all I can hear is heavy breathing.

My dysfunctional family is a breaking ice berg. All of us are drifting apart. Into mortgages, loneliness, and communication break downs.

Some mornings the pigeons comfort me. Maybe God will hear me out today. So I call him everyday. The call operator says due to call overload your call has been kept next in line.

Once an old lady knitting sweaters on a park bench told me “Son keep dialing God, it takes a helluva time, but my call got answered. He spoke to me."

Obese rodents peek out of foul drains, the whiskey bottles are broken, the heroin addicts are nodding in alleys and ambulances ply the street all night in nowhere town.

In this energetic noise rock arena, tongue pierced punks and back alley greasy sex parlours everything is circular.

In this town of bounced cheques and fat legal sharks there is an old Chinese man who has achieved perfect equanimity.

Free from craving and aversion he just cooks noodles all day. Illuminated and peaceful he never gets entangled in himself unlike his noodles.

But he is a nobody in nowhere town.
 Vincent Van Gogh: "Portrait of Pere Tanguy." 1887.
 Portrait of Père Tanguy -- Vincent van Gogh


  1. Julien François Tanguy was a paint grinder who sold art supplies and paintings. He was one of the 1st to try to sell van Gogh's work. His jovial demeanor and enthusiasm for artistry and artists exuded what van Gogh referred to his Buddha-like quality. Tanguy took paintings as payment for paints, shared his food and money with artists in need, and showed their paintings with pride. Émile Bernard said that entering his shop in Montmartre was like "visiting a museum." Van Gogh painted him 3 times. The ist one, done in the winter of 1886/87, was mostly brown, with a touch of red on his lips and green on his apron. Later in 1887 he began experimenting with brighter colors, such as red against green and orange against blue. The other 2 portraits from that year had him sitting in front of a colorful wall of Japanese prints. The 1st of these only took 31 minutes to complete, the 2nd one, illustrating the poem, was more advanced in terms of style, skill, and color, and it integrates the Japanese and Impressionist influences on the contemporary Parisian art community.

  2. Samuel Shlafrock invented the instant camera (a camera with a portable darkroom) in 1923, but the 1st commercially viable one was unveiled by Edwin Land in 1948, the year after he introduced instant film. The Polaroid was one of the great financial successes of its day, but Land's firm went bankrupt in 2008 due to the widespread use of digital cameras.

    Xanax is the trade name for Alprazolam, a benzodiazepine anxiolytic used as a potent, short-acting tranquilizer. It is commonly used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder, but its use may lead to increased risk of suicide. It was introduced by the Upjohn Company in 1981 (now part of Pfizer, one of the world's largest pharmaceuticals).

    Botulinum toxin A is marketed as Botox; its injection is the most common type of cosmetic operation, and the global market of botulinum products is expected to reach $2.9 billion this year. In 1820 poet/physician Justinus Kerner gave the 1st complete description of clinical botulism and suggested that the toxin might have therapeutic uses, but the bacterial source was not discovered until 1895, by Émile van Ermengem. During World war I, Carl Lamanna and James Duff investigated the weaponization of the toxin, and it has continued to be developed by bioterrorists. Inspired by Daniel Drachman’s work with chicks at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Alan B Scott injected botulinum toxin into monkey extraocular muscles; a few picograms induced paralysis that was confined to the target muscle, had long duration, and showed no side-effects. After developing techniques for freeze-drying, buffering with albumin, and assuring sterility, potency, and safety, Scott began manufacturing botulinum type A neurotoxin (Oculinum ["eye alihner"] in his San Francisco lab, which in 1977 he injected to treat sufferers of strabismus, an eye muscle disorder. In 1989 Actavis (now Allergan) began marketing the product as Botox; in the same year Sacramento, California, plastic surgeon Richard Clark received approval for cosmetic application, based on his experiments treating forehead asymmetry caused by left-sided forehead nerve paralysis caused by facelifts. In 1992 the Canadian ophthalmologist/dermatologist team Jean and Alistair Carruthers observed that if patients who suffered from blepharospasm (abnormal eyelid twitches or contractions) received injections around the eyes and upper face, their facial glabellar lines (“frown lines” between the eyebrows) decreased; it was this discovery that initiated the widespread cosmetic use of the toxin.


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