Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Cancelled Due To Total Lack of Funding"

On Vacuum Days:




Asstd. Directors & Managers of Arts Organisations Perform Pathetic Pseudo-Victorian Dances of Faux Gratitude
Fawning, Bowing, Slobbering & Scraping the Cobblestones With Their Filthy Caps
as Tourists Look On in Delight, Throwing Coins at the Capering Artists
‘Gawd Bless Yew All Kinde Genlemen, We Are Evrr,
Evver So Gwateful for Yr Patronage’
& Etc.

This is, of course, about the massive Arts Council cuts that will affect all kinds of people in the UK, which - since they funding at all - they're naturally upset about. 

I'm just wondering what funding sources we have in India that's comparable. I also want an agency towards which I can direct my indignation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Holi Night



Thursday, March 17, 2011

'not speech but more silence'

Yes, things have been quiet here recently and are likely to remain this way in the foreseeable future. I'm saving the whys for later, for the ritual blog anniversary post which seems like the appropriate occasion for such a thesis.

For now, though, this: that the apparent compression of events and the speed of their occurence, both in the world and at home, requires not speech but more silence*.

Therefore no links either. Just the quiet reassurance of my arrival only to announce my continued departures.

Or something.

*In an inversion of an earlier use of these words.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Boat's Afloat!

Drunken Boat #13 is now online, and I have a poem in it. But read it not just for that, but the rest of the poetics section, and for the slant/sex special, as well as the regular sections.

(now I can breathe again.)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Kabir by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

In the March issue of Poetry, AKM's translations of Kabir. Here's 'Chewing Slowly':

Chewing Slowly

god my darling
do me a favour and kill my mother-in-law
             —Janabai, tr. Arun Kolatkar
Chewing slowly,
Only after I’d eaten
My grandmother,
Two brothers-in-law,
And father-in-law
(His big family included)
In that order,
And had for dessert
The town’s inhabitants,

Did I find, says Kabir,
The beloved that I’ve become
One with.

Translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

 In his introductory essay, AKM says: 
An authentic Kabir poem, in the thousands attributed to him, may never be found, nor does it matter. If you catch the spirit, anyone can write an authentic Kabir poem. Innumerable anonymous poets have done so in the past and continue to do so even today, adding their voices to his. A researcher in Rajasthan in the nineties looking for Kabir songs in the oral tradition came across one that used a railway metaphor and English words like “engine,” “ticket,” and “line.” Asked how Kabir could have known these words, the singer replied that Kabir, being a seer, knew everything. In “To tonsured monks,” too, Kabir knows everything, including a Jamaican sect and the name of a London publishing house.


One day we imagine we have to cut the Jerul down because its branches look dead. Another day we imagine we see hard nubs all along the branch but we're not sure, not even when the tree is so close to the window we could touch the leaves - if it had any.

Then one day, the leaves burst out and they grow every day, faster even than small children, and - if you but had the patience and the eyes of a stop-motion camera - you could see them change shape and colour and fill out the blank spaces on the branches.

brown-green=shiny new

Seconds earlier there was a bird. Here is the evidence.

New leaves for old