October 28, 2010 § 5 Comments
so, it’s that time of the night.
you know that time of night when the only sounds you hear are canned laughter coming from dark hostel rooms and the comforting thud thud thud of the local insomniac running up and down the corridor. that time of the night when your dinner is a vaguely pleasing but distant memory, and you’re feeling all relaxed, and you’re lying back and pressing your cold water bottle to your temples and letting your mind wander.
yes, you let your mind wander first, and before you know it, it’s your fingers. your fingers running away with themselves. you know exactly what’s going to happen next, and you’re already feeling the familiar unhappy inevitability of it all knotting sickly in your stomach, mixed up with a little excitement, just a little excitement, just enough excitement to make you feel guilty for feeling it.
your fingers trace that familiar path, making just the right pauses, pushing just the right buttons; perhaps this is what they call muscle memory. you settle back and sigh at the predictability of your fecklessness and in the joy of anticipation.
two a.m. comes and goes amidst fantasies of beating, whipping, folding, kneading, slowly, surely, firmly, until the slow, sure, dramatically inevitable rise to, oh my god…
CAKE. CAKE. CAAAAKE.
why is it called ‘cake’ anyway? ‘cake’ is so flat, so pedestrian, so jane, so tina, so dora, so ambujam. cake needs to be called Lord Cake of Everything, or Sri Sri Cakeshwarnath Ji. or CAAAH-KE. (with a reverential breathy ‘ake’ followed by something suitably pious, like ‘om’ or ‘amen’.)
cake dreams every goddamn night. when will they stop?
(ETA – it’s mostly cake, but it’s not just cake. i read recipes for everything. i’ve spent a frightening number of hours drooling over recipes for turkey brining and bacon rashering and beef jerkification and chicken manchurianisation; even – heaven forgive me – ‘fusion’ avial. it appears hunger is free of all propriety, religion and conscience.)
October 26, 2010 § 7 Comments
legal writing is often shit, not because the discipline demands it as much as circumstances do. these circumstances are created by flaws in the human psyche – some would say indian psyche – and pessimists therefore argue that these circumstances are permanent; inevitably, so will be the shitty writing. which is to say, we treat drafting as a pay-per-word service rather than the exercise in minimalism it should be. someone once told me to look at a contract not as a series of dead clauses, but living evidence of very real human anxieties; a sort of freeze-frame of the eternal conflict between trust and doubt. but here at least the variables are few. possibilities are always clear even if the probabilities aren’t. drafting seems to get easier with practice, and if you do it often enough, you are seduced into thinking that every feeling can always be reduced into words.
but articulation is only the measure of the lightness with which you may dance above and around that feeling. articulation is how effortless you make it look, while your black sadness sits quietly in the room, casting a shadow as long as your life. articulation is the elegance of avoidance.
but if you can summon the effort to stop and really look at your sadness, and then the impossible courage to write exactly what you see, why, that is poetry.
sylvia plath did a lot of that^, but then she stuck her head in the oven – and this is why articulation almost always wins over truth.
i’ve dropped the write-by-theme plan; i’ve decided that if i wanted to work that hard over something, i would quit blogging and do so. for now, the rambles will stay for as long as they continue to relax me.
October 23, 2010 § 5 Comments
a little thought on the matter suggests that the reason i get so restless with blogs is that i tire of my own rambling very quickly (it’s not polite to snort). aside from switching brains with someone less rambly, the only way to fix this is to play by different rules this time. so i’m going to take up a suggestion i never thought i would.
someone recently suggested to me that a good way to step the game up would be to restrict what i write about to one single issue. i am the queen of digressions, what. not to be too dramatic or anything, but i’m going to be pulling an icarus if you cut my digressionary wings off for good.
so since i lack the testicular fortitude to restrict themes for good, i’m going to see if i can do it for a limited number of posts at least. say, three. three posts is reasonable. i’m going to pick a theme word and restrict posts to this theme.
i just riffled through a dictionary and stuck my finger on a random word. the word is ‘mangosteen’.
this was a shitty plan.
October 21, 2010 § 2 Comments
well no other tragedies in this post, to be very completely accurate. just the one. the one where google is smug. one could substitute ‘blase’ for smug, but i suspect ‘blase’ has an accent thing going on and i don’t know how to put it there. i have decided that i am not going to do the cheap thing and google for it, and then copy paste from there.
i also just screwed up the grammar of that^. how does one switch from ‘one’ to ‘i’ grammatically? what sort of person uses ‘one’ for ‘i’ anyway?
(i am itching to make a a suitable boy reference here, but i am impeded by the really incoherent way that reference is framing itself in my mind.)
mandatory digressions? check!
i have a little smiley lurking at the bottom of my page. i almost missed it, it was a little jolt of surprise and happy i felt when i found it. i assumed it came with the template. then i forgot about it. then i found it here, lurking inside the tag cloud in the column on the right; i figured the template must be by the same person – it isn’t. so i decided it was a wordpress thing, and i’ve already decided that wordpress is eccentric so i took this as evidence for a good sort of eccentricity, rather than the i-will-be-completely-anti-intuitive-because-im-a-nutjob! sort of eccentricity***. then of course i googled it, because im not smart enough to preserve the ignorance (and so the romance), and google was smug and knowledgeable.
and now i am just sad.
October 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
the ‘common cold’ just won’t do, i’m afraid.
this cold makes me want to sneeze violently and fall asleep for a hundred years, all at once; still my nose aches at the thought of sneezing again. indeed you know your nose is too big if it’s big enough to have joint aches of its own. further, i am feeling cheated that the depth of my suffering is not sufficiently described by the name of the illness.
and since i am feeling the frump, of course i am looking..wearing.. hell, i am living the frump, for what am i if not a seasoned maker of bad things to worse ones?
watch me rock the squished sleepyface and the sexy sleep-mohawk. oh damn right, i am frumpalicious.
i need to finish the last 80 pages of baudolino. i’m wondering if there’s a the liar-esque con towards the end – i really will be surprised if there is no con – but if it’s there i suspect it’ll be gentler than that one. i feel like i should go read the liar again, but it’s a lot of work and there’s not enough time. google says britain calls baudolino ‘the trickster god’, and ting-ting-ting bells are sounding. faint recognition is happening.
….and her love of tamora pierce (that blogpost) comes finally to mind, and i feel all smiley and glowy because i sense that there will be new books in december. this is finally the right time for and the right opener to tamora pierce. however – and that happy feeling is going away, alas! – something tells me this is not the sort of book one buys off the pavement. this is going to be a glass walled, airconditioned, sit-in-our-beanbag, drink-at-our-cha-bar kind of wallet-denudement, and wow, denudement is a clumsy, ugly word.
well, that was a buzzkill.
so what one does now, is one trusts in fate, or that nutjob cousin of hers that lives in bombay, and one hopes that everything will align itself so that soon in a warm town by the sea, a littleness of money will change hands for a muchness of yellowed books.
what is so cool about having read baudolino right after wolf hall was to be able to see how very close frederick comes to wolf hall’s henry viii. and by that i mean nothing so broad as a character-comparison, i mean actual, honest-to-goodness dialogue. if you were mean and chose to employ your 20/20 hindsight to stomp all over my buzz, you could say of course that would happen, it’s the same play of forces isn’t it, a state trying to pull away from the church,of course they would say the same things.
and perhaps they would, and sure you’re right, but it was still fantastic to see in action.
i excitedly wrote a lot more here about this, but i took it down. it just looked like i’d sneezed semicolons all over the page, because, y’all, i’m apparently too sexy for sentence construction when i have a cold.
so when excitement abates and articulation decides to make an appearance – and of course, once i’ve gotten through all of the book – and passed my semester – did i just jinx it? – is this daisy chain the new nested parentheses? – so, yeah, when calmness happens i will be back to see patterns where undoubtedly the whole internet has already seen them – and you, phantom reader in the smug glasses has already predicted their being there – still i will come here and make my own discoveries.
then, inevitably, i will give in to curiosity and google my babies, and – this is also inevitable – find a scholarly article (or a hundred) on the subject.
i read srinivasa ramanujam suffered similar klpd (similar in all respects but scale, of course), and he reacted by throwing a tantrum and then doing something else genius, and i’m thinking – sounds like a plan! :)
i’ve decided to include a links page on this… is this a website? anyway. a links page because i am stunned by the idea that i can have more pages in here. for free! (*shower of candy* ) but the links page will not list blogs, i think. for now, anyway. people are shady and may check trackbacks, and right now, you zitfaced, snotnosed reflection in the mirror, i like having just you around.
October 18, 2010 § 1 Comment
so this is what this feels like.
i’m this close to taking an anti-capitals policy on this blog. this is too quiet and caps are terribly loud. and just a leetle bit pretentious.
or is this conscious forswearing of capitals pretentious, like banksy pretentious, if this funny twisted world has made the likes of banksy pretentious – or precious – is there a difference? – only if you’re twelve or younger – and then it’s a hard sell – is that freudian? – isn’t everything? – that’s just cheap – jung would agree – jung can’t pronounce his own name – it’s german, actua – ENGLISH, motherfucker! do. you. speak it!!!
what sort of culture retrospectively makes graffiti art? what does it do to punk music, to steal from it its punk and make it your chihuahua? the mainstream must be the dirtiest by definition, say lao tzu and m.c. mehta v. union of india (the 2nd ganga case), and the main stream is rather white, isn’t it. oh yes, banksy’s a witticism now, banksy’s on tshirts, and the internet says white people like him.