a long time passing…

April 28, 2009

Dear Reader:

Once again I write to you in the first person. It is the tense that I am most contented to converse and share my thoughts with you. I write with trepidation and a sense of urgency that something bad comes my way. The creditors call me – I feel the beast of fear awake in my belly – it turns and churns within me. Happiness has been eluding me for some time now, and peace of mind got up and left me high and dry, catapulting me into a deep abysmal depression where I have been left, broken and forgotten.

Again I turn to Leonard Cohen’s Strange Music for some form of solace – I came across the following thoughts of words – I would like the honour of sharing these with you.


      I said. Because it is so horrible between us I will go and stop Egypt’s bullet. She said. That’s beautiful. Then I can commit suicide and the child falls into strangers’ hands. Great, I said. Yug, yug, yug, she said. What you did to me, I said. The lonely, we said. The nights of hands on ourselves. Your unkindness, we said. Your greed. Your unkindness. Your bitter tongue. Give me time. You never learn. Your ancestors. My ancestors. Fuck you, I said. You shit. Stop screaming. I can’t stand it. You can’t stand anything. Nobody can live like this. In front of the child. Let him learn. This is no good. Yer fuckin right it’s no good. This kitchen was once beautiful. Oil lamps, order, the set table. Sabbath observed. That’s what I want. You don’t want it. You don’t know what I want. You don’t know anything about me. You never did. Not in the beginning. Not now.
      In the realms where this marriage was sealed, where the wedding feast goes on and on, where Adam and Eve face one another, the foundations are faultless and secure, your beast’s hair flares like black fire upward and your breasts, now in maidenhood, now in motherhood, draw down my face, our hunger blessed by sun and moon, a ring of dancers round the house where within the room is hid, where within the bed is undone, whereupon the hunger’s joined, where within the hunger speaks precise instructions to the chosen ones who cannot leave each other.”


        This marriage is locked. It is impossible to enter. It is a marriage and operates like one, healing itself the moment it is condemned. In every house there is this marriage which cannot be explained. In our day it appears fragile and easily violated, but it is still the profoundest initiation, and one into which no stranger can intrude.


I went down to the port with my wife. On the way down I accused her of continuing her relentless automatic assault on the centre of my being.  I knew this was not wise.  I only meant to rap her on the knuckles and direct her attention to her habitual drift toward bitchiness but I lost control. There is no control in these realms. I became a thug. I attacked her spirit. Her spirit armed itself and retaliated massively. I think we were talking about valises or which of us travelled the lightest. A truce was investigated briefly by shabby deputies neither of which had the authority to begin the initiative. You always carry something extra, a shopping bag, something of string and paper that can’t be checked. I’m glad you didn’t pack for me. You always slow me down. I can’t be an acrobat when you’re around. You’re sandpaper. I can’t be a dancer. I’m dead when you’re around. You kill. It is your nature. Observe your nature. The shoemaker looked up at us as we passed his open doorway. This humiliation made me furious. I shoved a razor blade into her nerves. Her eyes changed colour. This was done by saying Jesus Christ, quickening my step slightly, minutely moving my jaws, rejecting the essence of her totally and forever. If she went down quickly I would nurse her back to love in time to get her blessings before the boat came in. But why should I, she didn’t rub my back when I threw my shoulder out, even when I asked her three times. And why should she since I had defeated her smile over and over. And why should I since she was the enemy of my freedom and the smiling moon over my gradual death. And why should she since I hated her because her beauty died. And why should I because there must be a woman in Jerusalem or beside me on the airplane. Half asleep Old John saw us but it was no humiliation since he didn’t recognize me anymore and I no longer greeted him. Captain Mad Body saw us but it didn’t matter because he was mute and crazy and lived on the port and knew the shames of everyone. We were on the port, in plain sunlight between the masts and the shops. The shit piled up in the One Heart which is the engine of our energy. We are married: there is only one heart. On common ground the armoured spirits tried to embrace but they both fell down paralyzed. Pain removed the world. They felt for the organs of sex but they were gone. There was no war, no peace, no world, the punishment of marriage spoiled. There is no Armageddon here. And fuck you. And fuck you. The horn, the boat was coming. I would have to travel without her blessing in the collapsed world. I won’t accuse you of ruining my trip. I won’t accuse you of ruining your absence. The Kamelia came in, its white decks above us, or was it the Portokalios Ilios. I know the name of a boat or two.  I always hide her beauty from myself until it is too late to praise her for it. Ropes were flying, uniforms flashing, everywhere haste advised and the threat of lost time. I stared at her as she became beautiful and calm. I would not get the blessing. The journey had an unclean start. And she must carry stillborn blessings up the hill.”

Dear reader, thank you for spending this time with me and sharing in the thoughts of a poet whose words have the uncanny ability to soothe the beast of fear. Once again I can sleep. I hope that you have found some solace and peace in these words also and that this time was well wasted…

D.R. Ramsundar