Writing About My Love Affair

Writing about used booksI have been writing about books every now and then, books I am reading, books I wish to read.

Back when I was a student, and sometimes did not know where the next meal would come from, I would still buy books. Books sold by weight on Indian pavements, because in those days in India they wasted nothing, and I could not afford shiny new books.

But now, when I can afford to buy any book I might possibly want, used books still call to me.

I tried to write about this love affair (in prose, mind you!) but I can’t help it, I think each books speaks to me in verse, in words which are garbled prayer and temptation,  so here goes (sigh, again, “a poem”!!!! Rick, you are laughing, aren’t you?)

Thumbed, dog-eared,
cover torn in places
names written, forgotten
crossed out, passed on.

I come with a tang
of lazy afternoons,
of mildewed bookshelves
falling apart,
of cheap colognes
on a young man
looking for a start,
of pungent desires
shakily denied,
salted airs in a
pickle factory where
I almost died,
of this dusty pavement
where I am to be sold
made into packets, bags,
my story untold.

Come pick me up
take me with you
and you shall know
of whispered confessions,
innuendos, half-written
poems, and shattered
dreams, as I talk
to you and you listen
with your eyes closed and
an open heart.

For my best secrets
were not printed
on my body
but written
into my soul
by all these years
I spent waiting,
waiting for you,
my love.

Writing About Guilt

Thinnking about death and final momentsOh, there she is! Must go up to her! Is that milk I smell? She does look like she has something in her hand…yes, yes, slurp, it is milk! Come closer, come closer! Oh I am so hungry and this thing at my neck pulls so! I know I stink, girl, but just come closer so I can have a go at that bowl. Come nearer, nearer! Ok, now!

It is silly how useless these legs are, I can drag along so fine with these on the front, but how about having a pair to shove me up at the back too, like my brothers and sisters? Never mind, never mind, I will get to it in time, can I have some of that milk, please, now??

Ok…sigh..that was good! Now why does she look so down? Say something! I like it when you say things, I don’t understand them one bit, but I like the sound. Reminds me of my mum. I like how you touch my head too, I know you avoid the back because I have been sitting around in my own shit, but you see I can’t pull up my behind at all! I try, I try, see how I try! Oh look! I managed a bit! Oh no! I fell down again! Don’t look so low, I will manage, I will!

So you are going to do that washing thing? Why so early today? Usually you do it when I get my food next. I like that food: all that yellow and white fluffy stuff, very smelly, but nice! Ok, now, I hate this cold, why do you have to put me in water? There is not even enough sun yet! I like the way you pick me up tho, by the scruff of my neck, like mum used to.

Not like that monster boy who picked me up, making that awful sound looking really happy, just before he dropped me. I used to be able to move all my four legs before then. But when I fell, I was hurt, oh so hurt. I cried, I yelped, because it hurt. I was scared already because he had taken me away from my mum and my siblings, but now it hurt!

There, you got me all clean, I like the smell of that stuff you put on me. Your hand smells nice too, I like telling you how nice you are by licking your hand, because I don’t know how else to say it. It is like when you pat my head, and say Feenix, Feenix! That’s me right? I know when you say Feenix, you are calling me! You are saying something about me right now!

I have to call you something too, but I know you don’t understand anything when I talk to you, you just stroke me softer. So I lick your hand. You make a funny, happy sound then! But why aren’t you making that sound today? And why is your face all wet? Pick me up, pick me up, so I can lick you clean! I don’t stink right now, so you can pick me up!

Now that I am full, lets play! I cant move much I know, but you can bring your hand near and I can try biting at it, like I always do! Such fun! And such a nice day it is too! I’d like to go a bit further, but this thing at my neck you tie me with! Ah, can’t you just loosen it a little bit? Let’s go, come on, please!

Hey you are picking me up, what fun! There, there, I know you don’t look too good today. That’s alright. I will lick you better. Hey your face doesn’t taste alright, all salty, what is this wet thing all over it? It looks like water, but ugh, it tastes bad! Never mind, I will dry it up for you, there girl! How about some more milk then, eh? I can do with some more! I like it when there is nothing on my neck, so wonderful, so free!

So you are putting me into the basket? We are going to meet that man eh? I don’t like it when he pokes me though, he tries to make me stand, and I hate it when you look so low when I fall. I want to stand, I do! I will too, you’ll see!

Ok we are there. I don’t like that table. I feel scared, don’t put me down, don’t!

Ok, nasty man go away. Give me back to her!

Wait, girl, why are you going away? Don’t leave me and go, please, please, please! I am calling to you, are you deaf? You always come when I cry, don’t leave me with the nasty man!

Oh, he hurt me, he put that sharp thing in me! The nasty man hurt me! Come back!

I feel sleepy now, I feel so sleepy…come back, come back!

Writing About Poetry Dug up in Singapore for Rick Mobbs

When it comes to poetry, I admit I am a little cynical. I write poems, but they are not really things I’d rather put up on a blog.

Rick Mobbs, who is an artist by profession, but a painter and poet at heart has asked me more than once to share with him the fiction I have been writing. Uh, I thought, why not poetry? Maybe go the whole hog and make a complete fool of myself?

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Writing About an Italian Song on Complicated Love

I love this Italian song on YouTube by Giorgia, can’t get it out of my head—- one of those delightful, hummy little numbers. It is all about Love and the various things lovers do, feel, think and compromise on, but all in a song that somehow makes even the most unpleasant things poetic.

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Writing about love: Phoenix


Phoenix is a month-old puppy.

Phoenix cannot walk.

Phoenix was not born that way.

Dad went and picked him up one cold night, after a neighbor left him near our home. Phoenix’s mum was apparently a stray, and the neighbor’s son had picked up the puppy.

The son broke Phoenix’s back, and so the father left the puppy near our home hoping “its mother would come and pick it up”.

My dad could not stand the puppy’s crying at night and picked it up….only to discover the broken back in the morning. The vet said the puppy had permanent spinal nerve injury, would never walk and it would be best to put it out of its misery. My dad, trying hard to be a realist, agreed.

The puppy was euthanised, and the vet gave it a dose that would kill a Rottweiler, because it kept waking up.

My dad left the bag hanging outside, and went to find a spade to give the poor mite a decent burial.

But when he came back, the bag was moving……and a groggy pup was peeping out! So the name Phoenix was born.(The vet nearly fainted when he saw Phoenix at his clinic the next day.)

Phoenix is full of beans and tries to drag himself everywhere on his forelegs. My dad has found a new occupation in his retired life: how to keep a handicapped puppy clean—because Phoenix pees and poos and rolls about in the mess with gay abandon, and does not act handicapped at all.

He has to be restrained with a soft cloth, because the vet says dragging himself around would give him a dangerously sore butt. Not that Phoenix cares.

My dad who had never done much to keep his own progeny clean, is found hovering over Phoenix all the time. He puts the pup in warm water to try and make it swim, massages its lifeless hind legs four times a day with medicines, takes it for a nerve injection everyday(the vet treats Phoenix for free and refuses to take money after being asked a dozen times) and so on.

Dad is extremely proud of Phoenix because he licks up the medicine without complaint, and has a wolf’s appetite for milk-soaked biscuits. (When I think of sheer will to live, I can’t think of anyone stronger than our tiny Phoenix:).

phoenix eating

Phoenix has now started wagging his tail in greeting, and moving his hind legs very, very little, which has Dad in absolute throes of happiness.

Love has created many miracles.

Though the vet is not hopeful, I have a feeling Phoenix would walk—he has already come too far not to.

Phoenix to the vet

Writing about love

I went for a walk today, because had to make a call and the phone gave up on me. It was early, and people were out to get their bit of exercise, sun and companionship. As I sauntered along, I saw this rather serious looking old couple, straining to keep pace with each other, both actually walking very slowly, hand in hand, both definitely past their seventies.I do not know the secret to their success, I do not know if they thought of it as such a success, biding their time one day after the other, hand in hand.

But there has to be a secret. And I knew I had to write about it, if only because writing it out would sort out some things inside my head.

I thought about my parents, the things they tried to tell me, the stories they passed on. But by the time we begin to realise that our parents were so right in some of the things they said, we have our children already who disagree with what we have to say. That is the way of the human race, I suppose, of our evolution. But I wish there were certain recipes we all learnt, as unbiased, axiomatic truth.

I wish we learned that there is no replacement for human compassion and understanding, and ultimately, love. I wish we learned how to put others before us sometimes and not always think of ourselves alone. That, being human, we all need a tangible expression of the love people bear us. That all of us need consistency from others and the only way to get it is to be it.

I somehow cannot imagine love being born. To me, it is like an endless river flowing into itself.

All life forms drink from it. All of us drink from it, and some of us do so in excess. Becoming drunk, we want to flow with it. Some of these drunken spirits become Christ or the Prophet, and some Romeo and Juliet. But the human frame of body and mind is not capable of handling the excess, so we crucify Christ and let Romeo and Juliet perish.

I realize that intense relationships have to mellow down with time or are else unsustainable. To survive, they have to end in parting or as in the extreme and well-cited cases end in demise of one or the other.

A mating of souls does not allow the bodies to survive for long as these are used up as candles to the flame, and the flame is never stronger than when the candle is at its shortest.

So we cannot all have intense loves in our daily lives; not all of us are bestowed intensity and that is good for the survival of human beings as a race.

Imagine all of us being twenty-one and killing ourselves for love!

We cannot survive it to our eighties and still be madly in love, without the aid of some form of tragedy or deprivation.

So what do that bent old man and the upright lady beside him feel as they walk side by side?

Is it a form of habit? Is it getting used to the other person as one gets used to one’s favourite armchair? I would love to ask, I but am sure there are no correct answers that hold true for each one of us. We have to inividually work out our answers, our desires, our ambition, our wishes, our fondest dreams.

For me, I for sure hope I get to walk with someone I have cherished when I am eighty and the sun on my back seems younger than I am.