We were concerned with fragments. Little clouds that hung over cities.Fluffy cloud polygons that held promises of rain because the pied crested cuckoo said so on its northern journey. We went cuckoos over our tiny streams , the waters that ran below our feet. The fragment would fill whole streams.The very waters which our machines had probed tearing the earth’s intestines. The earth had blood then in white fine powder.Our feet are still in its prints.
The fragment hung lightly over our lake, tantalizing the city. It was a shapeless polygon that changed its shape like an amoeba., a single unicellular organism with deceptive false feet.By dusk he it became a shred of gray, a blood smear in the death of the sun.
In that day’s midnight I had to weave a poem around the spider that had fallen on my body and would crawl to a silky promise of my new clothes. I would scrub the crawly thing off and would watch it crawl on floor.
But in my poem I cannot spider-weave a tale about the spider’s instant death under unknowing lunch eating feet. In a poem I cannot dwell too much on a stray spider’s micro tragedy.
With good part of the moon eaten by a shadow of our earth mother, just now we espy in the east of sky stretchmarks like we find at night on our mother’s child soft tummy .
Now we see him back all of a piece grinning behind a waving coconut.
Back home our pony-tailed girls hopscotched four chalk squares. God, how pony tails ding-donged! May(a) I imagine you one of them. I wait for dusk to hide your black. Odd to see a black face in browns.
Now old girls play ,bald and ribald. Like you they feel they have won. The others think they have ,poor things.
(remembering Maya Angela’s poem Harlem Hopscotch)
What caused such a big tumult between you and vague other ,near the school’s rickety steps that it outlived you and other like museum in city’s history?
The only thing clear is tumult. All else about the faces is blur.
During the day the insects keep coming in from the sun. In the evening they come from the earth, fully donning their silken wings. Their cousins are our dear old mosquitoes sleeping on the trees in the day.They are waiting for the night to open in our silky mosquito nets with tiny holes like stars. When we sleep in our mosquito nets we live under a vast promontory of white cloth . A lone mosquito enters in between stars and sings its song near our eyes as we close our eyes.
Frankly we do not like mosquito songs. We prefer our own songs in the buzz of our mind. By the little songbirds in our skulls that keep fluttering their wings to drink nectar from our medulla .Our medulla is a deep red hibiscus flower meant for worship and prefers its own stock of buzz-songs . When the songbirds flutter their wings in the mid-air their wings sing a wind-song about the therapeutic effects of nectar .That is how it helps them stay afloat for long periods.
Tengo got down at the rail station of a town of cats. There was something secretive about the way the cats went about in the town, thanks to the rubber pads they had in their paws. Like them Tengo’s father was a cat with rubber feet and he made no noise when Tengo’s mother allowed her lover to suck her breasts. A brief moment that was the only picture of his mother in Tengo’s mind. Was that sucker his biological father?
When asked Tengo’s father said somebody had to fill the vacuum. When she would go away with the lover, he had to embrace the vacuum.
Vacuums are created by suction. And filled by creating new vacuums. Tengo has to embrace his own vacuum created after the truth of his birth is realized.
( Reading Haruki Murakami’s short story entitled “Town of Cats” )