The Panther

July 13, 2010 1 comment

The Panther
— Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Douglas Pinson)

His worldview from the constantly moving bars
Has become predictable, boring and cannot hold
Anything more. The black cat sees a
Thousand bars, and beyond the bars, nothingness.

As he paces again and again in cramped circles,
The movement of his powerful, athletic strides
Is like a ritual dance circling a core
In which a mighty will is engulfed in stone.

Only now and then the curtains of each pupil
Lift, slowly–. An image, a sound enters in,
Rushes down through the tensed, locked and waiting
Muscles, plunges straight into the heart and disappears.

I came across this translation on Spinoza Blue

Categories: poetry Tags: , , ,

So, you want to be a writer?

March 1, 2010 13 comments

This is intended as a note to self.  

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

– Charles Bukowski

The smokers argument

February 12, 2010 2 comments

“Smoking kills you.”

Living kills you.”

Categories: me Tags:

On children

February 8, 2010 4 comments

Khalil Gibran was a wise man. An excerpt from ‘The prophet’.

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Categories: poetry Tags: , , ,

When New York slept.

January 25, 2010 3 comments
Translated by Thumbelina from the original (see video at the end)
When it was time for New York to sleep, loneliness abounded and the fog grew
and the wind got off the ship and walked on the shores.
Within these 4 glass walls, my candle and I
what loneliness, what torture.
With words like lullabies, you aren’t here to lull me to sleep
nor to wake me in the morning with coffee and a kiss
nor to remove the mote of dust from my eye
nor to soothe the confusion in my mind
Me here, you there, in this loneliness the minutes become years, I wonder why
And why have we become an explanation for the saying ” the sky’s here, the blue’s there”
In my calendar, my pen writes your name a hundred times
and is your name honey that ants surround it as soon as I do
even though the earth is cold, this moment my winter becomes hot summer
but the moment you come where I am, the heat wave becomes ice
Categories: poetry Tags: , , , ,

We, the living.

January 18, 2010 5 comments

Leo Igwe over at Culture Kitchen has an interesting post about the human condition and why we are the way we are, in an African context. An excerpt:

The Nigerian author, Ben Okri in his book, A Way of Being Free, said, “There are many ways to die, and not all of them have to do with extinction. A lot of them have to do with living. Living many lies . Living without asking questions. Living in the cave of your own prejudices. Living the life imposed on you, the dreams and codes of your ancestors”

Life boils down to choices. Whether informed or uninformed, with foresight or hindsight, the choices you make determine what kind of life you lead. It is important however that you make the choices and not let the choices make you! This is slightly paradoxical but what I am getting at is a desire for lifelong agility of mind. The ability to absorb new ideas, new perspectives and change when I encounter something “better”. This is the only way to be free, truly free. Like the axolotl which remains in its larval stage forever, I want my brain to be 18 till I die!

Axolotl

This is probably an adult, or maybe not :)

Categories: life, me

Enlightenment and shyte

January 12, 2010 11 comments

im’ma go away to a deserted island
and read and think and write and shyte
and then there’ll be a thunderbolt
and enlightenment will be mine

meh, thats not how it works,
enlightenment is shyte, overrated and all,
its a dark world, nobody gives a shyte about you!
so what if you want to be the ubermensch?

shyte, shyte, shyte, shyte, shyte!
how shall i make my choices!
tranquilo, tranquilo, silencio, silencio
no hay banda, no hay orquestra, it is all an illusion,

what people will come, what places will come,
will they bring ideas? will they bring peace?
or is it just a kaleidoscope that moves us all in turn?
this restless wanderer will soon find out.

Categories: me, poetry Tags: , , ,
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