I can melt in the warmth... Oh the joy!! Take me on the rockette to the sun..!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Remembering Macedonia. Chapter Five. Tropical Storm.

And we decided to leave. Leave behind this world of illusions and step out out and feel the earth beneath our feet and the breathless gasp of life clamped in our fists. The Great Renunciation. Just that, for all the life in me, I just couldn't place what there was to renounce in this joke of a world, in the first place.

The seven beer bottles had sweat in the humid midday air and left round pools of condensation on the cracked, ash-strewn wooden table. The air was choked with cigarette smoke and the sultry smell of scanty rain. Smoke and the funeral pyre of life as we knew it.
Nirvana. Parinirvana. All that was left was the divine rebirth into eternal time. The ashes scattered into those round pools of time.

I was sitting by the highway - my fraying linen shirt open to the breeze, my faded jeans soaking up the sun, my half-torn boots growling impatiently on the sand. I could see Alex walking down from the horizon, his shoulders held up, his feet striding over the incompetence of melancholy. The sun shone behind his back, and the breeze on my bare chest brought the tattered loneliness of lavender and Mac's perfumed hair.

While they stood in the alley, his head already swollen with cold beer and summer rain, he was assaulted by the very same scent that clawed through his senses and made his hair stand on end. He would have taken her then and there and lost himself in those shadowy groves of her hair. That scent of loneliness.
But they didn't speak a word. He brushed a lock of hair from her petal-pink ears, but his whisper came out as a sigh. He smiled, as his fingers drew a line down her cheek. But her face was drawn and her lips taut with the grimness of a stormy sea. Her eyes caught him in a distant silent stare - Midas and Medusa locked in this woven tapestry of fate.
It was not that she understood. But neither did she question. But those eyes were filled with such a density of resolution that it shocked and scared Alex for the only time in his life.
The black hole of desire. The singularity of dismal fate.
When he turned his back to her, his paces decided as always, Mac didn't keep staring on or drown the silence of her existence in long-drawn wails. She tied her hair back and vanished into the unreal brightness of the tropical day.

But waiting by a deserted highway, I heard tears that never came trickle down her face. Somewhere, far away, a tropical jungle would be battered and lashed by incessant torrential rain. Or maybe it wouldn't rain for a thousand years forth.

Alex was by my side now, his face lit up with the jubilation of life, and the freshness of every breath he spewed out into space. He gave me his arm and I picked myself up, shaking the dust off my jeans. The sun behind our backs; the night, the road and eternal life spilling out of the horizon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Remembering Macedonia. Chapter Four. Trailing Fingers and Rings of Smoke.

Those were heady days. The painfully white sun beat your head to a throbbing, pulsating mass and everything burnt with a brightness that hurt your eyes. The nights, sunk in the acrid stench of cashew liquor and the salivating smoke of hash, were as warm and swampy and nauseous as a hairy armpit.
I was never good with names . And those nights when I wasn't listening to Alex's myth of the constellations or shoving someone's face up a drainpipe, I would disappear and coalesce into some nameless dark alley whose existence in the world was heralded only by its putrid smell of sweat, dirt, smoke and piss. There, nameless women passed through my hands, their faces receding into the darkness of night and memory. Fuck that. Rather, I think i never cared to notice their faces or whisper out their names in the dark. All that mattered was the raucous odour of sweat and bad breath, the stale taste of smoke-stained lips, the greasy locks of hair clutched in my arm, and the rhythmic unison with which our bodies melted, moulded and moved.
As plastic as clay. As mechanical as a fucking locomotive. They often whispered that my name had more to do with my virility than my obstinacy.

But Alex was different. He had Mac. Macedonia, who filled his days with whispers and caprice. Macedonia, who filled his nights with the rhapsody of longing.
She was summer
And winter and the scent of
The thousand seasons in between
She was poetry
And the muse
Her ringing laughter
Of pleasant nights on a breezy beach
Her black hair
A tumultuous ocean at night
Where his fingers trailed
As they brushed her nape
The spray of ocean
And the scent of salt
And wheat and fresh-cut grass
Her breath on his neck
As she whispered and wept
Her voice soaking his face
In summer rain
Alex woke up when her half-moon eyes lit up like the rising sun. He slept among the enchanted lime-scented forest of her hair, that vineyard of dreams and memories and eternal childhood.

Mac, whose dreams gave birth to the days of the Buddha. Mac, whose bated breath was the distant rumble of cosmic rebirth. Mac, whose deep ocean eyes into which the icy glaciers would melt and spill over some day. Mac, whose fingertips felt the texture of time and yearning, loneliness and remembrance.

Yet, when Mac said she loved him, Alex McIntyre was benignly silent; his thin lips retreating into the masked serenity of his face and his eyes tracing the ringlets of smoke from a stubbed-out cigarette.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Remembering Macedonia. Chapter Three. Alexander McIntyre and the Question of Life.

Alexander McIntyre was the Buddha. I never doubted it for a moment. Knew it the moment I met him - those eyes locked in the perpetual state of oneness with the whole of being. Buddha's parinirvana. Alex was what the Buddha had achieved through his death. Knowledge. Wisdom. Cosmic bliss.

Alex had read every book, every line, written or thought by man. He never read to know more. He knew everything there was to know the moment he was born. He was nestled in the womb of the cosmos and weaned at the teats of the Milky Way.
He read to ascertain; to confirm the legitimacy of the anguished self-expression of troubled humanity. Every drop of ink ever spilt were merely drops of Alex's volatile blood, blotted up in paper before they vanished, were absorbed back into this cosmos of meaning. He was the illegitimate gran'dad of all human thought.

Alex was also the happiest and most self-content soul I ever met. His ears were tuned to picking up the resonant thrills of music of a windswept rainy night or a car screeching to a crash (door-frame shattering, windscreen imploding, et al). And when you looked into his eyes, you could hear the very veritable symphony of the Universe, from the drop of a pin to the birth of a star, playing blaring out loud like a cranked up transistor. He never had reason to be bored.

All the same, despite his self-restrained calmness, the Buddha understood the unassailable logic of life.
The world is full of sorrows.
Desires are the main cause of sorrows.
Sorrows can be ended by killing desires.
Desires can be killed by unravelling the illusory nature of the cosmos by following the Eight-fold Path.
Undesiring life. Life not to be spent attaching itself to ephemeral motives working towards illusory desires. A blind man grasping for a wisp of smoke.
The only reality of life lay within yourself. The twitch of a muscle, the salty sweat on your bare chest, the blood throbbing at your temple. And the undeniable reality of pain. And the irredeemable fact that our blood is alloyed with iron, and it is all so easy to rust over.

So, Alex and I lay countless nights, on concrete drainpipes and railway sleepers, breathing in the collective stench of humanity curdling the air, as we stared out into the sky connecting the stars. We did not need to speak. He drew the lines on the dark backdrop of the deep blue night sky, and the stars danced before the our eyes inebriated with hash and cheap country liquor. The stars recognized us by face. We, too, were two hapless beings shackled down on Earth by something as vainly unseeable and untraceable as gravity. Gravity... very grave indeed.

It was through this orchestra of the night sky, where I learnt about of Rembrandt and Plato, the Summer Solstice and the tapir, that I met the brightest star in the night sky. She was called Mac, Macedonia.

Remembering Macedonia. Chapter Two. The Glacier and the Jungle.

And Alex was standing at the door, half torn off its hinges. His summer blue eyes were locked on me, transfixed by this wild beast of dark and dreams and nightmares.

Blue cold eyes.
Distant planets in their orbs,
Or satellites in space
Watching everything unseen,
Clutched in place by those
Talon-like eyebrows.
Yet questioning.
Eyes too sharp,
Trained on reading
The blank eternities of space and meaning
That lay between the lines
Of the printed page.

I hated the gall of him. His questioning stare that seemed to lay me bare and dig claws and talons deep into my flesh and pull out my innards in some sort of grotesque pagan ritual sacrifice. The cold neutrality of the hard altar stone. Would just have walked over to him and pummelled his head so hard, all that would be left would be a cracked bone bowl of thick lukewarm porridge.
But those eyes knew too much. And beneath the self-controlled serenity those eyes knew what I was doing. They burnt with the same blue heat of the Bunsen burner and the alpine glacier.

I dropped that ragdoll of a head. Stamped the light out of it with one languid step of my heavy foot and felt the crunching sureness of dislocated teeth and pulverised bones. Reached out for the beer bottle on the table and walked over to Alex, meeting the icy glacier stare of his with the warm fetid swampy jungle of mine.

What followed, as they say, was the history of man.

Remembering Macedonia. Chapter One. The Colosseum of Dirt.

Still remember the day I first met Alex. My eyes were blurred by the sweat dripping off my brow... The warmth of fresh blood as it spilt down the side of my face... The very exuberant vivacity of life and living - sweat and blood. I was chewing my moustache - a thick black caterpillar - my mind locked in contemplation. Locked in my vice of a palm, Fernand-o-whatever-fucker, his head look small, inconspicuous, unimportant. He was knocked out already. But that greasy-with-sweat unimportant head of his posed a very important question - as important as life itself, to take the next breath or not. Bar table or beer bottle?

Chewing moustache, contemplating this vehement question, my eyes - blurred with sweat and blood and life - were scanning the wreckage I had left behind. A dozen broken tables and upturned chairs. Half a dozen or so slumped bodies, with faces blotched an shirts in shreds. Beer bottles lay shattered on the floor, blood mixing freely with alcohol and flowing down in dirty veins of grime. The lighting was dusky and the creaky fans croaked in a cacophony of applause.

I was the Roman gladiator striding over this Colosseum of dirt. I was Jimi-fucking-Hendrix smashing his guitar on the amps. . I was the stench of sweat wafting up in the tropical sun. I was the taste of mud spiked with cashew liquor.
Bucephalus (Bu, as they called me). Ox-headed. Obstinate. Black-maned. I was whatever the fuck you called life.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Leaving behind the track of memories
And dry leaves blowing in the dusty road,
I step out
Head out,
And soul-less.

The sweltering heat -
A sun as white as snow -
My eyes reddened
By the dust on the road;
My face, a mask of grime.

The road stretches forever.
Cutting across
Plains and palms,
Deserts and farms,
Railroads and dams,
Pains and balms,
Bhajans and psalms.
The road cuts through
Right and left,
Right and wrong,
Heaven and Earth.

The road is attempted immortality.
It never ends.
Its median lines
Never wavers.
The road is redemption.

The road was dug up
And leveled out
By eyes searching
Beyond the horizon.
And eyes, with regret,
Wanting not to look behind.

My eyes are burning
With the sweat
And heat
And a million colloidal dust particles
Peppering it
With the predictable unpredictability
Of Brownian motion.
No, they are not tears
Of sadness,
And worries.
No tears, no regrets

The cinematic silence is shuddered into the reality of dust, heat and acrid kerosene smoke as a 12-tonne truck pulls over; its brakes creaking in unison as it descends from Heaven or Hell or wherever on Earth it comes from. Its chrome grille gleams in the midday sun. Its orange face is as bright as fire.
The driver's name is Charon. He is blind. Not that it matters. The windscreen is caked with an inch of dust. All that matters is that, for a few shared cigarettes, he can drive you across to Oblivion.

Everyone makes that mistake.
Pinning spots down on maps
(Like insects to be dissected and have to be pinned down 'cause they may run away from scapels and spatulas and inquisitive human fingers.)
And pinning camp tents
And picnic baskets there
When you reach.
Jolly good holiday.
Without feeling
The dust in your eyes,
Grime on your face
And the taste of exhaust fumes
Of the thousand cars
Which never stopped.

The road is the destination.
The road is where it ends
And where it begins.
Like life itself.
There is nothing outside the road
Or beyond it.

A few threadbare memories
And dry leaves scattered by the dusty wind.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Goodbye Macedonia

Farewell Andromeda
And a million synchronized notes
A satin black sky pierced with stars
Leaving Macedonia
Blurring in dust
Goodbye Macedonia
Farewell at last.

Whom Alexander left behind to conquer the world.
For whom Alexander, at 22, left behind his world to bring back the world.
Dreaming of whom Alexander drowned himself in inebriation, cradled by the rivers of Babylon.
Distant Macedonia.
Whom Alexander never met eyes with again.

His fingers traced the white star on Bucephalus's black-as-death forehead.
Whispered names of stars in a crisp springtime Mediterranean sky.
Turned his eyes skywards
Searching lonesomely for familiarity
In a sky clouded with
Grime, and smoke and a million wraith-like spirits
Rising from the embers of burning Hydaspes.
Long-dead memories float off
And become murky clouds
Strangling nostalgic skies and referential stars.

Searching for a line
To thread together the stars
Into a necklace of pearls
Kissing Macedonia's slender neck,
Realization dawns in a smoke-stained autumn evening
Of clotted blood and plundered bronze.
Nothing happens for a reason.
No grander scheme
Nor a silver thread
Joining the heavens.
Vainly searching for a garland of pearls
He left Macedonia
Dying in dust.