by Prakash Kona
part 1 of 2
Others are masters of facts. I’m a mistress of assumptions.
Take away the neutrality of gender and more than half the best literature of the world falls apart under the weight of its own prejudices.
A writer’s job is to call a spade a thing that works when used.
Strip the mind of language and there is no mind to talk about. Strip language of the body and there is no language to talk about. The body is as real as the language used to talk about the body. Hence I must preserve your body in the home of my spirit as if I preserve a self of mine without which I’m nothing.
I’m between normal and different. Normal people think I’m different. Different people think I’m as normal as normal could be. Most people want to be different and accepted as normal. I guess that’s how I’m as well. I call myself an actor-turned-activist. My activism comes from action. I act out of a sense of delight that I cannot hide. That’s normal. I’m not acting when the lives of others are played out on the screen of my imagination. They are different from anything I could imagine. Loving makes me act without being an actor. In the passivity of a lover I’m an activist.
The things we reject with our souls are usually the ones that make us feel normal. Sons exasperated with parental affection hate the security that comes with being too much of oneself. Lovers when they separate can’t bear the feeling that things have degenerated into normalcy. We create a moment that we sustain through uncertainties however fantastic they may be. The loss of uncertainty is unbearable. The soul rebels against certainty. We go naked on streets and embarrass the world to death. Normalcy kills as prisons do. The beast thrives in certainty of instinct. To keep alive uncertainty is nature of the person.
Love that has found a home is not love. The soul is naturally inclined to homelessness. Otherwise I would not be the migrant that I am.
I’m the wrong kind of a believer. I refute whatever comes to mind. I destroy occasions of faith with the ease that one uses a butter knife. In faith I’ve little to think of. Turn the wheel and I’m long gone before the spark disappears in the dark. I believe in the coming of an end that I do not wait for.
In an accident a person is externally more alive though internally the body ceases to work. A person is invested in the outside world more than one would like to believe about oneself. The language inside me is of a world outside myself. We’re external creatures at the end of the day.
We do not forgive women their bodies.
Each person may be different but people everywhere are the same made different by demands of economy and culture.
Realism is sloth.
If I had to choose a character in Shakespeare I would be the soothsayer in Antony and Cleopatra. I enjoy nothing more than casting the future in the die of present.
The pain that is me I am not that.
I’m a product of multiple forces least of all myself.
Christ was right: the leprosy of wealth is without cure.
Dreams made me political. Ideas made me a materialist. Out of spirit came the revolution in my body. In embracing what seemed the ugly face of the world I derived the sweetness of living. One dissenter is equal to a thousand that are not.
To those who loved me in life I do not intend to sound ungrateful. I leave them the bill of my coffin as evidence of love.
If emperors did not know weariness empires would not know dust.
I hate an exploiter whether he came from my religion, my race, my caste, my nation, my family or from within me.
How can those who are dying mourn for those who are dead!
It is easier to love all of humanity than forgive one’s enemy.
I lived by the sword of madness. The madness of the sword will kill me one day.
The violence of truth is a response to the tranquility of lies.
The one person who disagrees with the rest of the world is a minority. The one person who is in conflict with oneself is a minority. The one person who refuses to belong is a minority. The one person who is not a stranger to streets is a minority. The one person who is unwelcome in a social order is a minority. The one person whose future is as uncertain as the past is a minority. The one person whom death has adopted as its own is a minority.
Fate is enslavement to an idea of the unknown. God is humanization of the idea of fate. Religion institutionalizes the idea of God. Men use God to oppress others. How to destroy an idea in the head is the job of philosophy.
How could I know love without betrayal! I let myself go that you may enter spaces where I linger as perfume. I betrayed my past, the group I belonged to and the person I thought I was to persuade you that my love for you is more than words and words are not enough to love you. Thus we parted; but I walked along with you as shadows follow light.
Politics is the sweetest of all attempts to communicate. People come together as men and women in the struggle to assert themselves as persons in the mirror of nature. Politics is the modest face of struggle.
I hated traveling. I loved journeys. My mother’s character is a broken one; my father’s is a disconnected one. I hung between brokenness and disconnection. Traveling exhausts me; journeys turn me nostalgic for music. The sea you are and the ripple of a stream I am. I made a long journey before I turned into the wave of a sea.
The joy with which I speak of myself. Ask me to describe a flower and I flounder like a child caught telling a lie. Ask me about myself and I can go on as if I were a flower myself of a tree in a pristine forest that has not known the arrival of man. I can give the petty details of my life a purity that can make you sink in the ground overwhelmed with emotion. My suffering those countless little hurts that appear innocuous to the eyes of others can make you feel that life is nothing else but the saga of my face hiding with shame and anger. None of these compare though with the joy I listen to your arrival as if the sweetest of music with the lightness of silence stands at my doorstep.
Drama is a perennial metaphor of truth. Paradox is a metaphor of metaphor. Truth is a drama of metaphor. Red is a metaphor of revolution. Revolution is a metaphor of sacrifice. Death is a paradox. Red is life. Red is not a paradox. Red is truth. Free of the twin impetuses of greed and revenge, the communes of the future are dramas of red.
Names are pseudonyms. In our oneness is the fact that we’re not the same. Who are you that you should not be I? Who am I to imagine that I am not you? As I am a pseudonym of you, you’re a pseudonym of a self that is me and yet not mine. The rose is a pseudonym to rosiness as a dark cloud is a pseudonym of rain.
Picturesque landscapes turn callous when in contact with the cruelty of men. I’m stunned by the anger that explodes my veins; it seems so distant from the person for whom I feel pity. In a single stroke cruelty makes me two persons. Consumed with self-pity I can murder my best friend. Once I’ve calmed the all-too-human need of pity I can cry over the body of my friend as if it were my own. Anger takes away wholeness and replaces it with division. I divide my future with the knife of the present because my past is divided as well.
The language of lovers is fraught with uncertainties. Fate is a noble invention to compensate the inadequacies of language. Love mocks fate as it dismisses fear.
In isolating the deed from the ritual, religion has become the witting arm of the establishment. The sacred becomes a ritual space and not one inhabited by the body of a person. The sacred is in the deed. To imagine a religion outside the institution in the sense of a private god or set of beliefs is to imagine a stone without hardness. The sacred is the space of hardness. Moral questions have to be answered in how each person evaluates her or his position with reference to others. The others are the sacred with reference to whom you act as a person.
Compared to willful devastations of men I could forgive worst calamities of nature. Compared to evils of patriarchy the earth coming to an end with the disappearance of the sun seems acceptable. Compared to death in life that millions experience with their bodies and souls as a matter of fact, the scientific fact of dying seems relatively nothing.
The wolf became a raven and the raven a black dog of the darkest night. My humanity is the perversion of the perverted.
Something pitiable about the body the way it crouches beneath personae. Asleep the body is maskless. Awake it is a heap of faceless masquerades. Like a child I put my hands through the gap of the tent to touch the vulnerable eyes of a beloved afraid to face the world.
In the most decadent of situations a person retains something of the innate poetry of one’s nature. Even the man that visits a whore envisions something greater than himself. Stark reality is transcendent in its immanence.
Civilization is a policeman in plainclothes. To touch a policed body is to feel watched through the sockets of my eye. My eye is humiliated because it is drained of the power to look back. The feeling is murdered. My body is humiliated because my eye suffers. These prison walls are my truth. My poetry must respond to walls before they can reach out to rhododendrons. My knees are bent against walls. My gods are the helplessness of walls. My anger comes from the injustice of walls. My compassion toward the oppressed comes from seeing through walls.
Pangs whether of hunger or birth stretch the body to its limits. Marks show on the belly though the hollows of the face are placid as a hill. Radical discontinuities are aspects of birthing and hungering. The hunger of snakes after birthing shows the limits of nature. The poor snake must abandon the young lest hunger get the better of it. In the hungers of oppressed is the desperation of a snake. In the hunger of spirit in fetters there is a snake that rushes away abandoning familiar worlds. It strikes the heart then the head finally coming back to the heart. I suffered as I lived the presence of another being in my belly. I held on to life for the sake of another. I was no more after that. I was myself the day before my birth. I was the void that birthed me into existence. The hunger of my nature can break any system. Kill me but I cannot be contained. Like the snake my true nature will show itself with time. Hurt me so that I cannot rise. My nature will protest with the cries of a wounded bird. Drug me so that I forget my nature. In that drugged state my body will dream of streamlets with paper boats floating on them. In one of those boats I’m a droplet clinging to the paper. Thus I go my way to the end of the world.
Copyright © 2005 by Prakash Kona