To Paraphrase

You might be familiar with the process of paraphrasing a poem, i.e., you take a line from the poem and write it in your own words to express its meaning, bringing out its key elements. The criteria of a good paraphrase are as follows: It is not a summary. It does not contain most of … Continue reading

1956

I have been playing around with this idea in my head, of taking the Parliamentary Debate surrounding the Official Language Bill of 1956 and using it as a source text to create a poem, or a work of art, in some medium, from about the time I wrote ANTIPOEM, in early 2014. On June 19, … Continue reading

Canon Fodder

It irks me that the intelligentsia of Colombo seem sated by media representations of reality, sharing news stories with commentary, when the said news story is already tainted by subjectivity. If they really wanted to change something, they could do so by, perhaps, removing this middle man in the processing of data into information, and … Continue reading

The Arbitrary Poem

Last year, a project called Poetry Assessor sprung up, claiming to be able to assess a poem’s worth by applying computational linguistics, facilitating high volume filtering of poetry submissions. One of the poems that were ranked by the Poetry Assessor that caught my attention was Dylan Thomas’ “The Hand That Signed The Paper”. Here, I … Continue reading

Our Glass

Ten thousand hours and I am still no better for the effort You are no longer the scale to which I measure the passing time To passers-by this is just another rhyme, “Excuse me, do you have the time?” I don’t have a filler line, I’ve covered your absence with the dust of dusks, forgotten … Continue reading

7/6/4, 5/5/7, 5/7/5, 5/6/6 … and so on

A sign of consciousness on the wall, mercurial dreams, shifting frames; a room with no doors, just open spaces, held across by its threshold, palms on each side, two horns rising from the seat of mind, two legs held to gather as one al -chemical disposition reverence for sym -bols deliverance a gesture held be … Continue reading

God Sends Love Disguised As Ordinary People

We never quite could tell strength from stupidity pride in perseverance the point where stubbornness purchased a harvest of futility If the body has forgotten how to sleep what chance has thought to teach its subtleties like tenderness or faith All that could matter is the reciprocating want of flesh wordless and beyond translation to … Continue reading

A Bodhisattva Undoes Hell

Because he saw the men of the world ploughing their fields, sowing the seed, trafficking, huckstering, buying and selling, and at the end winning nothing but bitterness, for this he was moved to pity To the figures bathing at the river Jizo appeared The sky was full of small fishes The bodies of the men … Continue reading

Unlearning

In a quiet place white walls won’t speak any louder than quiet demeanor; rude-prude indifference to converse – disjointed response; a nervous system unlearning how to walk straight, descending, shaking legs, unsteady knees, needing a sense of equillibrium; self-imposed insomnia does this. Watching a sunrise over an empty train station dislodging its too soon passengers … Continue reading

Assembly Line Faith

You hear that click  and you know  that is it.  It is  that click,  you hear,  you see,  dilate,  pupil,  to the light,  you hear, when  it goes out, the lesson,  and the guru,  what remains?  Ashes, urns,  or conjugal burns?  Where do Catholic priests  please themselves  at night?  Pray, tell me,  where do our … Continue reading