Monday, 21 September 2009

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

            S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
            A persona che mai tornasse al mondo
            Questa fiamma staria sensa piu scosse.
            Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
            Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero
            Sensa tema d’infamia ti rispondo.


Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question . . .
Oh, do not ask, ‘What is it?’
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, ‘Do I dare?’ and, ‘Do I dare?’
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: ‘How his hair is growing thin!’]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: ‘But how his arms and legs are thin!’]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

      .      .      .      .      .


Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

      .      .      .      .      .


And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: ‘I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all’—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: ‘That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.’

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
‘That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant at all.’

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

—T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

On Masturbation

I wake up, and it is morning. I think, It’s always hard to masturbate. I see my penis, erect, covered by layers of cloth. It is morning, and it is cold. Beside me, a space, covered by layers of cloth.

I think, It’s always hard to masturbate, and yet, it’s easy to ejaculate. I remember, every midnight, women of the moon descend and help me ejaculate. Semen would spurt and then flow from the tip of my penis like how the women would flow skyward, unfailing, back to the moon, and then my eyes would droop.

Then I would wake up, and it would be morning. I would think, It’s always hard to masturbate. Beside me would be a space, the bed sheet’s creases like mountain ranges on the surface of the moon.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Fuck you, excesses of bureaucracy. I don’t mean it in the sense that ‘I hope you score’. In the end the blame's on me because I failed to log every movement that I made. I should have probably logged in that logbook that I am logging something into that logbook. And so on. Then it will be given to Big Brother and he will process it, and he will Prozess me and will be under house arrest of an undisclosed amount of time, and for that undisclosed amount of time details regarding the trial will be undisclosed to me. ‘The Law is attracted by guilt.’ Therefore I am surely at fault, because the Law was attracted to me, because I was guilty. And all this time Big Brother knows everything that I have done because I have faithfully recorded my movements in that logbook, except for the time when I was exasperated and exhausted and didn't even bother to write a thing. Big Brother knows me completely, while I know nothing about him. He would in one swift stroke strike me with his judgment, and because of my guilt I will be executed.

‘Like a dog!’, they’d say with glee.

Monday, 7 September 2009

pearl hunting

in the distance, I
see the movement of your lips—
sand within a clam.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Let me tell you something.

The prose poem, as an organism, is Dasein.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Epitaphs

Fu I
Fu I loved the high cloud and the hill,
Alas, he died of alcohol.

Li Po
And Li Po also died drunk.
He tried to embrace a moon
In the Yellow River.

—Ezra Pound