Friday, November 14, 2008


My emotions change daily, hourly - the continual shift like water, perhaps symbolizing the fact that I have no solid feelings, no hard stance on anything.

In class:

I'm not dumb, just unable to pay attention.

WVLNT (Wavelength For Those Who Don't Have the Time

This was one of the most disagreeable things I've ever seen. After the film ended and the screen went black, silence filled my brain like oxygen pouring into my ear canals. The struggle to watch WVLNT was worth it, the blank silence afterward had a cathartic effect. It put a stop to the fifteen minutes of nail-biting agony that left me in a state of nerves, and tense sitting on the edge of my seat, clutching my head. Once the DVD was again in my hands, I wanted only to be rid of it, I still felt nauseous and tingly.
I had to search hard to find any beauty in the film. At some points, the lineups of superimposed windows and their coloration brought to mind Rothko and his paintings and the image wasn't completely barren of beauty, but generally speaking the entire film was completely in juxtaposition to the sort of aesthetic I find pleasing. I hate to use the word "ugly," but I found most the images to be uninviting to look at.
Watching it was an experience, which is the only acquisition I rightly feel I took away from it. The film pulls nerves, forcing the viewer to be extremely uncomfortable the entire duration. Visually, it consists solely of superimposition that contain no action - simple static shots. Staring at these for extended periods of time allows the mind to wander. These static images actually look like dissolves - they twitch at the edges - like they are about to fade into the images behind it yet it never comes into lucid fulfillment. Waiting for the images to change continually was tantalizing and dissapointing - it never changed.
Then there was the accompanying soundtrack - which, as a sufferer of migraines, I would only describe as agonizing. The white noise is some buzzing mechanical noise, you sit there, already perplexed at the images wondering is it a vacuum? an eggbeater? a whirring fan? a factory background? some torture machine?
As you sit there, painfully experiencing all of this, one dominant thought strain emerges: suicide. Seriously. "When is this film going to end? Is fifteen minutes over yet? I feel I've spent my entire life watching this. Please just let it end. I am in so much pain. Please, stop all of it. Everythinggg." I found myself numbly saying repeating this, mouthing prayers, as if that would do anything. Credit to WVLNT, it effectively does something - it's just not pleasant, and my shortened experience with this is just about all I can take. I wouldn't watch the full length version of this. Not even out of curiosity.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I think I might prefer being emotionally dead than being trapped in this tornado of various desires. I'm being pulled in so many different directions, it might tear me apart. Maybe it is better to sit numbly and watch skin tingle with cold rather than feel physical heat.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Cinnamon Peeler

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
-- your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers...

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.

and knew

what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler's wife. Smell me.

-Michael Ondaatje

A girl read this out loud today during open mic and it really left an imprint on me. I had never heard it before. The only poetry I get nowadays seems to be through others - open mic and such. I crave it.