Sleeping Home

When you can’t carry your own weight
against the earth’s call for a fall
life is reduced to the weight
of flesh, blood and bone.

The old man settles into his unmade bed,
made only by the fussy wind from the sea—
a bundle of wrinkles among the messy folds.
Old and spent, he sleeps the last sleep.

No snore. The folds and wrinkles at rest.
It feels like time has done with all its fuss—
there is nothing stirring in the bedroom,
in the living room, the corridors, the kitchen,
on the stairs and the cornice—the white silk curtains
in frozen stirs at the windows, and the breeze
caught in the cobweb of the air.

None will hear and the air won’t feel touched
when the old door creaks again to close
when you’ve walked home in your sleep.

Running away from Time

Those fingers—those—
The fingers of time—
They press me out of life.

The light from the stars—from ancient miles—
And the present glitter in my eyes—
They meet in a kiss—
Sucking the breath out of me—life.

I run away from time
From bodies of time creeping around,
and here in the dark
I struggle to plug every hole
with time-tight tissues
I have torn away from my heart
to keep myself warm
and untouched by decay
until I stop my breath.

Innocence and …

Tamo Doren of Photo Max verbally nudged me (he was busy covering the wedding we attended) and looking back I saw the man. He stood out from the more than hundred people gatheted at the wedding hall and the several many people passing by in that narrow alley. I was immediately interested. He was restless for the whole time he stoood at the gate of the hall and scratching himself a lot–his hands and legs. Finally he sat down in the middle of the narrow alley dedicated to the scratching job. A symptom.

I had been waiting for a chance to photograph the cute girl in the picture. She was conscious of my camera and she shyly hid herself behind her eight-year old brother every time I held up the camera. When I turned away, she teasingly ran around me. I waited for a chance.

I was lucky to get both of them in a single shot.

 

Ways of Dying (“Died” in the passive voice)

One of the most emotionally fragile day. I consider myself as one of the simplest, naivest persons in the world. Perhaps verging on stupidity, if not stupidity exactly. A caveman. I am exactly a caveman, and this world is not for the types of me. Not about good or bad–I am just a misfit here, and my world often caves in and I get buried in the rubble heap. I just feel like dying. Especifically, death coming to me, to do his own job. I don’t want to do his job because I trust no place. Bad trust everywhere.

When my death comes, I die. I is the grammatical subject doing the action of dying. The dier. The doer of the action of death. But thematically, I is not an agent; it is an experiencer. I experiences death. I undergoes death. Something I has to. Something I cannot escape. Something like emposed on I.

This dying that happens when death comes is different from the kind of death that happens when the subject is the agent of the act of dying. That is in committing suicide. In death, the responsibility of the transfer of being (if being continues) from one state to another or from one plane to another or from one place to another is with what causes death–nature or God, just for the lack of term and undrstanding. When the subject takes their own life, nobody else is responsible for the transfer and I personally don’t know where I can put what I have snatched from this uncomfortable life. There may not be any place. There may be places, good or better, bad or worse than the ones known here. I just don’t want to do other people’s job. I am lazy. On my own. I don’t even want to be the fucker when having sex. I wanna be fucked. (By the way, I hate bed hopping, and I am not a guy to drink from a greasy cup. My life in this regard is clean and smooth–if a fly happens to setyle on me (=my morality), it, with all its six (or eight?) legs will slip and break all its legs on the floor. I ain’t being funny. Serious.) There is just one thing where I hate to be passive–if I am a gay, I will always be the giver and never the receiver. That is it. Otherwise, I don’t want to do anything, let alone committing suicide, which also involves pain and things like that. I once hanged myself from the ceiling and that painfully bruised my neck–I looked myself in the mirror after my father and brother hijacked my flight to death.

I would love it if death comes to me like I got lucky in a lottery. Somebody picks up my number and the other the winner’s what-do-you-call-it. Like a heart attack. Unfortunately I am damn healthy. I pump iron in the gym everyday–exerting all my angry and frustrated energy in pumping iron. I wish I die in a nightmare–an anaconda or something swallowing me whole in a dream and me dying. 😀. Unfortunately, I am an insomniac. And if I sleep, I almost never dream. I wish somebody just kills me. Unfortunately, nearly everybody seems to love me, except a girl (but she won’t kill me to be a murderer–so kind), and a politician or two, but they don’t want to incur trouble killing me. So sad. I have got to do a heavy-weight thinking about ways to get “died,” dying in the passive voice. I am serious. Though smilingly.

Silence. Wordless. My language now.

Beside a Crematorium

This one is a very big file of above 100 MB. Composited from about ten shots. With the RAM of only 1 GB left on my laptop (the other RAM had some problems and now I have to put it back on my laptop), I had a very hard time working on it. I would like to rework on it, it seems. Posting here just for security.

Man from the Murk

I want some light
so I out the light
and bore a hole in the sky.

I trust a god
as can dance in the dark,
bare bodies smeared
with the murk of the mud
squirting from pleasure

Perpetual damnation in pleasure,
the foundation no house can fall from.

Sucking it up

Cottage’s suicide note:

After so long I want to sing out loud again
blowing myself out into my breath
but don’t want to be heard,
so I drive to the train station
where the trains thunder on
and the crowds pour in and out of the trains
noisy like wild wine from broken casks
redding the restless ground,
and stand, a wet rock half-sunken
in the loud liquid sucking me up.

Silence of absence

Throes of (Child)birth, Smart of Taking Life

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Photographer unknown

A young, recently married woman committed suicide, the News Nation reported last evening.

It was the final rites of a neighbor yesterday–he took his own life successfully in the second attempt after the first about five years ago. His body was found hard and stiff in the rain hours after his last breath, in the dark narrow space between a barber’s shop and a big abandoned car at a small junk yard.

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Photograph by Sally Mann

His brother had tooken his own life, too. I can still hear the sounds of women crying in his family sneaking weakly and quietly into my room one quiet evening in the early 2000s–I was reading (or writing something?) in my always-quiet room which I had turned into an indoor garden with plants collected from deep forests all over Manipur besides the ones I got from professional gardeners and plant lovers including my brother’s father-in-law. His body was found hard and still in his farmhouse (bolted from inside) days after his disappearance. Before he finally could take his life, he had been often seen walking drunk with a poison bottle in his hand. One foggy late-winter morning, he was found asleep on a cremation furnace platform on the cremation ground in my neighborhood. He had a poison bottle in his hand.

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Photograph by Sally Mann

One son of the eldest brother of these suicide brothers had also put an end to his own life a few years before that. He had hanged himself by the neck from the ceiling of his bedroom, survived by his wife and two very small kids–one was just a newborn.

These three later cases are just what comes to mind when I think of suicides I know personally, actually close ones. Just convenient examples. I can make a long list of names.

About the same time, a friend of mine from my neighborhood–a good humorous person–took poison and it was too late when his family returned home that evening.

Suicide is a very regular phenomenon, and the rate is reportedly highest in Guyana (where people reportedly “die like flies” followed by Japan (Brandon Bridglal). In my state (Manipur, India), statistics says, suicide rate is highest in Kakching. I alone have many friends in my town who committed suicide. A couple of childhood friends from Wangoo, too. That village on one lake farm in which I lived my childhood.

Conversely, when I look at nature closely, I see every speck of life–even the tiniest ones–struggling to live against all sorts of odds. Under the microscope, I see microorganisms struggling to live. On the wooden wall panels of abandoned houses in the woods or on the red-brick walls at the base of the foundation of every building where the minimal conditions of life are present, there are always life forms–at least in the forms of moss and organisms so small visible only to the eyes looking for tiny lives–struggling to maintain life.

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Lichens struggling to live on a dead sliver. Photograph by Thoithoi O’Cottage

I see both life and death around me. Struggles to live and to die. The throes of childbirth, and the first cry of the child. The act of taking life, one’s own or another person’s, negating its birth by another person, a life-giver, a mother (with a father).

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A wild creeper struggling to cling to and draw life from dry mountain-flank rocks. Photograph by Thoithoi O’Cottage

To be continued…