Friday, May 18, 2012


If i could find a way to retreat to the amniotic folds from whence i emerged and locate a causality, a beginning that would suffuse me with purposefulness ; if i could make the reason for my existence be transposed to an exteriority that would imbricate me in its structures of meaning then i could validate myself. And a fundamental uncertainty assails me when i think of him because i see him and yet don't see him. His image is irrevocably etched in my retina,his physical palpability is apparent yet i seem unable to internalize him, make him my own and create a sense of belonging which one needs with a loved one because it is not random intersections of flesh that constitute love but incorporeal meeting of beings, a welding of two distinct forms who in their seamless coalescence create a new reality, a new paradigm.

My eyes are filmed over as though a crepuscular gloaming darkens their prospect. The penumbra doesn't obfuscate sight but seeing. Seeing with a consciousness that vibrates with self consciousness, is studded with self awareness. The architectonics of my self perception which is in actuality a tenuous self unknowability becomes poignantly painful. When i look into the mirror the tumuli of the lightbulb projecting behind me, the prospect of blinding vision it proffers converges when its presence behind me and its reflected presence in the mirror cleave. Such is the mode of my relation to him. What i would like and and what i see inter project, interpellate and create meanings that ricochet off each other, bouncing off, jostling whilst their fundamental point of fixity, the fulcrum remains intact. These distended, gravid longings are immensely frightening because they take place in a lack, an absence, a zone of non being. I am a tabula rasa, a churning kaleidoscope around whose internal tracts nebulous forms interpenetrate, depart and reconstitute. Their fundamental symbiosis renders them indeterminate.

Yet when i see him i see what i would like. He possesses a certain form of identification i want to ally myself to. Because my mind is a chaotic cauldron and i am as of yet unable to distinguish my primordial desires from each other. I long for a commingling, a coupling whose amorphousness and plasticity suffuse me both with excitement and dread. Because that primeval chaos that i emanate from, my mother's milk i have been nourished from, tie that bound us together is inevitably to be snapped. And worse its a tie that consciously i want to sever but unconsciously retain. It is also a unison with my own kind that i seek. So as it is clear these desires, undetermined, remain forever in potentia. I traverse tenebrous labyrinths.

What also seems clear is that there is a fundamental oppositionality between choice and action, however coextensive and threaded they may seem. In that subfusc hinterland between being and becoming lies a vast gulf, an unbridgeable abyss. Because becoming is a choice which is also a necessity. Being is an intricately wrought fiber, entwined with becoming. Being is coterminous with becoming. Being extends from becoming. There i can only choose to be who i am through navigating with what i am. And what i am is not me but something i've made to correspond to forms that constitute the world that through the attrition of ages have congealed into intractable phenomena.

Thus he whom i love is at once distant from me and simultaneously something that i want to mold myself into. In becoming him i lose myself but through becoming him only can i find myself again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Reading George Szirtes' poetry is like burrowing into the glove of an alternate world, a world that is the one i inhabit and yet other. Ensconced inside that glove i flex my fingers, i grope within its dark concavities and as my fingers attenuate and stretch, soldering themselves to their rightful places i experience vertiginous sense of simultaneous embedding and release. The expending of effort, the feeling of being spent, of expelling a misty breath into a pool of inert water. On the surface, the water is unchanged except for a brief ripple disturbing its placidity. Yet a breath, a mist has been exhaled, its vapory constituents have imperceptibly mingled with the waters of life. The poem is an amniotic fold from whose cavity i emerge, startled and bewildered at being thrust into a world i thought i inhabited, like a skin whose tissues had become familiar, whose crenellations and panoplies corresponded to the blueprint i had of them in my mental retina. All of a sudden the lens has splintered and fragmented, reconstituted anew because the i who thought reposed in the world, the self assured i who penetrated this poetic world has through a jagged sense of intermissions,like jolts been made aware of a reality. This reality has disturbing implications because it shreds my nerves, rips apart the tissues of my memory, severs the tenuous thread that clogs the past to maintain the present. As the floodgates burst forth a burgeoning unconscious swamps me in a deluge of tableaux which are unobviated by the voice of reason. Because the plug of memory has been pulled and the water whooshes and funnels below to a conscious that is made aware of its parochialism mingled with transcendence because the i that i thought i am, the i that i was, the i that i now reconnoitre are subsumed under the canopy of the i whose contingent contiguity can only be relocated by a return to the primordial womb, a womb whose waters i cleaved, thinking i was birthing myself, the primeval womb which through becoming made itself a reality i unraveled from, creating myself. All of a sudden that seething cauldron, those turbulent fusillades of recollection repossess me. I have been thrust into a world of which i am a speck, whose striations are indissolubly etched in me..I am streaked with its taint as my suppurating bones creak under the weight of this history which is also a metonym of the world i now live in. Volitionlessly, through me, i am being recast into a new homonomy. The words are a mirror which as i look at them look back at me. The words are not an ideal that propel me into a meconnaisance , rather the words are a  lapse into my id whose primevality i must peregrinate, whose quadrangles i must navigate, whose possibilities of rupture i must go through to emerge anew. And because this journey is studded with structures whose surfaces i recognize, whose forms had constituted the forms that composed the inviolable universe it emanated from i am forced also to , through this trajectory redefine those forms because they are imbued with meanings hitherto unrecognized. I am falling out of love because the foundations of that love have been rendered precarious. Self contained, cocooned as i was i am unflexing my synapses, opening up my cranial nerves to unclench the fist of my self. I am , through a process unbeknownst yet unalterably my own course being predicated into a reality that my flesh viscerally recognizes as its womb from whose fleshly folds i emerged. Yet this womb is no longer the embodiment of the innocence that it possessed. In re entering it i am passing through its tracts with an altered sense of myself, it is a mirror that reflects me back, uncritically, yet whose glassy impermeability has become redundant through the aegis of my perception. The journey is not a downward pull of gravity, a inversely spiraling verticality. It is lateral. I belong to numerous founts of being that are a part of a continuum, part of a mingling and mangling into beings other than mine, into worlds different from mine yet threaded with a singular spool which stretches to the farthest limits but never snaps. Leaning into this thread i lose my center whose nebulous centrality  and impalpable etchings become urgently suggestive. And there is a confused , disorientating awareness of forms and structures being entangled, intersected by my throbbing consciousness and from that entanglement i unspool myself, my sense of what i go through, reconstructing, restructuring and recreating a world unequivocally mine yet incontestably beyond me.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Cultures and myths go hand in hand. And while mythological persona are consolidated through time they are constituted and generated within the temporal interstices of the zeitgeist they belong to. Marilyn Monroe's mythical status has been well documented and the ways in which her life has been appropriated and signified to denote larger meanings are palpably apparent ,parenthetically. Mythologizing is romanticizing, an act of desubjectivizing and decontextualizing through a subsuming of individual contingent subjectivity into a larger narrative. Hollywood is the symbolic from which images proliferate. The images correspond to the significations imposed on them.Yet these images, these configurations are instituted and generated the moment they are created. There is no ontological reality underlying this market.

Marilyn's life is a metonym of what the industry represents. The poor orphaned girl, daughter of a mentally unstable mother, who throughout childhood and adulthood undergoes a series of transmogrifications and ends up as an successful actress. The foster homes, the precocious poetry, early marriage, feelings of deracination, alienation, self doubt are all woven into the tapestry of this tragic woman whose suicide is a fitting apotheosis, the actualization of the drama her life was leading up to. As a screen presence the incendiarism of her sexuality (the billowing dress) are underpinned by her essential ingenuousness, as though she is unaware of her own allure. The element of comic self parody augments her sexual state of unknowingness. Filtered and distilled through an allure unconscious of its own charms, an innocent all believing state of being, exacerbate the image of victimhood and the child woman whose subversive sexuality is restituted by a series of enactments that defuse its iconoclasm and reconfigures it in a way that satiates male fantasies and makes her a suitable cultural icon. It may be possible to harbor rococo fantasies subterraneously but hollywood operates through illusion. As a unproclaimed repository of culture hollywood reconstitutes disparate existential paraphernalia of Marilyn's life into an emblem. Every aspect of her life is part of a mythopoeic  contiguity. Even detractors, critics who highlight subjective aspects of her life find their postulations inextricably coalesced into this myth game.

Monroe's life demonstrates the hegemony of mythologizing and its appropriative, self amplifying tactics. Marilyn was made a mythical personage through acts of repeated osmosis wherein aspects of being, rather than posing contradictory counterpoints to the myth making business actually seamlessly absorb and assimilate, transforming even sordid ,unprepossessing facts into agreeable, sanguine tidbits. Marilyn has thus become an emblem of the tragic suffering actress whose dependence on barbiturates, alcohol and eventual suicide are seen in her Bollywood counterparts Meena Kumari and Parveen Babi. Undoubtedly singular and possibly even unrepresentative these lives may be in actuality they are transmuted through elisions and manipulations into emblems.

A bourgeoisie predilection is discernible here. The mundanities of the quotidian are suspended through the movie hall which ironically creates a facsimile, a simulacrum of reality by romanticizing it, kitschifying complexity. Not just is the chimera cinema perpetuates otherwordly but its own constitutive nature postures as 'other'. Marilyn's abject victimhood, her capitulation to the depredations of this world constitutes her chief charm, her vulnerability in real life to real life problems metamorphose into her unfittedness to a brutal film world which eviscerates her and finally consumes her. This obliteration is essential for her image because without it she would cease to be larger than life.

What purpose does such an image confer? What kind of autogenesis does this perpetuate ? The film industry's essential amorality, its elastic ethics, its baroque apparatuses are not vilified but exoticized because it serves a dual purpose. Audiences can partake of cinema's vicarious pleasures while simultaneously denouncing its mode of existence. At the same time women's burgeoning sexuality and considering that Monroe's acting career is coterminous with beginning second wave feminism creates a space where threatening, dynamic forms of sexuality in women are concealed and repackaged in a format that reinstate her as an object of male fantasy, approachable yet unattainable, divested of sordidity, denuded of its putative   prurience. The tart, pert, innocent, unrealized sexuality commodifies the woman as an object of a fantasy that completely disconnects her from herself. The blondeness as dumbness is a demonstration of ingenuousness, an unawareness, willed perhaps, of adult preoccupations. The regressing of the woman into infantilism, her childlikeness reinscribes patriarchal notions of protectiveness, condescension and rationalization of its premises .

The reality of myth making is not just its intransigence but also its appropriativeness. Monroe's Manic depression is now another myth, the myth of the gifted mentally ill woman whose creativity is an essential precondition of her suffering. Whenever a particular myth is contested what invariably happens is that the fact or facts countering it, demystifying it, congeal into alternative mythologies itself which then serve the purpose of extending the romantic narrative of the original myth. Demystifying becomes remythifying. Today the compendium of Marilyn's life, the numerous interpretations that it has occasioned are seamlessly amalgamated into that one, large myth which has merely branched out into numerous strands but whose strands, like rivers follow a path to the same source. Perhaps we need this myth and its persistence through time testifies to its endurance. At the same time the numerous insertions into it are not to be seen as validations but as ways of resignifying that deconstruct the premises of myth making by showing the premise to be a premise, not a prediscursive reality. A myth is a becoming..not a being. A myth is enacted, performed, brought into being and constructed through repetition. Its allure is seductive but its apocryphal nature, an irreducible reality.