Eyeslit


Eyes lit once at a prospect of love,
Now I sit wondering, wither hope?
Rubbed out of purity, like a dove
I flew in peace once, smoking dope

Now the dealers are dead, deaf
Friends only hear half a cry
In a night this toxic, what is left
To Summon? To Defy?

Shave the skin off my bones, brew
Soup for the stateless misfits
As I search again for you, for new
Eyeballs to plug into old eye slits.

A Reluctant Fragrance Pushing Redundant Winds


My role is that of a repetitive explicit
        arguing with an absence,
My whole is implicit
        in the unfolding of an implied inconsequence.
I’m not afraid to own you but skeptical
        of an inferred benevolence,
I am, like them, seeking to sublet
        a part of my irreverence and irrelevance.

I'm the sailor and his whore and the unyielding sea-floor below
        in all its florescence,
Or the redundant winds howling
        before the sailor's only weapon, his common-sense.

A lost poet, sure I'm penniless, spent and sprawled
        before your evenness and evanescence,
I am the mystic's last lure and the pounding of the score
        into obsolescence.

In statutory compliance of and political alliance
        with the irredentist's iridescence,
I am his holiness, his permanence, his chemist and his bigamist
        cousin impermanence.

An employee of innocence serving time
        under an imaginary, ill-bonded fragrance called “Reluctance”
Of the one i lost during the ill-fated expedition
        to the Cape of all Convalescence.

Now that I’m making cold calls, taking hot orders
        from my duplicitous and other-worldly essence,
I am taking dead aim, no chances and no prisoners
        on this quest towards everlasting effervescence.

And If ever the undead soldiers take a break
        from their vengeance and stop shooting blindly
                at my depreciating petulance

With my invisible cape, i’ll then escape still
        donning this faraway fa├žade of sheer confidence.

So you want to be a poet?


Burn, in stead of the innocence you seek preserved,
though it will not help with flow or diction
innocence will be what you fought for, in the end
when all the rest is history and all the motion fiction


Be a runt, ruminate, feel the creep of febrile, sickly thoughts on your spine
Whisper a loud syncope into a murmuring asshole madly mooning
Give blow jobs to trees and while rubbing shoulders with the devil,
do smell all the secrets of the sunflowers swooning

Relish the earned pittance or remittance, if any,
blow holes through the pockets of pants that don't fit
rebel, like Rilke, Pessoa and Faust
but never like Neruda must you ever submit!

Doing the obvious


Fuck you, Simran, queen of the spammers
banging my inbox with news of upto 50% discount on adult diapers
windshield wipers and hired snipers who shoot anyone
up to a distance of twenty clicks, in any direction

Am I doing this obvious disservice to science to ensure it's survival?
hell no, science is just another illusion pressed against
the services of my dementia, doing the obvious

is it the only way of getting things done?

it is not science, rocket science or anything
like science, or rocket science

But I'm on a run, a jumble fun to take apart at the seams,
and it seems
I'm doing the obvious, a disservice which by all means
is an act of desperation, i mean, obviously, right?


The New Normal


"The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most Normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.

They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; They are normal only in relation to A profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. 

These millions of abnormally, “normal people”, Living without fuss in a society to which, If they were fully human beings, They ought not to be adjusted."

- A. Huxley


Not Another Word


As long as I have a breath in my body, I will never speak to you
No calls will be answered, no messages met with replies
Emails will be sent directly to the trash and
video and text chat disabled

If you come to my house I will not come downstairs,
If you ring the doorbell I won't open the door, but someone else might
You can sit on my sofa across my face, my lips will remain pursed
Until you have nothing left to do but leave

If you set your dogs or your family upon me, I shall react
As I deem fit without uttering a word
If you drag me to court I would rather goto Jail,
Than ever to speak another word to you

I'm out of words out of disgust out of you
I'm out of this back and forth passing of hatred
I'm out of this mess, you should get out too
and turn the volume all the way down when you do

Lest You Become


when the comets lit backwards in their orbits rotate
and the stars start wars over who's who's fate
let us lick sunshine dripping over fruits we once ate
and allow the moon to in its fullness lactate

if you're lulled and confused let me recapitulate
you were once like me when you didn't hesitate
but a waxing venus weaned you off martian nature innate
and you chose to love what love wanted to debate

you turned television on and saw order separate
from chaos which churned pleasure with a pain too great
and you watched the cogs unwinding in machines gyrate
you saw children suffer, starve and dehydrate

Don't be fooled by my freedom, rhyme is my restraint,
and don't fool yourself into thinking you'll ever levitate
No, you can only elevate from being an uxorious primate
To being a traveller hopping across another's nation-state

So listen, this is the only way you will ever satiate,
Learn to love your fellow fiends more than friends reprobate
and once weekly lest you become everyone you hate,
masturbate men, masturbate.

Everest Complex


The broken breath of a slave struggling daily
Escaped with the words, "Delhi is not yet dead",
Heard the prostrated spines leaking metal at the bailey,
"Be quick, reach Delhi and settle scores in the red!"

An exhumed emotion that once slayed soothsayers
Resurrects to challenge usury on failure compounded,
Warns all glib gilded by the creamiest of layers,
On thrones usurped shall now sit forever hounded

Let a wild neigh out, tonight on everest complex
Pull the bridle, let the muscle meet metal, seek gore!
Watch the competition writhe, squirm, scribble and vex,
See their bleeding fort stand victorious, no more!

Knowledge Is Great(er)


This essay won the third prize in the indiblogger "Knowledge is Great"Competition.

"Specialisation", the famous American Science Fiction author Robert A. Heinlein proclaimed, "is for insects", yet no modern education is complete without a specialisation because little creative synthesis can be mined without descending down the hierarchy of human knowledge.  While the division of knowledge into specialties, sub-specialties and super specialties of mental and manual labor makes economic sense and even though this division is rational and superior to any undifferentiated system of human enterprise, it is also the cause of anomie and alienation because knowledge is great.

Indeed, as with all things in life this greatness of knowledge is also relative. Knowledge is Great because it is (1) greater than the sum of its specialised subdivisions and (2) greater than the scope of a singular human lifespan.

Correspondingly, when the people realise that: (1) what they know is a only a tiny fraction of what is out there and (2) that try as they might, they never can know it all, a deep dissatisfaction develops among them as members of a naturally and terminally curious species.  Moreover, because knowledge and work often travel in tandem, this dissatisfaction resulting from the impossibility of attaining perfect knowledge is often carried forward, infecting the specialist's work and its ultimate output with an ideology that pervades much of the material world today.

Call it an overstatement if you will, but even the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations agrees that this ideology of discounting effort towards long term goals (because the long term is uncertain and requires thinking in terms of an increasingly incomplete and therefore imperfect knowledge) is the primary cause of global financial crisis, terrorism, poverty, procrastination, unemployment, diseases and maybe even dandruff.

We might have varying definitions of the scope of perfection, but there few exceptions to the generalisation that humans seek forever higher ideals, and when these ideals seem unattainable, we change them to something attainable, settling for a little less than the absolute possible in the process. The focus on short and medium term is rife while the attention to longer term suffers. Specialisation is to be blamed for this short-termism.

That is what Heinlein meant when he equated specialisation with an entomological drive, to him specialisation always meant settling for a little less than the absolute possible. Cockroaches are experts in the art of survival so the lives of cockroaches are absolutely sustainable, but are they worth living?  Sure, it is necessary to whittle down areas of expertise to make our lives manageable,  but who says that one person can only be an "expert" in one thing only? It can be argued, for example, that specialisation in medicine saved more lives than general medicine could ever have, but the counterpoint is that if general medicine was made robust enough, there would perhaps be less lives that needed saving.

The solution then, simplistically stated, is for education systems around the world to help reverse this trend of blinding specialization by teaching students everywhere that ascending the hierarchical mines of human knowledge and coming out into the open unified fields of all understanding is just as necessary for any creative synthesis and that a specialization without the ability to generalize is just as useless as the ability to generalise from a lack of deep understanding or special knowledge.

The ancient discipline of Philosophy has always been one of the routes of ascent through the various verticals of knowledge as it rouses us from the numbing and complacent routine of knowing more and more about less and less by asking us the big, difficult and fundamental questions. By giving us the overview and "helicopter-shot" of all understanding and also by confronting our systems of knowing and believing, Philosophy brings us face to face with the limits of our understanding which culls forth a force of intellectual modesty which one can then deploy against alienation and disaffection of any kind. This is probably the reason why Philosophy has survived (both academically and otherwise) for so long despite bearing no immediate connection with the business of any profession and solving no seemingly practical problem facing mankind.

By allowing us to rise above the artificial and commercial distinctions and divisions of knowledge, Philosophy helps us see the one big ball of understanding all human knowledge really is and only when we see that the knowledge is greater than our knowledge are we sensitized to the plight of the human condition and only then can our education be called complete. Besides, by its virtue of being a professional no-person's land between subjects and disciplines, Philosophy becomes inherently interdisciplinary by sharing a common border with all divisions of great knowledge.

But even Classical Philosophy today stands sliced into numerous layers of specialization in order to efficiently feed the insatiable print-appetite of academia. So it is pertinent to remember that the primary task of Philosophy was asking rudimentary questions and not pontificating over procedural, semantic or legal lacunae and thereby serving the ulterior motives of one economic lobby or the other. Of course, by fundamental questions one means the questions, which, if answered differently than they are so far, change the world-view of everyone alive.

Thus, it appears worthwhile to me to investigate this perpetually topical field of interest at the London School of Economics because only then, I believe, I might become what Bertrand Russell intended when he referred to himself as a hybrid between a mathematician and a philosopher. I seek to specialize in this most vast, general and holistic of all subjects so that I may be found, in the words of Lord Macaulay, Ashburton, Melvill, Sowett and Lefervre (in their report on the Indian Civil Service, 1854) to be "superior to men who have (...) devoted themselves to the special studies of their calling".

If my argument in favour of broad generalisation or generalist study still seems counter-intuitive and against the grain of modern economic practices, consider the single biggest reason why a generalised study is better: Creativity.

Generalists are more creative because they have access to a richer network of knowledge which is wider than it is deep. Depth is good when ideas are meant to be re-enforcing, re-enforced or derivatives of a constant. Interdisciplinary width is needed to deal with change that happens at a quick pace, is more encompassing and has greater significance to any kind of majority or multitude.

The neologism "pancake people" coined by the American journalist Marshall P. Duke in an attempt to describe "the Internet generation, whose knowledge is wide but shallow" accepts this reality and silently acknowledges that pancake people might be in a better position to feed a hungrier world.

In rapidly changing uncertain circumstances, the  generalist will necessarily always outperform the mere specialist, which I already am.

Armed with extensive specialised knowledge of Computer Applications and programming, I shall then be able to (among many other things) deploy my acquired Philosophical acumen to create solutions which bring forth into the world software which coasts people through their deep metaphysical and existential crisis. Of course, I would need the help of Psychologists, Sociologists and Economists in this endeavour all of which are in no short supply within the multicultural campus of the LSE.

Ergo, it is not perfection of the ego that I will seek when I enrol myself as a lifelong-student hell-bent on earning a Master's degree in Philosophy at the London School of Economics; I merely wish to see knowledge in all its greatness revealed by internationally acclaimed teachers in one of the greatest cities on the planet.

The irony that the revolt against specialization starts by specialising in a subject of general interest is not lost on me but I am sure once I know my way out of the mines of a divided knowledge, my work down there will not suffer the disaffection of someone who is lost in the field of his or her specialisation.

 

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