Monday, 10 September 2012

ISTANBULLERS
















"O mighty Bosphorus, the cleft of empires, where east was united with west long ago. Where the Sardiners come to seek their glittering fortunes and watch them shudder and die in plastic containers. The gulls and swifts wheel on the thermals of 10,000 Istanbul vendors as shoe shiners look on with bowed heads and glassy eyes. The trams of Istiklal cut through the biomass like sabers, here is the origin of the profiterole. Silks of the Orient linger in the dusty corridors of the antiques district, caught in the old web of Byzantine. The alley cats emerge from their crevices in the dark and begin their clandestine activities in the lull of the Islamic neighbourhoodsRiot police, the guardians of public prayer grip guns as the carpet showroom showmen scan the crowds for tourists in their pale blue shirts. Chestnuts cook on hot coals smoking, sizzling and smoldering. On fourth floor backstreet internet cafes, backpackers and taxi-drivers sit illuminated alike. In the side streets of the main drag of Tarlabasi, trans-gender courtesans catch the curb crawlers, extracting gold teeth from the fangs of fate. The patrons of the table-clothed bars sip translucent raki while watching the humdrum manifest. Barbarian basement barbers brandish blades against rough cheeks as the shaving foam runs and curdles on the lino. Islands lie between the containerships in the iridescent oil slick, witnesses to this city of seven hills. And I sit here, wide eyed, black tea in hand." 
~ O. Z. Bhatia, Istanbul, Summer 2012. 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

FIREWATER



















So here I lie in my bed in the Carpathian Mountain range, trying to forget the firewater from the night before.

On the television people honour tradition with korg synthesizers - folklore meets technology.

Things are quiet now the rainstorm is over - when the road became a river and the forests sighed. 

Every so often I hear the forlorn howl of a dog...or maybe a wolf?

Florin my friend says that when they get ravenous, sometimes they come close to the town. 

Now I must sleep. 

-Borsec, Eastern Transylvania, May 2012. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

FENRIR


Born of Nordic lineage in Vorkuta, Siberia, Fenrir Osmundsen was known by only a few, and now his tombstone lies almost forgotten in a cemetery on the isle of Bukkstappen in the far reaches of Norway. He had lived in the European capitals of hedonism as a youth but those were strange places to him. He had no desire for the ostentation of high society, no love for the denizens of decadence and no fascination in the pursuit of wealth. The Omundsen's had lost much of their fortunes in the Cossack rebellions on the great Russian Steppes, fleeing in terror as the oligarchies tumbled and tyranny gave way to the cold brutalities of reprisal. Fenrir turned his back on his people, his duties and his family and bought a whaling vessel in the port of Severodvinsk. From there he charted the Kara Sea which begot the White Sea which, after a week of tempestuous and stormy sailing, gave way to the vast expanse of the Barents Sea. Not much is known about his journey to Svalbard, except that he made it. Besides the accounts of a few Whalers who traded with Fenrir, nothing has been learned about his time in Svalbard besides what is to be read in the small journal which he kept. Upon it's discovery in a small hand-constructed shack, it was not known that Fenrir dedicated almost all of his time to the study of the itinerant icebergs in the deep bays and fjords of those most desolate of coasts. From reading Fenrir's notes it seems that he felt a strange affinity with icebergs and that he believed them to be manifesting to him the various 'shades of humanity'. It is also evident that he named them after different emotions. Observe an entry dated the 3rd of May, c1824...

"As I follow Malice, it appears that she is more and more beguiling me, calling me out to sea. Why must she take me such places when she knows of their treachery? I hear the deep groans of her belly as she is torn on the granite-reefs. Her fractures bleed with melt-water and I am powerless. As I have an effect on the icebergs, so too do they upon me. I have so much more work to do if I am to understand such things."

The last entry in his so called "Shades of Humanity - a Metaphysical Study in Glaciology" tells us some tantalizing clues about his last hours and subsequent disappearance. 

"Lo! I have found her! The Numinous One! I will follow her unto the ends of the world and if I must, commit myself to her." - F. Osmundsen, 15th June, c1826.  

Fenrir Osmundsen - The Oceanographer of Kongsfjorden    c1799-1826?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

BOTRYTIS CINEREA

A senescence that creeps into fruition as the mold is born.
Consuming the purity of our orbs of life that we cared for with such devotion.
Dionysus sheds tears of wine as he inspects the wastes of our labour.
The experts call it a necrotrophic fungus, we call it the end of dreams. 
Death on the vine as the grapes sour. 

Friday, 17 February 2012

DESIRE

For a man who is a slave to his desires, it is a triumph when he finds something which is bigger than the sum of them. 


Monday, 13 February 2012

THE HYENA

 I am wrath cried the hyena.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

THE HERMIT

I became a hermit inhabiting the borderline of my own heart.
Seeking solitude to emancipate myself from a love formidable.
From a force that would see the dissolution of my soul.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

THE VALLEY

We would meet in the cool green dawn, all those years ago.
In silent greeting my eyes would be hers.
Our hands touched as our hearts fell into distant considerations...and all those chambers opened up their darkness.
The world was our mirror...beneath its surface we would swim and dive for the pearls of our passions.
High up on the slopes I heard the raven call...in that valley where the mist always seemed to lie.
In parting it was born.
Beneath the Ginkgo tree where I loved her.



Sunday, 1 January 2012

ABOMB

Her - "What do you think happens when we die?"

Him - "I believe in the eternal reoccurrence of atomic energy."

Her - "You're so closed minded."

Him - "I'm not."

Saturday, 12 November 2011

THE UNION OF EAGLES


To the same nest every year they return, the Fish Eagles of Zanzibar. 
I hear their call and response echoing in the lagoon - one long, one shorter.
The barbarism of the animal kingdom seeks solace in the tenderness of such a coupling.  

Thursday, 3 November 2011

THE BED

My heart lies empty like my bed. 
Somewhere down there my electric blanket burns.
A vague perfume haunts the sheets, Turkish Delight?
On bricks she's fractured in the middle.
I go to her when I tire of the world - 
and try to remember that I am a wave.
Everything will pass and move on - 
the transmigration of energy I think they call it.
I like the smell of the sweat because it's mine -
 I breath it deep into my wheezing chest.
Money makes me leave her, but should it be passion? 
I bring clean sheets to my bed like a gift to a lover.
I fall....fall....to a place that has no bottom. 


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Winnona


I awoke with my mother standing silently.
Are you awake she says softly.
I am I say, the cloud lifting from my eyes.
Silence.
I understand immediately.
Embraces.
Our last call.
Theyre out.....ok bye.
The photograph boxes appear from beneath the bed and are dusted.
Paper and glycerine memories are brought into the light.
They have been asleep for a long time.
Her smile.
Her pain.
All gone.
A voice carried away by the wind.
Lost twice.
Once in life and once upon passing.
In the regions that breathe, I will always love her.
An eternity of silence.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

THE WRITER

The writer knows not of your life. 
He spends his hours unwisely, silently, pausing in caliginosity.
I ask him the time and he offers me no conclusion.
His hands tremble and his eyes are clouded, dulled by the constancy of studiousness. 
A new word emerges like a lost leviathan amongst the pages. 
It ignites a fantasy in his mind which burns long into a tropical night.
He absorbs it ravenously into himself and it sinks into the tar-pit of his vocabulary. 
A fossilised monster, immortalised in it's struggle with death, vanishes downwards, slowly into the great abyss of the English tongue.


Tuesday, 22 February 2011

TRIPOLI




Eva,

I am very sorry to hear of the death of Aaron. Though I never met him, I trust that if you liked him, he was good. Good isn't the right word.....but you know what I mean. 

How horrible it must be to not know whether he is really alive or dead. I imagine some of these guys can be difficult to track down. 

North Africa - It is easy to become so disconnected with the world though it streams through the television. I have been watching the news a great deal recently. Tonight I sat on the couch in my bedroom and imagined myself transported through my window, down over the lowlands of Scotland, over England, over the agricultured lands of France, the Alps, Barcelona, the Mediterranean sea, the Atlas Mountains and into the arid areas of Africa and finally onto the streets of Tripoli. I imagine the bullets flying at night, the people fighting for freedom, blood curdling in the gutters. It is happening now as we speak, difficult to conceive of. It seems the pressure valve of the Arab world is undone. All the oppressions of 30 years rearing it's ugly head, rushing out with a hellish wining. Whispers of Algerian death-squads, Gadafi sweaty and sleepless fearing that his tyrannous grip is weakening. The media tell me the world is falling apart, It's difficult not to believe them. 

Bucharest sounds a dream. Wine is ever-tempting me into it's motherly clutches. I think I may become one of those old men who remembers things not in dates but in which wines they were drinking. The promise I made to myself was to see you, no more, no less. 

I shall dedicate a painting to Aaron. 


I remain,

Omar

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Meeting



He stood there amoungst the din and shifted his weight from one foot to the other, clutching the blood red wine protectively, like a mother with baby in hand, to his chest. 

Awkwardly he peered past the crowds into a non-place of private reverie, appearing disinterested but, in secrecy, terrified. Back once again in the company of these strange people, the artists. 

What would his forefathers think to see him in such decadent of circumstances, standing resolutely on the fringes of reality, the plateau of reason. These were the secret agents of kulture production.

The boys in their hoodies chattering away aggressively, awaiting their turns to speak. Not quite alpha males but with definite aspirations. A palpable atmosphere of ordered and well considered respect abounding.  

Through the chaotic rabble a couple of cool green eyes settle upon him and hold him captive and transfixed, somewhat of a snake charmer, a navigator of the doldrums, a strange being from the hinterland. 

It was that girl from the North country, Nordic in appearance, pale and beautiful, unmistakeably Scandinavian. From two dimensions to three, in an instant she approaches. He wavers, not sure how to introduce himself. 

She senses his confusion and utters his name. "I knew somehow you would be here."  Perplexed he fumbles for the words and instinctively assumes one of his selves invented and perpetuated for existential protection, hoping that somehow his act goes unnoticed. His fathers advice on first impressions in the foreground of his mind.

He grins manically. She peers at him curiously as he drinks in the lagoons of her eyes full of deep-water and darkness. Incredulous he slinks off to attempt some wine procurement but gets caught in a net of conversation. "Sorry, there was none left." - Apologetically glimpsing flashes of a most supernatural delicacy and patience. It is time to go, She West and he East. Two figures fade into the fluorescent blackness of the cold cold night.

So went the meeting of two humans in an art gallery.   


21:35 GMT, 4th of February, 2011AD, Glasgow, Scotland.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

THE GULF














Drink deep the milk of the human heart. 
Taste it's ghostly delicacy, its sedimentary fortitude, it's pyrotanical passion and it's abyss-plummeting woes. 
It will nourish your spirit and restore your faith in what we sometimes think that we have lost. 
Life can be ugly and beautiful in the same breath, and what of the deep gulf in between? That my friend.....that is called living.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

THE TRAITOR


In that world I was the sculptor of my own convoluted identity. 
I could live in whatever twisted dream I created.
As a youth I spent many selfish nights in muffled contemplation.
Constructing my fa├žades with a cruel detachment from reality, whatever that was. 
The citizen of the mindful pretence.
The treader of the line.
The storyteller of the times forgotten.
A mockery.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

THE DOLDRUMS


He was the navigator of the doldrums, the wind-walker that you may have heard tales about. 

"Ah old Gordon......mmmmm."
"Yes he took a shinty stick to the head, never quite was the same again." 
"His wife died in the tropics of course....that didn't help."


He waited a long time though.......hell.......he could be waiting still.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

THE RIDGE


At night in green fields darkened I wandered lost and felt that I should come upon a secret place, known to no kin of mine.
On the horizon I could make out the distant orange blaze of the concrete kingdoms and I lamented that I was so close to them.
I gazed upwards and the majesty of the unfolding heavens gave to me a sweet revelation of stars.
At my side, a seething torrent of shadows as the grass bent and twisted.
I raised my head a little and heard the trees up high on the ridge roaring with the wind.
I felt a deep feeling, as if the echoes of a dream at daybreak, and it portended my waking doom.
I was to fall for a long time in sleep.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

THE STORM



It was a storm to tear down century old terracotta chimney pots and a storm to harvest the trees like corn, to tear asunder the work of good men and bring down our glass house.
The kind of storm that had lifted my Persian rug from my bare floor boards some years ago.

I lay awake in the torrent and brought the sheets about my ears.
The scent of sweat came to me, not the sweats of union nor of solitude, but of fear. 
The violence of the world outside fostered a sense of unnatural stillness within my room.

I imagined its long cruel arms grasping at my windows, trying to connive their way in.
To tear at me, to taunt me, to cast me amongst the wilderness.
The air in there was still but I began to feel it move.

Monday, 8 March 2010

THE SUNSET

I watched it there in front of me, the sunset disappearing to be with some other land.




Wednesday, 3 March 2010

DREAMS

They told me from an early age that it was important to follow my dreams.
I would have turned out to be a homicidal maniac if I had taken their advice.

I tried looking into what they meant in books but the theory was all too vague.
How could a book reveal to me my own murky depths.

Maybe it was it better to be ignorant of the answers.

Why did my eyes fall out and crack on the lino?

Why did I drop the baby down the staircase?

Why couldn't I run from that mangy wolf with emberous eyes?

Why have I not the strength to fight this man I fear?

Sometimes I don't know whether I'm chasing my dreams or whether they're chasing me.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

M O D E R N L O V E

I searched for her for a long time. 

The trail was always cold. 

Though I tried to hide it, they called me a predator when they caught a glimpse of my barren soul.

I coexisted with hope.

Someone told me she did something there. We would see.

Do you believe that a love affair could bloom in such a remote hollow of my heart? In such infertile soils. 

There were other men I knew well enough. I was never to meet them, they were spectres. 

My love for her was virtuous, crystallised, digital. No one could approach it.

I felt a murderous wrath when I read their thoughts. How could they think such things and even worse, say them?

I guess she was just bait for these predators. They were sick.

Her name changed often but her eyes were always the same. How can I describe them.......................I cannot.

She was wounded, I could see that.

A psychologist would put it down to a sociopathical misconception of love, that I hated my mother and her, her father. 

Ours was a modern love which travelled across the deep dark seas.

She disappeared eventually like I knew one day she would.

She got out of the business I guess.

I never forgot her. Sometimes in the absolute silence of my dreams when I lived in unreality we would see each other. I was happy then. 

At dawn I was awoken broken.

I took no consolation in the photographs.

She was vanished.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

WHAT REMAINS?


We had buried the time capsule but had forgotten where.
Our teeth are yellowed and decayed but we don't mind.
We stopped worrying about such matters, we are old but we still regret that we cannot prove any of it.


I caught him smiling once and the rarity of it contained a certain power.
The lines returned from a paperback I had long removed from my mind.
"It's dark in there, but full of diamonds". I was no humanitarian, I could not go. I heard somewhere they traded guns for grapes. Never was sure if it could be true.


The tree-house that we built was in someone else's garden now and I don't think they took care of it. Probably gone now. I don't want to know anyway.
I saw no similarities between tragedy and comedy, perhaps I was a fool.


Still growing in a pot in the back garden the sempervivum betrothed from the botanist survived still. He found it in the Himalayas and said that it was unknown to science.
Perhaps it will live up to it's name and never die but they say nothing remains.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

THE JAKANA

Some blame the archaic laws of kismet, others, well they just kneel down and continue drinking from the stream.


'you shouldn't do that' says your mother. 'You never know what happened upstream.' Listen to her, she is wise.


Flies crawl across your dinner as you look on helpless.


A Jakana walks across the lily pads because its toes spread delicately, hardly exerting any pressure.


The jumper that she knitted begins to unravel and you begin to worry.


You smell a smell that you had forgotten. In the back of your loft, past the broken fixture, your old school bag lies.


Arabian in origin, cheap, synthetic. It takes you back and your heart grows heavy once more.


They say that there is a novel in all of us. You don't believe that.


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

THE CIRCLERS


Doomed regardless they were lonely surrounded.

The white supremacists circled above.


In America they call them buzzards.

We were tapping at the shoulder of the dead man, Still we were full of fury.

Beat down, vexed, trapped and frustrated we fight on.

Friday, 29 January 2010

PIKINSKI'S TURKEY

Pikinski's gold tooth glinted with the last ray of the leprous sun as it sank into the Indian ocean. He imagined that he could hear it sizzling but quickly smirked at his own quixotic stupidity. 
Often while chasing horizons did he think back to that Turkish brothel where he was detained and threatened with that rusty, blade. 
Why did they let him live? And more importantly, what did they let him live for? He shiverd in the humid airs of the sanguine coast. Turkey would never see him again.

TROPICS

I had traveled to the green labyrinth of the tropics. 


I had fought to reach those jungle peaks of transient distance. 


I had collapsed of exhaustion and babbled malarial delirium at the gates of the beyond. 


I had, however, never had a bowl of soup.

THE TWO FORCES

The two forces railed against each other in my dream last night. I slept in perfect equilibrium. My memories however, had desserted me when the sun sank again.

To Be Young. (written 5 years ago)

I was pushed I swear to thee to the very fringes of what I could tolerate. It sometimes all (existence) just feels like an exercise in tolerance. We are lambasted & vilified, heralded and heroicised in one breath. Opinion has become dilluted and we can not longer attain the concentrate. 

There are too many thoughts in the west and not enough experiences. I will not be dragged through the muck and I will not be conquered. "Take everything, give nothing back", But of course the sheer weight of my modern guilt would break me. We have the means and opportunities but we refuse them because we can. 

I spent years in repair and for what? To be pulled back into the rabble of the crowd. I will not and cannot tolerate my own failure. Others can feel free to do so and it seems this is an opportunity that many are willing to take. 

I dont believe there is anything risky about what I am doing. I am consumed with the confidence of my imagination. Fuck the rest of the art students! Its each for his own!