Do You See?
I actually slept for a couple of hours! And in a few hours time, I’m off to University of Stirling, Scotland, as 2012 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow in Creative Writing. The renewal conundrum of my Indian passport and a few other government-sponsored drama took me a bit to set off finally. The original plan was to leave some time in February-March, right after I came back from my Sangam House residency. Although the said drama(s) are far from over, I’m to land soon in Edinburgh via London. Hello, Stirling!
My brother asked me on the phone if I’d be close to where Nessie is. I believe so; therefore, I said yes! Lochs are abundant in the region, so if not Nessie, I’m sure to meet her cousin. My brother is a grown up man, but he and I know it is always a possibility.
I also discovered LIZ LOCHHEAD, the Scots Makar — the National Poet for Scotland — in 2011, while on a spree of reading, and quickly loved this one below, especially. Read it!
It's Hell for the poet arriving for the gig Off the five thirty three to meet the organiser Who claps her in a car that reeks enough of dog to make her gag, Tells her he's looked at her work but he was none the wiser. Call him old fashioned, but in the 'little mag He edits for his sins' stuff rhymes – oh, he's no sympathiser With this modern stuff! Is it prose? What is it? Perhaps the poet can enlighten him this visit? – For which his lady-wife's made up a futon hard as boulders In the boxroom. 'So much friendlier than a hotel!' Will anyone turn up tonight? Shrug of his shoulders. 'Even for McGough or Carol Ann Duffy tickets have not been going well…' Meanwhile: here's his stuff, each ode encased in plastic in three folders. Publication? Perhaps she'll advise him where to sell Over a bottle of home-made later? Oh shit. She can tell This is going to be The Gig From Hell… But it's real hell for real poets when love goes right When the war is over and the blood, the mud, the Muse depart Requited love, gratified desire 'write white' And suffering's the sweetest source for the profoundest art. Blue skies, eternal bliss, bland putti – Heaven might Not be the be all and end all…? For a start Hell itself's pure inspiration to the creatively driven. Hell was (f'rinstance) Dante's idea of Hog Heaven. Hell's best! Virgil knew it too before him. Heigh ho! Man calls himself a poet? St Peter'll bounce him (Unless he's maybe Milton – it's Who You Know.) Could I end up in Hell with Burns (his rolling r's announce him)? End up with Villon, Verlaine, the Rabelaisian Rimbaud, With Don Juan, Don Whan – however you pronounce Him – Bunked up with Byron, still so mad, so bad, and so delic- iously dangerous to know? Not a snowball's chance, but oh, I wish.