Friday, February 29, 2008

Waste of time to wait for facts

what's her name who cares it's Amy

Ama someone's mama but hey Aloha

smile to meet you why have to opt

feet choose and flit can't find a dinar

it's so hot I've nothing to conceal

cardamom waft a fancy stamen

hesitation walk your mother's oven

The Portugese arrived, the Jews, and Ari

how now brown cow calf at your hip

we have no need of saints here Agnes

Kashmiri silk, the Moor's last sigh

the garbage smokes at center stage

ayervedic fabric FabIndia. Ignore

is practice too. Hoard change and pencil

cotton baby blanket on the bed no parka

search the idiom for tome

flutist against a white wall lietmotif

so what's the motive where's the ore

in storehouse go-downs, nag

me never crunch fish coconut toast

caste marks calls to pray no hatred

thali meal curd meets dal congeal

creamsicle salwar limeaid kameez

blue tarp black pepper a taxi hit

red bus rumble scooter cha cha

stoplight means not stop but segue

looming doti, gold chains, condo ads

come Jew Town Spice Market on and ons

my wanderings my anxieties Max Ernst

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why the h#($*& would I post voice mail on my blog?
hey, this is me, don't forget the rhubarb. And the tp!
I'm, yeah, we just got in, yeah, I'm waiting for them to open the door.
Where are you? uh, oh, right, I see you. Hi hi! oh shoot. turn this thing off.
goddam it's taking a movie. I don't know. Here you do it.

2/28 Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft:

You smote smell with one hundred Bans,
moon in the seventh dorm that's ebbed,
in the dark, exposed as Bela.
What else would you do in lieu?
Every clock strikes XII,
leaf pivots on its axel,
lilac on the breeze my favorite odor.
Oh sting we will not last the eon.
someday we'll play when we're retired,
hear our lives as through a cantor
each moment framed within its gotcha
the point described along some arc
the answer was always neither/nor.
Oh you were elegant as any ibex
on skis aswish as ice skate
oh Thunderdome thy name is Max
oh G. oh please that mellow sax
oh stannum balm, ah tin.
Every day was our premiere
every aspen from one seed
each dove who lived it cooed
and you, so eloquent when mum.
The dead are just the earth's alumni
so why does that sound psycho?
if there's a god is this his jobsite
the weatherman's Old Sol.
Inside each capsule there's a roar
amo amas amat and on anon.
But rest here with me in lea
of river maybe Nile
we'll perm our hair again be Pert
no matter that we've erred
sing for me again, your salient alto.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So well anyway jeez.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I am not going to go chronologically through my days in India. I thought I would do that, then was felled by a post-air travel cold, then got to thinking chronological order is a boring way to think about my trip anyway.

You can't borrow anybody else's life. I've tried more than once to sluff mine off, tribute to my reptile brain, the idea that I could just slump out of my too-small dead carapace and grow myself a new one. Those resolution types of incremental growth type changes are difficult, require diligence and discipline and drudgery, that is, day to day adherence to what I said I would do. This is the only way to get anywhere I've wanted to get myself, but I still dislike it.

Poetry, I, too, dislike it. Marianne Moore.

I'm wearing the new fragrance from the small hovelly perfume store in Cochin. They keep the fragrances under a glass counter in quart size stainless steel thermoses and fill a vial only when you order one. The fragrances are of the essential oil persuasion, not perfumes per se. I don't know very much about perfume, but I like the smell of this one: "green orchid." I also bought "Kerala flower." The last perfume I bought, a few years ago, was in Paris. "Jaipur" - and now it strikes me that Jaipur is in India. I stopped buying the perfume when they started the s/m bondage ad campaign. Obviously I am not in that company's demographic. The first perfume I bought was when I was in high school. "Wind Song". It went so well with Jim's "Jade East."

Kerala was hot and humid, a challenge for NW native me. I went up to the tea estates in the Western Ghats partly to see them and partly to wake up one morning with dry skin. The first week I was in India there were times at night I almost couldn't breathe, heat and humidity weighted my chest and my lungs got a little panicky.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The man came back in a small white car (not a Hindustani Ambassador, and not a Bajaj Rickshaw Taxi, these I would meet later,) a small white probably Japanese car with the word "Radisson" printed on the side. My luggage and I got in. We languished in the confusion of traffic, my driver honking and being honked at, the car suddenly lunging at an angle, halting, lunging, halting, straightening, swerving, halting, then driving into the hazy night to pull up ten minutes later at the door of the Radisson, which looked like any Radisson anywhere, except that there were doormen in white turbans out front, one of whom opened the door for me, while another man took my wheeled bag out of my hand and wheeled it to the front of the check in desk. As I checked in I looked behind me to see that my lugage had disappeared. I commented on this and was told that this was as it should be. How many pieces? the man behind the desk asked. Two I said. Another man walked me past a counter where I could see my luggage as we headed towards the elevator. I hesitated. He said, "they will be brought up." He pushed the elevator button, told me my floor and room number and presented my passcard key with two hands while bowing. I went up and locked the door, wondering how long I would have to stay up to receive my luggage. There was a dim glow to the room but the lights wouldn't turn on. I tried all the switches, then the knobs on the lamps. There was a knock on the door. Did I mention I didn't have any small denomination ruples? That is to say smaller than 100? ($2.50 US but my book said that was too much to tip) I felt uncomfortable as this new man brought my luggage into the room. He noted the lack of light other than the dim glow. "Put the card into the slot," he said. I put the card into the slot at waist height by the front door, simultaneously remembering that this was the method in Greece last year and probably other places. He bowed and left. I turned lights on and off. I ate most of the complimentary chocolates on the little white plate on the table by the bed. I lay in the comfortable bed and set my alarm for 5am. It was midnight.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sentences of Three Words
from Learn Malayalam in 30 Days

You sit in the chair
The book is on the table
Smear oil on the face
Children should wake up in the morning
Must go to temple at dusk
Must wash the leg and face
There is no bitter gourd in the market
There is no limit to anger
Marriage is to-morrow

Alphabets Are the Outer Garments of a Language
-from the forward, Learn Malayalam in 30 Days

Malayalam is the language of Kerala, one of 22 official Indian languages, and impossible to show you without downloading the Malayalam font. I've been trying for 10 minutes. It's a Dravidian language, which made me think of Druids, but no, sadly, the Druids have (had) nothing to do with Malayalam. Malayalam the word is fun to say, and Malayalam the language is fun to listen to. It's also spoken in Sri Lanka and on the (in the?) Lakshwadeep Islands.

I've reread my 200th entry, in which I had many worries about my arrival in India, especially because it would be late at night. Lots of flights arrive in Delhi late at night. It is possible that most of the flights arrive then. The airport has been under construction for a few years, and is ugly and incoherent. After I cleared passport control and customs I dragged my luggage towards the "arrival lounge" which is an elegant phrase but doesn't match what met me. Through the automatic glass doors there is a metal tube railing to either side of the cement walkway. The walkway slopes uphill and along the railing on either side are people crammed in two, three, twelve deep. Each is holding a sign with a name on it. I panicked. What if I didn't see my name after walking through the entire gauntlet? I could barely focus, let alone read. I breathed. If I missed my name I would turn around and walk through again. My ability to read improved. Man, there were a lot of signs. Then I saw that some of the signs had logos around the periphery of the white space where names were printed in sharpee. Soon thereafter I saw "Radisson" on a group of these signs, and lo, my name was on one. This registered on my face. A man made eye contact from behind the sign, and walked to meet me, taking hold of the handle of my suitcase. I followed. Another man in Radisson logoed jacket took over. He walked briskly forward, I ran to catch up. He stopped at the curb, handed my luggage back to me, said, "wait here." I did not move. I think he said, "I must get the car." Cars careened past. People got in. I stood where I was on the edge of the roadway. An interplay of horn honking chorused around but not at me. Cars zoomed forward, clustered, blocking each other from moving, broke apart, honked, drove on, reconnected, separated, disappeared beyond my sight. I stood. People clustered outside the airport building. They yelled at each other. It was coolish, cooler than I thought it would be. I wished I hadn't left my jacket at home. I wondered if I was on my own now. A woman smiled at me. I smiled back. I breathed. The cool air felt good, knocking the airplane staleness out of me.

Friday, February 01, 2008

POST 200 Moment of Silence

I'm off to India on Sunday. Off to I N D I A. I've engaged in email conversation with someone at the bajillion dollar hotel I'm staying in my first night near the Delhi airport and have finally gotten him/her to reveal to me the meaning of the phrase "appropriate transfers have been arranged." Their website stated they had an airport shuttle. How would I get the shuttle? I wondered. Would I have to call the hotel? Would I have to go outside and stand on the curb at 11pm while people tried to "help" me? Would someone be waiting in the lobby with my name on a card? It took several emails back and forth to learn that someone will be waiting in the arrivals lounge with my name on a card. YEA! Unfortunately I have not been able to obtain any rupees. The local supply has dried up. I have to call around today and tomorrow to see if any returning traveler has cashed in rupees, or I'll have no money to tip the person with my name on the card and look like a cad or bad person. There is an ATM in the hotel. Last resort. What is an appropriate tip? What is the exchange rate?

I got my shots. I think it's excessive to buy the steriPEN for $80 at REI when bottled water is available everywhere. Right? I'm not going out in the bush on an elephant. I'm going to the biggest city in Kerala. Why use commas when separate sentences are so punchy? I am currently in pursuit of noise-cancelling headphones for my flights, airplane ambient noise being high on my list of fatigue inducing bother. I bought some for $34 yesterday at Bartell's, brought them home, and Jim and I tested them by running the garbage disposal, dishwasher and his espresso machine. There was some noise reduction, but not as the box claimed 70% noise reduction. I took them back. I've looked online and there appear to be cheaper options than the Bose Quiet Comfort 3 ($350). Sennheiser sells the PXC-250 for about $100. Etymotic Research ER6 is another choice. My eyes are blurring. There's also JVC and Creative Aurvana. (not Nirvana.) Brookstone and Sharper Image sell their own brands. Who knows how good they are? Brookstone and Sharper Image say they are great! We are deep into an area of no interest to me - I just want peace for the hundeds of hours I'll be aloft.

Also for my flights I have purchased pressure hosiery, oh yes, and these will be so comfortable on arrival in India though my feet will not be the size of elephant hooves (feet?) which is a good thing. Also JetLag homeopathic remedy and some moisturizing solution to spray up my nostrils to prevent dry nasal passages, the cursed cause of inflight illness induction! YIKES!