Channeling Pablo Neruda

Channeling Pablo Neruda by Manjul Bajaj (India)

I want to do with you what Pablo Neruda does with words Lay you down with precise and controlled violence amid images of a flagrant spring Wait! Make that a wanton monsoon with winds strong enough to tear off your shirt better still strip you down to nothing the sky an unmade bed with clouds tossing and strewn about the rain stinging and slapping you all over, not gently but not in rage, rather with the bridled passion of a fierce love game the moonlight, a shaft, in the parting of your legs yes, I want to do with you what Pablo did with poems Drench you in rain and moonlight, desire and sadness and mark you as mine.

Write, for example “The moon’s head is bobbing
up and down upon the white bed linen
of the clouds.”

There is cunnilingus in heaven.
Look there amidst the cumulonimbus there is a tottering-teetering moon
drunk upon the moisture of a languorously parted cloud
See the cloud’s black tresses are thrown back in delight
and pour down upon us
as dark rain.

Tonight I will write the oddest lines.

Like there is no loss like that of strangers
who’ve never met, never made out.

For every love you’ve met and who has met you
there are countless you’ve never known, will never know
No flash of recognition, no tingling under the skin, no ache in the limbs
The empty night is emptier for the absences inside of it.

Tonight, I will write the strangest song.

It’s for lovers who’ve never known sorrow, grief, parting, wretchedness and heartbreak
since they’ve never met.

Tonight I will write the oddest words of solace

To the unborn, the unmet, the unshed, the unsaid, the unhurt and the undamaged
for the loves and lovemaking that could have happened
but didn’t.

Open wide your mouth and taste the falling rain
swallow a mouthful of the sky, laugh at the moon’s bobbing head
under the cloud’s duvet.
Hear the cicadas go wild in the silence of the night. Take heart.

Perhaps, there is immoderation in heaven, yet.


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