Dear Nemesis? Dear Arch-enemy? Poet? Disaster? Dear Poet- the one who is worth two poets after death – deader the better.
-April 14th, 2020
Dear dead Poet,
Poets love to romance with suicide, the idea of suicide- not the action. They invent themselves in this conjecture. They are in a constant state of anticipation and grief; always attempting suicide. A train about to leave, and always just about to leave. Their poems, each one, are a hurried goodbye to a lover on the station; to a memory of themselves that reflects in the lover. The lover is a tree that stays. The pigeon that flies away. The road that burns in the heat. The poem is a farewell to self. And the Poet is always departing along the shoreline of an ocean that drowns everything, feigning cluelessness about ‘how-to’.
The poet pretends to look at the water while looking instead at the reflection of the sky on its surface. The poet wants an excuse. The poet has one million excuses. Poetry and suicide: these are diagonal opposites, always face to face. Stuck with the identity of the opposite. Like a misplaced face. Your own ‘less yours’ than it belongs to the Other. It’s hard to dissociate your face from what you see. What does the poet see? The art of suicide was perhaps conceived in poetry, or poetry was born in a desperate failed attempt to suicide. Poetry is resigned neurosis, conversion, hypocrisy. The poet is bound to fail because a poet is a liar. Suicide is honest, non-alluding, more metaphorical than poetry, yet more discreet. Suicide is absolute. The poet can only convince a bastardization of the absolute. I am not a poet. That’s a good thing, because I have possibilities. Ophelia… He kills the beloved because he cannot kill himself. The poet is bound to his poetry. I am not.
Not so-much yours,
(This Letter appeared in the October 2020 print issue of the Mountain Ink.)
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Maruj ul Muntaha is an artist and confessional writer from Srinagar.