Poem: The Arpeggio


In the certain rising of an

Arpeggio, can you hear the

Steady ascent of a sephirotic


Climbing up to Heaven?


Relativity cuts this ascent into

Nebulosity – and so the ladder falls,

Crippled into curvature – a soft snake-

Charmery of deceit, going round and

Round, and round


‘Tantra’ means ‘Continuity’ – and

Yet, in my life, all I can feel is the

Continuity of silence and isolation.

When I walk down the street, I see

No interfamilial homo sapien I can

Greet in fellowship – only a humanized

Mockery of deformity that reminds me

How singular, how insular,

I am


What have I to do with these homogenized

Creatures? I would like to pretend to be a

‘Man of the People’ – but, I am about as

Demotic as an iceberg – an ill-giving thorn

Designed to protect,

And not delight


All through the night, I lay

On a bed, inflamed by the moon;

I felt my cavities as one with the lunar

Surface, far-off, yet still influencing

The world


I pray for all. But do I

Ever pray for the end of this





It is hard to pray for something

One is almost pathologically unable

To imagine. Loneliness is my best

Friend – it has never left me, nor

Let me leave it. Except for those strange,

Brief moments, when fires broke out of

A sudden in the winter’s cold


And it is always winter here –

Summer is but a solar flare –

A single hair from a flaming

Maiden, who has long since burnt

To death


Yesterday, I sat in a church,

Entranced by stained glass that

Bespoke vivid visions of a silent

Past. To think of you sat beside

Me, gazing up in admiration of

What you saw; what you wrested

From these windows with your

Uncanny imagination – that thought

Alone was able to win a smile,

Triumphant, against the lingering

Gravity of the day


For an artist to be without their

Muse, is like a populous planet

To be without the sun that nourishes

It: no creation can form –

Only dust upon lifeless dust


But, still, there is life –

Still there is that ineluctable

Call to prayer, that rouses life

In the boniest of bones, making

Queen Bees out of dull Worker



How can I feel joy in life

That only offers more tortures

Based on repetitions and elaborations

Of the same old historic patterns?


Can’t there be some sudden break?

Some drastic fissure? That sunders

Unhappiness from the weight of the

Past, so that to the isles of gaiety,

We can surely sail?


A collision of two worlds –

That’s what I dreamed of

At first, it was just a blip –

A comma punctuating the blank

Page of Heaven –but soon enough,

It was upon us; I was amazed at

How still everything remained –

There was no rising heat – no

Apocalyptic tremors. Even when the

Planet was so close, you could make

Out its individual continents and

Houses, still, nothing seemed to



And no one else could see it

Only me

Only me


And so, I l climbed inside

That arpeggio, and found

A forbidden home for myself

In the isolated harmonies carved

Out by its root, third, fifth, and

Octave – these notes played

Violently above me like the

Mechanical threshings of a

Great big threshing machine –

And I bore deeper into those

Unused harmonies, knowing they

Were the only places I would not

Get hurt


But then I became sick of

Not being hurt – I got sick

Of staying stuck in these isolated

Pockets – these infinitesimal sanctuaries

Of non-arpeggiation


But the threshing machine

Offered me no place to go –

The gaps between the notes

Played on that hurtling repetition

Of Arpeggio were just too fleeting to

Allow an exit


I thought, if I stayed here long

Enough, that I could tighten my

Reflexes, so that even the smallest

Window of opportunity could be

Exploited by my martial prowess


The Arpeggio never stopped –

Its notes drummed into me day

And night – the hands above played

It with tireless, arthritic abandon,

And I could only tell the times of the

Seasons, by the way the intervals

Revolved around themselves


In autumn, the Arpeggio

Would still carry on playing;

But the keys on the harpsichord

Would become cold and scratched,

And the whole surface of the instrument

Would begin to fleck off its

Colour, until it was repainted again

In spring.


But then, one day, the Arpeggio

Suddenly stopped. This was

Unprecedented. Just how could

An Arpeggio stop?

Isn’t the Arpeggio



But God is also The Anti-Arpeggio –

And isn’t the anti-Arpeggio what I

Had been all along?


So, in the interval of his

Un-falsifiable intervals,

I escaped through the gaps

Of the now rusted and placid

Threshing machine, and found

Myself a spot of freedom

In the absence of glory and



Truly, the keyboardist

Returned to his instrument –

But I was no longer the one

Being instrumentalized – I was

No longer the victim of a sonata

That has no beginning or end


And the Arpeggio resumed playing,

With myself being threshed by it,

Every part of me reaped to be an

Unspoken melody’s fodder


Because the Arpeggio cannot

Be hidden from – it is the Lord of

Both Sound and Silence

And if you can find something that

Annihilates both of them, then maybe

This poem will finally end with

Me asking once again:

“In the certain rising of an

Arpeggio, can you hear the

Steady ascent of a sephirotic


Climbing up to Heaven?”


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