It is true what they say, without a chorus, Antigone doesn’t have a say (or & और, में खायल हूं किसी और का, मुझे सोचता कोई कोर है।)

It is true what they say, without a chorus, Antigone doesn’t have a say (or & और, में खायल हूं किसी और का, मुझे सोचता कोई कोर है।)

I am struggling to write, 

I feel all alone. 

Ideas are always on the margins, 

the lines keep shifting. 

I am freaking out, 

I cannot feel. 

Is this a writer’s block,

or, is the poet on a break?

Words, which are my arsenal, ammunition & my only armour, 

have abandoned me, 

they chose to leave with the poet who is punishing me for my impertinent ways:

how could I, an eternal listener, 

a Hegelian subject condemned to the bootcamps of beings,

(always chasing the other & only in tasting the other coming alive)

believe the chorus is here to stay?

How could I, an ethnographer of precarity, 

not recognise how frail, fleeting & fragile matters of voice really are? 

The poet is punishing me for my impatience, 

our arrangement is to plead to posterity,

to redeem for our savage souls. 

I broke our agreed terms & conditions, 

I started to think of present as permanent, 

future no longer an abstraction,

but only one-hand’s distance away, 

of course I belittled the other, 

I subtracted it from the equation.

It is true what they say, 

without a chorus, 

Antigone doesn’t have a say. 

This is my humble submission to the poet, 

but also a lovelorn letter too,

to come back to me, 

or take me too,

but don’t leave me alone, 

without my others. 

I shall never dare to think alone, 

nevermore, I say, nevermore; 

I shall always be else’s Eleanor, 

I even promise to die more often, 

but nevermore without an(other) breathing down my necks, 

shall I breathe another word of being. 

I beseech & beg the poet to return, 

without the poet’s loneliness, 

distances have disappeared, 

only destinations stay. 

All else failing, 

I make my Antigone threats to the poet, 

you may be the exception, I say, 

for whom I shall defy any universality, 

but there are other universes too,

& here too are a few poets who may be eligible & eager to fill the posts abandoned 

I borrow an(other)’s words to tempt & tease, but really to plead to the poet, 

to say, I indeed know now, 

I am tasted on the tongues of others, 

I only thrive in their dreams. 

I am the mirror i am seen in, 

But only an other is always the mirror;

में खायल हूं किसी और का, 

मुझे सोचता कोई कोर है। 

सरे आइना मेरा अक्स है 

बस आइना कोई और। 

[9th June 2024, secret corners, mountains]