mardi 28 novembre 2006

je me souviens

il me faut juste écrire, juste écrire, juste écrire, juste écrire, juste écrire ....

Another December rolling around, another holiday season
another Christmas.
C'est ça: n'importe quoi that Howie Carr says.
Has it been two years?
Nearly eleven, since that time long ago.

Quel paradoxe:
reawakened, refreshed.
demoralised, discontent.
Lassitude; living.
fatigue; feliciting.
nostalgia ...
a swirl of memory:
a mental melody
from long long ago
that I still do remember ...
je me souviens.

Today must have been some Hallmark commencement;
"I remember when we could have afforded to be a bit more silly
when life like this wasn't so shitty
perhaps it's all romanticism's glow
but let it snow let it snow let it snow"

Have I ever felt so alienated
disjunct, nause-
ated, with a stom-
ach so knotted an-
d full of malai-
se inside out, ey-
es closed, unable to bear
the torment
when those carols do play?

I remember when it wasn't like this.
I do remember.
je me souviens.

It is beyond the clichés now
I'm generally amenable to the singing traditions
and it is there the paradox begins
part of it is a question of identity
to be caught between the world and the other
and doth not Singapore have them too?

but to hear them after a politically charged talk show
along with American conceptions of faith, be it Protestant,
Catholic or Islam
in a yellow school bus
felt badly placed somehow

I wonder what thought the Muslim girl
in the back of the bus.
for surely she must have felt
more uneasy than I.

and this I do remember.
je me souviens.

firm vomit-inducing unfirmness
when one has to criticise members of one's own faith
to defend the actions of the other
it becomes a question of identity

and despite my closed eyes,
the radio blasts on.


thank you Bush! je t'aime:
the way you had to regurgitate
that old beaten dead-horse wardrum again
I remember when you first mentioned your rhetoric
back in 2001, back in Primary Five

I do remember.
je me souviens.

has it ever changed?
it is vague: the Enemy is like an ethereal wraith.
it will be a tough fight, it will require
lots of money, and it demands attention
yet we know we also have to fight them from
establishing an empire with
ambitions of clearly demarcated borders
to know that we must not let them triumph
with their hateful ideology;

yes, d'accord Bush, yes, a hateful ideology
one that's
radical radical radical
I love your allusions

Bush, je t'aime.
and this I remember.

je me souviens.

yet despite all this uneasiness
quelle ironie!
I am more fundamentalist than most.
and do I generally not love the season's
songs and tidings?

I am plunged into a time
long long ago
where I do remember
where je me souviens d'une fois ...
thoughts flash from Jurong to Cape Elizabeth to Dover
to Embassy Suites in South Portland
though I did not know it then,
I remember my first French words, at the age of five:
papier-mâché; non.

papier-mâché, that meant the joyous fun
of sticky fingers covered in glue residue
from all those projects in Wesley child care.

, that word that looks so close to no,
with scarcely any deviation from its 7000 year old
PIE root
a history I did not know, for
I only recall eleven years ago

what is the difference between no and non, mommy?
quelle est la différence?
if "non-smoking" means "no smoking"
and they mean the same thing
why are they said different?

and this I do remember,
je me souviens.

I remember
that mysterious carol I cannot identify
playing on the Weather Channel
in the season and year
where I first saw snow,
howling and raging
a sort of baptism by fire
a sort of baptism by blizzard.

December 1995; the month of my first migration.
I remember the hotel calendar,
the howling tempest of snow outside
with the contrasting tranquility
of that mysterious melody ...

plunge into memory! plunge into memory!
and this I do remember.
je me souviens.

building snowmen!
cold room porch!
automobile ice accident!
(we got out unscathed, unharmed
with totalled minivan
and a slightly higher insurance premium)
fog and snowball fights of kindergarten!
snowforts of first grade
sleigh-rides of second
the Christmas tree of the third
with multi-coloured musical lights
Ice storm. '98.
the train of the fourth ...

désastre. parle-moi de désastre.

and this I do remember.
je me souviens.

and I resurface,
opening my eyes on the bus, to the light of day
fast fading into dusk
the winter night
I get off into the cool winter air
it is drizzling freezing rain
and the call of two places comes back to me
haunting me ever still

un deux trois quatre
cinq six sept
Violette, Violette
un deux trois quatre
cinq six sept
Violette en bicyclette!

My home
Wherever I may be
I believe
You will always be a part of me

I wish for monsoons. I wish for snow.
Don't you remember that time in Tekam during sec 2?
Don't you remember that time in Cape during grade 2?
And this I do remember.
je me souviens.

Now, the days are brisk, brief and cold
though there be scarcely a single snowflake on the ground
qu'il neige, qu'il neige
screw adulthood
and all the wants of propriety
I want ever so much to be able
to play in the snow again
just like the good old days.

and this I do remember.
je me souviens.

1 commentaire:

  1. I am envious- you have a way with words. Am terribly impressed by your French too, because it just looks so impressive when interjected into your entry that way (and also because I don't understand a word of French).

    What's still more impressive, sirrah, was how even when I went to several largely unrelated websites, on largely unrelated topics (except maybe the fact they touched a little on politics), I always seem to see your opinions there. It makes me wonder just how much free time you have on your hands.

    Anyway, I bow to thy superior mastery of language, and Merry Reminiscing.