Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Death of Beksinski



There were days when he could not get out of bed; when he wallowed in his week-old pyjamas, slept in grease and sweat. But who was there to witness his disgrace? He was alone in the studio, surrounded by paintings, sculptures, all by his own hands. They were never judgemental in their gaze - perhaps they were too lost in their own grief, in their own torment that they did not notice. Perhaps they adored him the way children adores their parents.

He wanted to hold a congregation to prove that the old cliché, that every cloud has a silver lining was total bullshit. His son had committed suicide a year after his wife's death. Could people have misinterpreted the message of this cliché? Could it be that the silver lining was originally meant as a strike of lightning that does further damage rather than the equivalent of a rainbow? He had so many questions, so many God damned questions that even God himself could not have answered.

When he painted he created life. He painted skeletons and death and gore but it pulsated with life. He felt the pain in his deformed figures, throbbing in sync with his heart and he wanted to tell the man in his painting, I hear you, I know how you feel.

Often he lost himself in his painting, in the furious stroke of brush, as if he was uncovering rather than painting. He was an archaeologist, removing centuries of dust and sand to reveal pulchritude. He was an anatomist, detailing each human bone with care. He was a murderer, tearing skin off his shrieking victims, watching the blood gush vibrantly red from the wounds.

Life is ironic this way. He was suicidal, manically depressed for most of the time in the duration of six years after his son's death. In the year 2005, he was found dead in his apartment. He was not a victim of suicide, rather, he was stabbed to death with 17 stab wounds.

If he had committed suicide before the incident, would he have died a far more pleasant death? Would he have died peacefully in his sleep after swallowing some pills? Did the thought perhaps flash across his mind as the murderer stabbed him, continuously for seventeen times? Or was he afraid that his blood would splatter across his paintings and ruin them?

It's funny how we sometimes reach our desired destination but with an alternate, less preferred mean of getting there. If he had known that, would he have wished to live instead? Or would he have complied with what fate has in store for him, seeing the pain only as a collateral cost in order to achieve the eternal peace? Was he certain that he would've rejoined his family after his death? Did he have any doubt that he could've been stranded in a void, utterly alone, bodiless, cold, cold to the very core? Or was he just tired of the world, tired of being lonely?

I have so many God damned questions, so many that God himself co
uld not have answered.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Toska


As keenly as I felt the toska
I know that you have gone. 
The world has upturned 
In the mingling of our arms
And you are long gone.

I wake to see the embroidered
Veil over my eyes. And feel -
Feel the placatory warmth of my own body.
My skin itches, swells in layers and I
Want to peel it all away.

I want to lie naked and skinless
Skinless and naked;
And weep and strike my fists upon my breasts:
In all the crudities of blood and flesh - 
For isn't that what our love was?