When a curious did try to please the room
Inside a box which will never be unfastened
And the strange edge, stagnant and surrounded by celestial imaginations
But what of the unseen or the unfelt
And how to believe on such blinded, to the skeptic or the believer
In a room, where light will not show its face
But what is it that so securely takes away ten thousand sorrows at a time
And that one soul, who will not believe a single thing
But why is such a corrosive thing, untrue and universally publicized
Which is bitter to the ones on that free flowing line
To the one who never compromises, he shall be taken to exile
And his clothes will be snatched and his flesh fastened to that tree
Where the heavenly spirits did visit each night, so they say
To see, to feel, but what of the mind which never felt a thing
Besides the one thing, poverty
Now that the soldiers take you away,
But none a warrior left here to take away your imaginations
And when at the cross-road, that fine stone, and the splitting strings,
And that automobile which will not stop creating this
To the broken, there needs to be something worth living for
Some sought love, some sought rejection
And what of the others
But never will a thought so explicit be allowed to take control over you
In this society and the next, it is highly contagious
Or what the creative shall say will never be heard
And he will be placed in that lunatic asylum
Where, beside the calm and the polite rods, grilled so sophisticatedly
But to believe in it, is to remain calm for the rest of this injurious life
Beside you, there is another soul, and the writings on the wall
He is brilliant, so the physiatrist gives him more pills
Now that every soul who has ever seen madness shall never see the pleasure in the gifted lines, but it is no game for the commoner
They will take you away and you will never see the art in your room again
About the Poet:
Yogesh Chandra is from Fiji. He writes Poetry and Novels and is currently a Post-Graduate Student at the University of the South Pacific. His first book is entitled ‘The Tragedy of our Lives’ and can be found on Amazon Stores. He is currently working on a novel ( a psychological thriller) forthcoming mid 2018.
‘Pristine Thoughts’ by Yogesh Chandra conjured up images of René Magritte’s work. This poem is angsty, urgent and shouts out to be heard. The imagery that Chandra uses to evoke my response to his poem is that of entrapment within a space/room— in this case, one’s imagination or the creative mind—that the world may not get. So “more pills” are shoved down the throat of “another soul”. It reminds me of writing not for others but for yourself, writing not “to please the room”. It speaks to me about staying true to the craft. As a writer, I understand the commerciality of one’s work, the sales which translate to figures that your work can churn but yet, I remain fervent in my belief that writing is not always about commerciality; writing is soul food and thus cathartic and not everyone can get what you’re writing about! This poem reminds me to remain strong and resilient to what my writing can do for me and for my readers who get it. I reflect and think about the cathartic nature of the written word when I stare into the horizon beyond the room that confines me.
About the Artist:
René Magritte [1898 – 1967] was born René François Ghislain Magritte in Lessines Belgium. He is known for his surrealist work. To date, Magritte’s most famous work is that of a pipe with the caption: “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”. This work forces viewers to ask themselves if this is art and/or the meaning behind the image. This artwork—oil on canvas— entitled ‘The Treachery of Images’ (1929) is found at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It highlights the gap between image and language.
In ‘La Condition Humaine’ (1933), we see a room with a window resembling a canvas, indicated by the tripod stand of the easel. But wait! If you look closely, you’ll see that there is an easel with a landscape already painted on. Or are we looking through the glass pane out into the landscape beyond? Magritte’s paintings often reference paintings within his painting. Magritte says that “everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”
Often, the spoken or written language is the only form of expression for many of us. Yet, it is not enough. In images, we find meaning through a visual language. But, that is also not adequate in expressing what we feel, see or do. Despite the gap between image and language, the human condition is universal: wherever we are in the world, love, pain, joy and hurt–the depths of human emotions–are felt similarly. Desires for liberty, self-actualisation and expression are all sought after globally amidst cultural and linguistic differences and diversity.
La Condition Humaine (1933) René Magritte, oil, 100 x 81 cm National Gallery of Art Washington.
This publication is dedicated to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain who have sadly left their rooms within a few days of each other. Both Spade and Bourdain committed suicide despite being talented, famous and leading glamorous lives. I am dedicating this publication to them because I understand how so many of us live with pain beyond our abilities to cope; pain that can never be expressed publicly or even privately. “To the broken, there needs to be something worth living for”: where do we start to find that something to live for in this complicated world that we are part of and yet may not want to be?