Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Afzal Moolla


clawing at my face,
slipping beneath the facade,

tugging, tearing, flailing,

stripping off the veneer,
exposing the fragmented decay,
under this mask I wear today.

groping for another layer,
embroidered on my thin skin,

peeling, rotting, searing,

shaving away the truths,
entwined in a jagged kiss,
the vacuum of an emotional abyss.

from myself yet again,
bound for nothingness,

desolate, cold, empty,

lost on barren pathways,
bruising my heart as I tread,
at the horrors that lie ahead.


TSTmpj:  Your poem is an overtly powerfully emotional piece, yet you still include a line like "embroidered on my thin skin" which has a much more delicate feel.  How do perceive, as a poet who clearly is affected by the politics of his circumstances, about the value of more pure lyric poetry?

Afzal Moolla: I have always appreciated the lyric poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, John Keats and Alexander Pushkin. Being a child of politically active parents who spent years in exile before returning to a democratic and non-racial South Africa, the power and value of lyric poetry as a means of expressing political and social issues, as well as more personal outpourings of emotion, has always been very close to my heart. The inclusion of a line like "embroidered on my thin skin" in my poem is an effort to counter-balance the pain expressed with a reference to the delicate nature of human sensitivities.


TSTmpj:  Where is "nothingness" for you?

Afzal Moolla: "nothingness" for me is the sometimes barren road that seems devoid of hope. It is the road that a person may be on at a particular time in their life, or the path that a country has chosen to take, with little or no regard for the less fortunate people and the complete 'invisibility' of the struggles and pain of that large portion of humanity.


TSTmpj:  Is a "jagged kiss" a "facade" that inevitably leads to a bruising of the heart?

Afzal Moolla: The impermanence of emotions, even deeply felt ones like love sometimes appear to me as being a 'facade'. A 'jagged kiss' is the bittersweet and often conflicting feelings and emotions that love stirs up in one's heart, and yes, at times it can be a convenient 'facade' to shroud the conflict raging within a heart, which also at times, may inevitably lead to the bruising of the heart.

Bio Note

Afzal Moolla lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. He writes for pleasure and is an avid reader of history.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Elvis Fix

I Diverge

I diverge
I am the contra
to normalcy
slowly swimming
through the ether
the senselessness—
the senselessness that fills
the otherwise void world.
Tangent ray of light
Happily peerless
Happily alone.


TSTmpj:  What do you see as "normalcy", in however broad a sense you wish to interpret it?
Elvis Fix:  Normalcy, to me, is the complacency of everyday existence. It is the superficial, depthless state of those who blindly submit to the world. The formless nature of this normalcy is described as the ether where it is not only ubiquitous but also without true content and solid existence. The normalcy is the poison that etherizes the individual and robs him of his ability to be himself.


TSTmpj:  The age old question, pursuit, of "happiness" -- again, can your offer our readers your broader take on it?

Elvis Fix:  Happiness to the Divergent is of a different hue than to those of the normalcy. Happiness is not the shallow drives of ordinary pleasure but instead the desire to create. The Divergent, as I classify people of individualism, are those who can accept the world as senseless and thrive in the meaning they give to it individually. This is an existential pursuit to the self and self-crafted meaning.


TSTmpj:  What is your version of being "peerless"?

Elvis Fix:  Peerlessness is the state that an individual achieves when he has accepted himself. He has chosen to live an authentic existence with Emersonian self-reliance. To be peerless is to have obtained a level of self-awareness that it becomes incomprehensible to others. In this way “peerless” means not only solitude but also without equal in understanding. Through this transcendental state, one may find one’s own happiness.

Bio Note

Elvis Fix lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He has been published in Three Line Poetry, Haiku Journal and Counterexample Poetics.