Ampat Varghese Varghese
N. was trying to remember the Name.
A book of poetry in Tamil lay before him. The contents were modern. He bent over the pages. He reminded me of a mishapen yet beautiful Giacometti sculpture.
Someone once said it would have been good if memory was done away with. He meant psychological memory. But then there would not have been Art, captured by the slash of the brush and the stab of the nib.
The cover of the book was white upon black. There was another Giacometti-like sculpture etched upon it. Two gnarled hands wrenching wantonly at space. There were several poems therein. Black on white.
The poet was there. So too, the readers and critics. Many friends had gathered together.
Charts were drawn and words inscribed in boxes with arrows pointing this way and that. Auto-shapes.
“Some of it makes no sense.”
“It does, depending on what is within you. There is a key. A door. One enters.”
N. was there, bent under the words.
“After you have written something, put it away. Come back to it. It works beneath the skin, beyond the bones, inside the marrow,” he always said.
The introduction to the book of poems put it thus: It is all in the DNA, in particle physics, in chemical reactions, where cells meet.
I am a cell, I am in a cell, a cancer, a canker.
N. could not remember the Name.
Nor could I.
There is not enough information, G. wrote in his introduction.
Or there’s too much of it! Chart after chart.
They don’t help.
Is there a method? In the empty air? In the two hands seeking to shape the empty space?
V. came by one evening. He had borrowed N.’s books. He sat down and asked for a cup of coffee.
N. called out to P. She understood.