Saturday, June 30, 2012


You've instilled in me a manic secrecy
one, I am not made to bear.

I adorn you in mystery
I summon you in monikers
I embellish you in poetry
  and relish in their squandering.

You've instilled in me a dolorous fancy
one, I am now addicted to.

There is no proper word
no known rubric
no appropriate response 
    for this meandering.

Through my poetry, I am charting
the topography of my madness
        My incognito sentiments.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ke kelmarin

Dihembus nama-nama yang
sayup-sayup tertangkap dalam fikiran
kerikil bicara-bicara yang lampau
hinggap ke senja-senjaku

Loceng masa lalu berbunyi
menandakan laluan pintas ke kelmarin.

The Lives of Man

Part 1 (Part 2 click here )

      Another excellent talk by Sh. Hamza Yusuf titled The Lives of Man. I love his talks. I especially like that he relates particular words, their meanings and also the meanings of their respective root words. Semantics! It makes understanding concepts effortless, natural. It reminds me how my dad likes to go on and on about reverting the teaching of Maths and Science in English back to Bahasa Malaysia in schools. He said, in Science and Maths some words carry the concepts with them and sometimes when translated, the words are so different that the concept they carry are lost. 

Back to the topic at hand, Sh. Hamza begins by relating to his students that the word 'Man' is derived from the German word 'Mench which is inclusive of both men and women. That women are regarded simply as men with wombs. Much of what he's saying is based on the book of the same title by a yemeni scholar, Sh. Abdullah Al-Haddad (short summary of the book here / entire book in pdf format here). Sh. Hamza mentions it is said that every 100 years, God sends someone to revise this din and Al-Haddad is considered one of them.

In a nutshell, the talk revolves around the developmental stages of human beings (
Erickson's model, Kubler-Ross's stages etc.)with the extension of pre-wordly and post-death events as narrated in the Qur'an.  In part 2 of the talk, he focuses on the progression of age. In part 1, he focuses on the stages entailed in Al-Haddad's book, which is divided into 5:
1. Mithaaq (World of Spirits = Pre-worldly)
2. Dunya (Worldly life of choice & effort = Birth til Death)
3. Barzakh (State of life after Death)
4. Hashr / Nashr (Resurrection)
5. Final Abode (Ultimate divine intimacy = The Garden / Ultimate divine alienation = The Fire)

Each part of the talk lasts about 1 hour 30 mins. It's all very fascinating. I mean really. Sh. Hamza mentions a  lot of things. I'm just going to list some of it at random:
- Heidegger's death philosophy (our death acts being the only real thing we do that is purely out of our own volition)
- Ajbu Dhanab (The wondrous tail), it is proposed that the tip of the coccyx is the seed of the human being. As you know seeds are very hardy, they can survive HCl in our stomachs, fires, drought etc. So humans perhaps are brought back to life from this seed during resurrection.
- Spiritual Death being the goal of most religions. When one dies to the sensory world and enters into meaning, once occured, freed from the sensory world and will never view it the same again, quoting a poet:
"He freed himself from sensory (sensoria), that was his obstacle, and he embraced meaning, an embrace that he is not permitted to ever leave."  To embrace mortality.
- How God's Mercy preceeds Wrath. That the over-riding mode of God is Mercy when we are taken into reckoning. How God has 100 parts of Mercy, 99 He retains and 1 part is descended  to our world. How the hoof of a mare is prevented from stepping on its foal, why a mother nurses her baby, all these being that 1 part of Mercy. (Then he goes on describing the womb (rahim) at length which I find exceedingly interesting).
- The two reasons why in Islam when babies are born, the azan is recited into the right ear, the iqamah in the left ear  & someting sweet is placed unto the tongue: 1- Wa'd (The promise - that he/she will return to divine presence from whence we came) 2- Wa'id (The warning - if he/she do not maintain the promise made during divine unity = la ilaha illa 'llah they will be in trouble).
- How 40 years of life = an entire lifetime. >40 = Bounty. He relates this to the Prophet saying to the Quraisy people that he "had lived a lifetime" among them, before the first revelation. 

There's so much more of course. I made proper notes as I listened this time around *happy* So yes, a very interesting topic.

p.s. In case anybody watch the vids and is curious what was the Greek play Sh. Hamza mentions in part 1, it was Lysistrata. The student that answered Sh. Hamza's question wasn't very audible so yeah.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Two Stroke Engine by A.M.

I saw your face
                                                                      Stupid and naive
                                                                      Cut up from the chase
                                                                      Still you think you're nice
                                                                      Typical two stroke laughter case
                                                                      We've been studying this
                                                                       Not an easy maze
                                                                       Here's the theory;

                     Silveretia the embarrassing two stroke laughter
                        She don't even have a carburetor 
                     Low oxygen is the main factor
                        Simply put I hate this two stroke laughter

                                                                        Hey two stroke laughter what's the need for
                                                                        Stop this now and I've got what I came for
                                                                        Two stroke engine, you
                                                                        There's an abundant of oxygen here
                                                                        So stop acting like there's none here
                                                                        Two stroke engine, you
                                                                         need more oxygen.

  I saw your face
                                                                       Stupid and naive
                                                                       Caught up from the chase
                                                                       Still you think you're naive
                                                                       Full of stupidity
                                                                       She likes to laugh
                                                                       Embarrassing two stroke laugh
                                                                       Please stop pretending

                     Silveretia the embarrassing two stroke laughter
                       Going to slap her the slap of a lifetime
                     Nothing's better than the slap of a lifetime
                       Simply put I hate this two stroke laughter

                     I heard your laughter
                       What a desperate one
                     Silveretia the desperate "
                       She didn't even have a carburetor        
                           Neither a fuel injector

NOTE: Written by my dearest brother.  Today, I was rummaging around for paper to write on and found your form 2 notebook. Lo and behold this was scribbled in it. I think it's pure genius. I am very much envious. I took the liberty of typing it out, I hope you don't mind.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Becerita tentang Tuhan
maksud Al-fatihah sudah faham?
Mengadu mahu menulis buku
buku-buku di bahu, isinya kamu tahu?

Memanggil-manggil kematian
tanpa mengerti apanya itu mati
         Mati itu interogasi
         bukannya buaian mimpi
         sekadar bahan puisi

Meratapi kekasih; Cinta kononnya
hari-hari berdosa; "Aku Manusia".
Menyangkakan diri ini punyai Ilmu
tentang 'Kesedihan kehidupan'.

Sambil menyingkap rahsia kesepian
lemas dalam diri sendiri.
        Aku mahu seperti Rumi
        Cintanya, sepinya, hausnya
        buat Tuhan
Kelak ditelan bumi, tanpa Cahaya dihati
Dua kegelapan akan perkenalkan diri.

Nota: Muhasabah diri. *sigh* Too often, too easily, I lose sight of things. This is the place to jot this down I suppose. I wish I brought my notes home with me, alas. Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury, at the Twins of Faith conference I attended in Melbourne back in April, he spoke of surah Al-Fatihah. How it being a conversation between us & God. 

It stuck in my mind. I think it was particularly significant because of course we recite the al fatihah in each rakaah of our salah. I like it when the sheikhs talk about the metaphysics of salah because this is it. Our salah is what innervates our Imaan. To perfect our salah is the siratal mustaqeem to Jannah.

There're videos on youtube of Sh. Hamza Yusuf talking about the metaphysics of salah. A couple of things he said:
- The takbir: when we raise our hands behind our ears, we're forsaking the Dunia, throwing the World behind our backs to enter into the presence of God. (Sh. Tawfique also talked about this at TOF).
- The sujud: when we prostrate ourselves, physically, our hearts will be elevated relative to our brains. In effect, we're elevating our spirits/souls over our intellect. To believe.

Ach, I'm doing no justice. I'll just hunt those vids down & link it here. In case somebody stumble upon this & feels inclined to watch them. (30 min vid)
- (2 min vid below)

I love that I now have the time & peace of mind to sit & ponder all of this more.

p.s. while I'm at it, this is one of Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury's talks at TOF, Melbourne 2012 that I attended, titled: Such was our Prophet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Sheikh Hamza Yusuf on Poetry.

I admire him immensely. It strikes me that this man, in this day & age is very much respected among us Muslims, just try to imagine how much more admired, how much more loved our prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. was by the Muslims in his day & age.

I'd write a summary of what he says but there's just so much. His talk gets better & better towards the end. Perhaps towards the end, especially.

The video starts with Sheikh Hamza Yusuf mentioning that his dad studied at UC with Mark Van Doren (Man whom Kerouac first sent his first published novel The Town and the City to, whom Ginsberg sent his The Denver Doldrums and Dakar Doldrums to) and his father actually named him after Van Doren. He speaks of Van Doren's genuine regard for others as his intellectual par. I just find this striking because I've been reading Kerouac & Ginsberg's letters this morning & watched this. Serendipitous. I've always taken serendipity as one of God's many ways of making Himself known, alhamdulillah.

This is what Kerouac said about Van Doren in his letter to Ginsberg, April 1948:
"The thing I like about Van Doren is this: he was the only professor I personally knew at Columbia who had the semblance of humility without pretensions   the semblance, but to me, deeply, the reality of humility too. A kind of sufferingly earnest humility like you imagine old Dickens or old Dostoevsky having later in their lives. Also he's a poet, a "dreamer" and a moral man. The moral man part is my favourite part. This is the kind of man whose approach to life has the element in it of a moral proposition. Either the proposition was made to him or he made it himself, to life. See? My kind of favourite man." 
(from the book Jack Kerouc Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, Edited by Bill Morgan and David Stanford)

In his talk about poetry, Sh. Hamza mentions Dostoevsky, the buffoonery of the father in Brothers Karamazov etc. He mentions Shakespeare, Hamlet -how Hamlet is a play about spiritual evolution, of Hamlet's soliloquy being about his fear of death. The poets in the day of prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h, Hassan ibn Thabit etc. He also mentions Rumi several times (naturally). Quoting both Shakespeare & Rumi. The genius of the talk lies in how Sh. Hamza laces everything with hadiths

"The prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. said: The truest thing that a poet ever said was what Naveed said:  Isn't it everything other than God is falsehood. And that's in Sahih Bukhari. And that's all Rumi ever said. You can read all those lines. Words words words, that's all his message is, just a commentary on what was said by our prophet Muhammad." -Sheikh Hamza Yusuf

Okay, maybe I just wrote a summary of sorts after all.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Living dead

"Egoists. That's what we are." said she.
"I, you, her, we would've all been much happier."
The honesty by which we spoke last night rattled me. My soul unhinged, I painted my fears into spoken words. I spoke of my madness, mindlessness, insanity that plagued me for 8 hours, that plagues me even now. Like a dam broken, I confided, confessed, continually. Too afraid to stop talking, I emptied myself.

There is no consolation left but we forge on still. Expectations, lying on our shoulders like a straight jacket.

                                    Straight-jacketed into fulfilling their expectations for us, 
paying our debt of  Love they've shown us.
The long growing dissatisfaction we bear, we hide;
Out of love nonetheless.
Time awasted, our youthful dreams barely intact but it's alright.
We won't swim against the tide, ride what's not to be ridden,
write what's not to be written,
painting our minds onto the walls of alienation,
painting our own blood, brains & guts onto the canvas of life.

Of my generation there's only room for conformers and martyrs.
Surrendering to the world's greed for uniform progress, growth in wealth, as preached by the democrats.
For the people, by the people.
Individuality wiped from the face of history, we are smeared into a single hue of obedience. They tame our spirits & mold our ambitions. Sweet conformity, the bane of our existence. All paths long trodden, no longer are there 'The Road Not Taken.'s

Sleep is elusive, contentment illusory, happiness a myth.
As I lie in bed, bleeding words, dreams, soul, I realize we're but the living dead.

If I am to howl, I'll do it properly. I'll tear my throat out, I'll try harder, louder.

Note: Found this scribbled on scrap paper, tucked into the pages of  Jack Kerouc Allen Ginsberg: The Letters (Edited by Bill Morgan and David Stanford), which after abandoning it for almost a year, I'm re-reading. Hysterical is what I am. Written last year immediately after a couple of phone calls to my Da Vinci & Cassady. Ha ha ha. 

First year bitterness, ingratitude, willfulness, silliness, what have you. I'm telling you, studying overseas brings about a sea of changes that crash into you in multitudes, as the waves does upon a shore. Ach, I liken everything to the sea, waves & shores. Idiotic. Just one of the images that pervades me. Anyway, yes, studying overseas is pretty much being chucked into an alien land with some cash & have you integrate yourself a.s.a.p. because you have quizzes, tests, assignments & shizz to score literally just days after. What we do is we survive first year and then, we start living. It's different. The Sun shines differently, the stars are different, the air, even the song of the birds, the crows, insects, the culture, food, people everything is foreign.

And then you go home for holidays & it all feels like a dream. But after a year & a half, you feel yourself balancing out. It doesn't feel like a painful fracture anymore. Now that I'm home again, I can reflect on all of this peacefully. This year so far has been a blessing. I feel that I owe it all to those TOF tickets.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Butterfly Project

For Maya. I'd like it very much for you to keep this one alive.

p.s. I wish I drew this for you yesterday because I had a hunch but decided against it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


My sanity carved
one morceau at a time
by your mignon hands
into a likeness of yourself;
         Accidental pedagouge
fiendish friend, two-faced love

This world is never in repose
Pangs of consciousness
burn the sinews of my mind
Since being afflicted with this acuity
                         — I have been faceless.

Friday, June 8, 2012


This is the song of my silence:
        Soft curls of an apology
        upon the ewe neck of a promise,
        whose whiteness is made of lies.
                 — Innocence do not nestle
                    in the crook of a dimple.
Garrisoned to an abbreviated existence,
    the life-span of a fading memory
    will outlast me.


I want no part of anybody
this torrid hell in my mind
blackens me
my reflections are demons unleashed
my very eyes leer at me
        — I unearth my heart to nobody.


Bald trees over the horizon
the dawning of death
who greets me with flowers
like a lover, he whispers my name
into mirrors and wipes my tears
with skeletal breaths, ghosting my ear.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear Star,

This silence no longer has conviction.
I am to let whatever impressions of you
fall into my orbit and burn as they are.

Time and again you ensnare me
with Sun-like gravity.
Here on Earth
I can only gaze and wonder.

Will there ever be a time
when I have risen high enough
to fall at your feet?

No need to answer now
        — I was just wondering.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


There is no change. It's like I've reached a plateau & fallen off the edge & vanished. What is a putsch without an outcome? A boring failure. Maybe all this silence is the outcome after all.

First, I must wait for the ash to settle.

p.s. I need a new tag.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It has just occurred to me that I have not ventured outside my apartment for the past 8 days. No wonder I'm kinda losing it.