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Volume 3

Spring 2008


Written by
Haider Shahbaz

Descriptions, especially chronological, are always irritatingly boring. And also hard. Maybe one day we will just meet and I can show you everything I drew on the walls. Please do not bring any light. Hear the songs in the most profound silence and discern the sketches in the darkest of nights. Our paths might cross on this pilgrimage.


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Important Nonsense Presented Randomly


My head swirls. Eyes red; following the thick smoke as it spreads. Stop making those fucking circles. I say. He laughs and shoots another perfect one. Shake head. Forget. Nothing exists beyond you. Hey! You! Bloody Paki; get your brown ass here. Someone says. Fucking immigrants! His black eyeliner, lipstick and nails carrying high the flag of opposition right beneath those multinational noses, that globalizing loneliness, that communication revolution heralding the death of human sense. He stands there. Right in front of that fast pacing train of the first world, lost in the wilderness and not caring, picking its speed towards unknown destinations. I like your purple hair. I say. I know. I dye it. She says. I touch her nose with the tips of my fingers as I follow the freckles on her face. I push her hair behind her ear. Your hair brings out your eyes. She smiles. She smiles as if amused by a stupid child. Sense. Touch. Vision. Feeling. Love. Your arms are hairy. She remarks. She questions. Tell my brown genes. I say. Inhale. Inhale. Forget. Sink. Fly. Who is that? It’s nothing. No there is someone right there. Fuck this headache. I think. That lady in the red dress! He laughs. Stop inhaling. He says. Inhale. Inhale. Your earring looks fucking gay, fag boy! I laugh. You know I love you. I answer. Dance. Dance. The flickering lights. Touch. Warmth. Sweat. Smell. I like flickering lights. I pull her back tightly close to me, or his back. I feel like I have shattered that metal, that glass, trespassed that forbidden boundary and violated that unwritten code of separation. Of solitude. Of individualism. A shot of vodka. Hands up. A glass of Bhang. Swirl. Swirl. I let my hair loose as my outstretched hands embrace the wind and my bare feet thump the soil. Lights flicker above as I press his – or her? Does it even matter? – warm body against the glass. Swirl under the green tomb on the dhol as the beat increases in intensity. Come to Edinburgh with me. She says. Come to Lahore with me. I say. We both smile. Our fingers entwined as I hold her tightly, the back of her head resting on my chest, as she sits between my legs. I kiss her cheeks. I lightly touch her lips with mine. I open my eyes and look at her face. I see a beautiful face. I kiss her again. Defying the laws of individualism, race and history; I find my refuge in the realms of love. I heard about the bombs in your country. He says. Yeah man! Really sad! I say. How to explain? I think. Inhale. Forget. The sea stretches in front of me. The dark night hides me. The cold wind expounds my fears. We care about the third world now because we know it can knock on our door and tear our house down. The problems of the third world are suddenly our problems. The MP says. It is the farangis that have brought us here. Death to America! The hot-blooded student leader screams as he stands on the university building, his beard strewn and his shabby clothes covered by an old shawl. Chant my brothers. Chant so hard that the walls of that western world shake. Tell them we are coming. He says. Inhale. Dance. Kiss. Here is your soul. Here is yourself. I wrap myself around her sleeping body as I kill my paranoia. I feel like I have never touched her before. I touch more than her skin. Here is your soul. Here is our soul. Free yourself. Fly.



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