a-z challenge: i

I is for many things, I have no problem choosing one, but for the past 24hrs or so, the process has been my typing a word beginning with i followed by me staring blankly. Using my very own advice about writers block (when you can’t write, write anyway), i decided to type out a handful or so of the words that come to mind and then waffle a bit. And so, without further anything, I give you …

Things I like, but don’t have the brain to write about in depth:

(I’m gonna mix up i for first name and i for surname because cannot braaain.)

Henrik Ibsen – I aimed consciously at literary precociousness as a kid and Ibsen was one of many authors employed in the endeavour. These days I’m often defeated by the text on the reverse of cereal boxes. (Norwegian modernist poet and playwright.)
Kazuo Ishiguro – British Japanese author, nuanced and elegant and note to self: watch The Saddest Music in the World asap.
Iggy Pop – yes son, you do know him; Lust for Life in Trainspotting. Also, fabulousness …


Imogen Heap – think sadder less mainstream Sarah McLachlan; pretty breakup songs. Too many at once would rot your teeth though.
INXS – for a brief shining moment in the 90s, I managed to get my hair to look like Michael Hutchence’s when it was long.
Ian McKellen – blah blah Gandalf blah Magneto blah blah blah Patrick Stewart bromance and all manner of other wonderful things, but have I bugged you to play George Ezra – Listen to the Man yet (I’ve already posted it twice on this blog)?Even if itnwas a shit sing, Sir Ian would make it awesome.
Intelligence – not just of the intellectual variety.
Instinct – my overactive amygdala has saved my ass more than once.
Infinity – I find it soothing to feel small against the gloriously unexplored vastness of time and space.


Inspiration – not a thing I rely on or particularly believe in, but woahhhhh those manic rhymes and poems and songs that emerge unbidden … one just has to remember to put them safely away and look with a critical eye once the mania has left the building. A poem written in one take is usually a shitty poem.


Ideas – my very most favourite of all the ideas I’ve ever brained, is a nightclub called Club Seals. I’ve been pondering it for decades and one time back in the day on Amazon Mechanical Turk, I sold it for one of your American cents. I’m not even kidding. Have pointless, unoriginal idea, exchange for money, nothing changes in the world except that I have two things to snigger about instead of one. *airpunch!*
Ideals – I have old fashioned utopian ones, that I like very much, but have absolutely no faith in. Well they’re called ideals, not realistic possibilities.
Imagination – a safe escape from all sorts of things. Narnia with pillowcase banners, a South African courtyard that turned into a Roman ones and a myriad of daydreams in classrooms.

Here is a truly beautiful poem by a Ukrainian poet whose first name starts with the letter i.

On your back I trace the letter A (Ilya Kutik)

On your back I trace the letter A.
You must sense how my hand’s caress
travels first along your spine,
from the uppermost vertabrae
to your waist, and then inclines
back again–in languid absent-mindedness
until that moment when the lines all intersect
and I create, with one sharp motion,
a cross of the type that in pre-Christian sects
evoked a). insanity and b). commotion.

Yes, I know that the body’s a locked up safe
and I search for its armor’s alphabetical chink
in all epithelial directions– for the link of links
and the pick of picks–from O to A.
For it’s just this way, twixt A and O
that one finds myth, just as Io
escaped from the fly. He first chased her
straight and then they backtracked
until, having endured manifold tortures
She completed a circle with him …
I trace that circle with my nail on your back
til O thrObs hOt Over all yOur limbs.
Like a blind safecracker in a bank vault
in the darkness I gathered all my strength
to the very ends of my fingers and at length
like Braille, the first martyr to touch, straining
I saw that the five points, whose strings
I draw are still one less than his gestalt.1

I’m surrounded by some overmuch
silly, long and sticky spider web of touch.
I fully recognize the figures,
but fail to see how my five fingers
can direct it–since it seems its elevated ridges
comprise a tongue that needs six digits.

I do not know which of this language’s signs
will make your skin resonate down the spine,
but I’m ready to try the whole alphabet
through all its permutations until I elicit
that festive plangent aria: O-o!.. A-a!

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