mardi 12 février 2008

Sophie and I

I believe Sophie imitates all the things I do. But I do not know how, she always seems to be better at everything than me. I like travelling, taking pictures, reading, cooking… And in some mysterious ways, she will go more adventurously, she will take more artistic, brighter and more colorful shots, she will understand more deeply the meaning of any book, she will prepare tastier meals… Her mimics always appear to me to be more successful than my models.

It is not really jealousy. It is more like the way you feel for a younger sister. Deep inside, I know I like her. Because I have to, not because I choose to. Most of the time I just cannot stand her anymore: she is there, anyway, and I have to cope with that.

But sometimes, I feel like being by myself, without her, and the constant reflection she is showing me. I would forget her, I would forget what people think about us, I would not try anymore to be the best, and I would just be me. Then I feel at peace with her, and me. Us.


Dreamless Sleep

I wake up
When morning
Will stop.

Still half asleep
I feel conscience in me
Slowly seep.

Oh shadows, do not flee!
Leaving me in a haze so deep
I barely see.

Sleepless dreams.


lundi 11 février 2008

I am a Russian

I am sitting at the chessboard, trying to think my way out of a maze of variations.
My name is Mikhaïl Ivanovich Tupolev, like the great Alexeï Andreïevich,
the inventor of the aeroplane that matched the Concorde and exceeded Mach 2.
I am Russian, and I play chess.

Slavs were converted to christianism by Cyrille and Methode
and their followers created the Cyrillic alphabet.
I am staring at the various reproductions of paintings
by Dali and Picasso

that cover the walls. The vast hall in which we play pretends to be modern and trendy,
but it is a pity that there is nothing from Kandinsky.
I like Picasso and Dali, though they have little to do with Russia, but Vasily Kandinsky
is another modern artist, and he was born in Moscow, which makes him one third Russian.

Sometimes, when I enter an Italian restaurant to have a pizza, a cunning waiter notices my slight Russian accent and asks with a subtle expression on his face : “You are Russian, aren’t you?”
It is somewhat pleasing to be recognized as a Russian , because

I am proud to be a Russian, but all the average Westerner knows of Russia is at best
Garry Kasparov and Kalinka,
at worst Maria Sharapova and vodka.

Russia exports 7 bbl of oil a day and 7 Tcf of gas a year,
produces 65000 thousand metric tons of cereal a year,
but I am still struggling to make a meagre living
in the West out of my modest chess talent.

It is the last game of a rapid tournament
in Spain. If I win it I will finish first and grab a nice

$1000 USD prize. I will eat paella in a typical Spanish restaurant and travel to Paris to play
in a team championship.

At the same time, Gregory Perelman is hiding in Siberia and refuses the
$1,000,000 USD prize that the Clay Foundation awarded him for his proof of the Poincaré theorem.
There is no word, neither in English nor in Russian, to qualify such a thing.
The ticking of the clock is a strange lullaby.

I am still a Russian

I have lost my game, something I still can not believe, because
I am still a Russian and my opponent was only Latvian.
When we are sad, people say in our deep blue eyes one can see
the infinite plains of the East and the cold and empty sky.

I'm currently reading “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”,
by Kundera. He is the writer I enjoy the most. He had a fairly good level at chess,
but wasn’t Russian. Nevertheless, Russian literature is immensely rich.
Bulgakov (1891-1940) is said to have been a favourite

of the Soviet regime. Yet he wrote the unforgettable
“Master and Margharita”, and shares his first name with no less than
yours truly and Botvinnik, world chess championship
from 1948 to 1957, from 1958 to 1960 and from 1961 to 1963,

who lost his title twice then struck back in return encounters.
One day, I will have my revenge for today’s loss, too.
“War and Peace” was translated into more than 10 languages ;
it is the novel which depicts the Russian soul the best. I was born

in Poltava and grew up in Volgograd, two places where
the Russian Army won crushing victories.
Russia was never defeated, or those were not real defeats.
I finished shared third and got a tiny

$50 USD cheque. Tonight, I'll have a quick
meal in a meaningless fast-food restaurant as my Spanish
girlfriend comforts me. She thinks I am just
slightly overconfident when it comes to

concluding something. After Kipling, I should say
“Triumph and Defeat, those two liars”. Oil still pours from the ground
in Russia and cars roll in the US, it is the middle of the day
in the Arctic, night falls in Sevilla, and I have not been to

Siberia yet. St Petersburg and Moscow are 650 km apart,
but Russia is only 64 km away from the US,
over the Behring Sea (it would be funnier if, as in Gibraltar,
the West of Alaska belonged to Russia and the East of Chukotka to the US).

But I, the most faithful Russian, wander along in
tiny Western Europe like a fish in its tank.
Not much to regret though, the whole world would still be too
narrow for me : I shall always be a Russian.


4 février 2008 12:45

mardi 5 février 2008

Down at the end

It's rare when people sometimes foresee future events with extreme accuracy, past experiences sometimes teach us too much for own good, this is not Gary Kasparov saying in his mind check mate in 33 moves, sometimes reading what we have on our hands can be more then enough to say where every piece fits...

It's hard when you know what you are walking to, and what you are going to face, sometimes walking into the lion's nest is inevitable and uncontrollable, you turn out to be a mere spectator in your own body, unable to control the fixed outcome whatever your moves and words might be, seeing what's down at the end is frightening enough, sometimes it's not bliss to know what is heading toward you.

There, Down at the end, lies our destiny were we see and accept, where we hope and wish, do we have the strength to change ? to fight for what is rightfully us to create ?

There Down at the road to the end, we build ourselves , we hone ourselves--Do we join the herd or just pave our own new road?

lundi 4 février 2008

Subway dreaming

No matter how well she plays
They keep watching through the window

Everyone knows how it works
They hope to get out of here
Before she finishes her song
And comes and begs for a little bit if money

I prefer pretending to be asleep
Not that I don’t want to help her
Or to thank her
I feel intimidated

I wonder who she is
Does she make any money, too ?
Does she even expect to ?

She’s close to me
I try to concentrate on the noise of the wheels against the rails
Leave me alone old accordeon…

I can hear no bling bling from her can
When she moves slowly between the seats
Doing her best no to walk on the people’s feet

dimanche 3 février 2008

I am Faust

I’m walking in the street, wearing thick glasses,

and an old jacket of my grandfather's.

People passing by look at me, hi, geek, they say.

Yes, I’m an unfortunate geek; I failed my love,

I talked about physics, mathematics and philosophy for hours,

But I didn’t dare to utter the single word.

When the time to say goodbye came, I decided to seize the last chance.

To explain my bad performance, I confessed that it was my first date.

But you know what? She laughed so loudly.

Frustrated, I called my best friend for help,

Hahaha, he laughed into the phone like mad,

“You should do a research on love, my philosopher.”

The next day while I was reading “philosophy of love” in the library,

A stranger came to me, “Hey boy, as a former victim, I want to warn you.

Daemon is coming to tempt you.”

Daemon? Tempting me? What a bad joke!

These questions in mind, I wandered in the street,

And then I saw him, right there in a Ferrari.

“Hey boy, how about an exchange?” he smiled like an angel, “You know what I want.”

“Yes, but what have you got for me?”

“Love.” He said, and I surrendered.

Moss, shirt, chic costume and expensive watch,

He dressed me up like a playboy,

“Then go, love is waiting for you.”

What a big party! Girls surrounded me as if I were a prince.

Then Ashley showed up, she was so surprised seeing me.

“Beautiful young lady,” I offered her my hand, “Will you dance with me?”

Rock, Salsa and Cha-cha, we danced as if we were in burning shoes.

“You said it was your first date.” She said doubtfully.

“Oh yes, you are my only love, I swear.” We kissed each other passionately.

“That’s absolutely true.” Suddenly my unpleasant creditor came out from nowhere.

Music disappeared, girls became rats, and the party hall became a huge pumpkin.

“Hey boy, you got your love, and I’m here to get your soul.”

Remembering my unequal contract, I fell from heaven to hell.

But my brave princess stood up and protested,

“That’s not fair. I want a trial!” I Forgot to say, Ashley is a lawyer.

So we fought a lawsuit in front of God. Daemon accused me of breaking the contract,

And Ashley defended me by saying that my love was offered by her not by him.

“Oh, love is always such a complicated thing.” God said, “How about mediation?”

Daemon was furious, but Ashley was not frightened enough to back down.

“Poor old thing, I can provide something for compensation.”

And she took out a golden apple.

My Ashley, no, Aphrodite, became even more beautiful after having lost her golden apple,

I was so amazed and loved her even more than ever.

“You know,” She said, “all the goddess of love needs is love.”

Well, my name is Faust, and that’s the happy ending to my story.

Daemon went back to the hell with his golden apple of vanity and greed,

And I will stay happily with my goddess of love forever.

YU Tuotuo

Colors don't disappear like this

Black ink trickling down the white paper.
The man feels naked, he can't avoid the stare
Still, he is human.
Day after day, ride after ride, the background
Intrudes on his vital space.
Inscriptions and filth tarnish the immaculate
White, soaking up his individuality, until
The greying sheet yields to the sprawling invasion of
The color.
The human seems defeated, unnoticeable
In the neverending darkness.
But if you look closely enough, you might discover
Where the lights hide, for
From time to time, you will come upon
The glint of an eye.


samedi 2 février 2008

Once upon a time there lived a tiny midget

With his tiny wife and their tinier children,

And every once in a while someone would tell them

That they were tiny, truly tiny as can be.

But the little man did not mind

For it was known, in a midget's world

That no one is ever tiny

But for a giants' world.

But it seemed one terrible day,

That he who was by far the youngest

Was to be by the farthest the tallest.

And this state would but decay.

A giant in my house !

It certainly can't be !

I'll tear your very eyes

Quick, Polyphemus, flee !

But as the wife would not agree,

And stood for her son’s eyes,

Thus the son was granted life,

And stayed where he shall be.

And all the spectators of the circus family,

Were amazed to see what a giant he could be !

And happier the family soon was, to see

Thus much tinier midgets they appeared to be !