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M.14

With you I share

this little piece of self,

for the temporality

of days in which

our presence

lacks and lingers,

slithers and soothes,

smiles in remembrance—a game:

 

I said,

‘One plus one is two.’

 

You said,

‘I promise you.’

 

And this self I share with you, I share

with none other.

 

Do you know?

The truth—for only you,

I uncover.

 

In the temporality to come,

already, within you—

it spreads, hatches and multiplies.

 

‘We will meet again.’

 

Though it hovers, lingers

between us two—the shape

of the eye; the line of the lip;

No need—there is

no need, dear—

 

I know.

 

With you I share this

tiny piece of self.

 

In flight I

am setting you, till again

we meet.

 

And when we do,

these two halves that are you

and I

will merge

once more into

that self we were

some very ancient ages ago.

 

Oh, don’t you know?

We’ve been sung.

 

We’ve been sung longtime.

Contagion

There runs a poison

Through the veins

That clogs the blood

And strangles.

There runs a poison unleashed

That burdens

Stings

Entangles.

 

Glory,

Its aggressors seek,

And falsify it,

They do.

 

Victims,

With complexions bleak,

Flee and fall

In soaking dunes.

 

There lies a body strewn,

With poisoned veins,

That root through the ground below,

Tuning

 

 Contagion.

Muhammad Osman Ali Chaudry’s Wisdom Salad is available locally in Pakistan as well as the Bard College Berlin library.

Chaudhry’s Wisdom Salad

Osman Chaudhry, age 18, is Bard College Berlin’s youngest published author. His first book “Wisdom Salad” (named after his band) is currently available in Pakistan, as well as in the Bard College Berlin library.

In the form of poems and brief commentaries, this book is a thematic mixture of religion, death, love, hate… you name it!

“I was young and idealistic,” Osman says, “so I decided to solve the problems of the world,” he smiles to himself. I smile too, why stop being young and idealistic?

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Commencement Ceremony of a Bronx Public High School (screenshot from the film)

Commencement Ceremony of a Bronx Public High School (screenshot from the film)

On February 17th, Bard College Berlin had the privilege to host filmmakers Chloe Smolarski and Tasha Darbes for a screening and discussion of Admissions: Student Stories from Undocumented America.

The film, released in 2011, reveals four intimate yet intricately connected stories of undocumented young men and women who are struggling to live up to their share of the ‘American dream.’

Namely, the United States classifies undocumented immigrants as those who’ve crossed the border illegally or who entered the country on temporary visas and stayed past the expiration date. In turn, undocumented students are sons and daughters of such immigrants who typically enter the U.S. at an early age and who are ensured the right to education up until and including secondary school. Past the age of eighteen, these students inevitably struggle to legalize their status, to resume their education and to finance it accordingly.

Blanca, Charlie, Jong Min and Virdiana, the students portrayed in the film, are only four of the estimated 2.1 million undocumented children and adults living in the United States today.

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Serenity

I yield,

To the morning haze that engulfs my spirits;

 

I yield.

 

For Mother Nature calls,

My body withdraws;

I am within and without.

 

Serenity.

 

I know not why

My slumbers break with the sunrise.

My inner and outer worlds meddle and wed,

 

And I am one.

 

The birds sing me a tune of old,

As though they hold the secret of my soul.

 

My soul—in flight with the birds of old—

Says ‘I shall not rest

‘till my flight is turned into song!’

 

And so I traverse between

Heart and Reason,

‘till my entire being gives way to sunrise, and

Tranquility is my one and only

 

Monarch.

Hoffman in the 2005 film Capote

Hoffman in the 2005 film Capote

A falling star, in truth, is a meteorite—a combination of dust and rock falling into the Earth’s atmosphere. As these meteorites fall, they burn up and leave a short-lived trail of light—a meteor. Like stars, meteorites exist in plenty. In much the same way that the universe is constructed, our human realm is in some sense bound by a hierarchy of Hollywood stars and meteorites––the rest of us.

And yet, no matter if you are a star or a meteorite, you are bound—sooner or later—to fall into the hands of death. After all, mortality is universal. What makes the difference is what the living make of death, as well as how they treat the memory of the departed.

On February 2nd 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman, a star among stars, departed from the living. Hoffman, aged 46, lost his life to heroin—a drug from which he’d been sober for over twenty years.  Despite his enormous success in the acting world, Hoffman seemed quite grounded in both words and looks. This is a rarity, given the extremes to which money, popularity, and the media can lead. Yet, given the actor’s background, Hoffman’s grounded aura might not be all that surprising. This is because Hoffman’s rise to success was gradual, demanding lots of hard work and dedication.

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Root of Unrest

Somewhere,

In the root of the stomach,

It is born.

In the gut,

It unfolds.

 

You walk.

 

It spins around your neck,

It swims from head to toe,

 

And you swoon.

 

You talk.

 

It knocks you back and forth.

It’s your mouth that moves,

Another voice

That’s coming through.

 

And you stumble,

You stumble,

You stumble.

It’s a force

That knows best.

You fight with no rest.

But it knows,

Oh it knows,

It knows best.

Question ?

Succumb.

Question ?

Succumb.

Question.

 

 

Question.

 

 

It’s a form of doubt.