What it is/What it isn’t

Lata Mani

Is it possible to bring a moment of pause to a virtual world reverberating with the prodigious noise of human effort? Or does this fact - our cultural precondition - invite us to do just that? I hope in this blog to try. Twice a month I will share a poem or fragment of prose, drawing on published and unpublished work. Fragments that can point new readers to the kinds of landscapes I have sought to traverse and offer those already familiar a different kind of encounter. From time to time I also hope to invite others to write a guest post.

The posts will speak to the existential and the sociocultural, the political and the philosophical. But I hope that these divisions will gradually seem insufficient to the alternative physics of matter and energy which my work has been striving to express. The universe we inhabit is a densely interwoven, stunningly diverse complex whole, brimming with specificity. It continually breaches the conceptual categories with which we try to order it, bring it under some semblance of control. Yet language is all we have and we press it into service in as many ways as our fluencies will allow. Expect then the tentative alongside the declarative, the observational interspersed with the analytical. Each form offers its own possibilities; each genre its insights. This blog is an experiment and as with any experiment, I will learn something even if it fails. I hope that you will be able to say the same. Comments welcome.


The Morning Light

The morning light

in its piercing delicacy

washes over me

then enters

as if skin and bone

were emperor’s clothes

on a fiction we call physicality

But the slowing pulse

quickening blood

suddenly alert mind

belie this notion

And the body is resurrected

in all its sensate glory


from The Integral Nature of Things: Critical Reflections on the Present, Routledge, 2013, 109.