Below is a selection of micro fictions by Himali Singh Soin that only find completion in their live synchronicity… Performed on the occasion of the opening of Delirium & Destiny on 7 September 2017 by: Danni van Amstel, Marijke Annema, Raluca Croitoru, Lucie Draai, Karen Huang, Clara J:son Borg, Pedro Kasteleins, Ash Kilmartin, Monica Mays, Himali Singh Soin, David Soin Tappeser, Lili Ullrich, and Heike de Wit.
The day the poet’s lover left for the moon he refused to
get out of the bathtub. He looked up, wondering what she could see from out there: Imagery like the piles of cauliflower stacked perfectly on the trucks of Delhi.
Metaphor like the vanishing alleyways of Prague.
Semi-colon like the gasp of the first sight of Baobabs in Antananarivo.
Margins like the white robes at Tiananmen Square.
Distance is in the vicinity.
Volta like when he met her in Paris.
Couplet like the orchid and the hummingbird in Cusco.
Assonance like the popcorn drinkers of Addis.
And he stayed soaking in his bubbles, hoping that this way he could know her expanse
In his poems, know her like that rhythm that comes from somewhere else.
But feels immediate.
And in the centre was the periphery. The mound was overgrown with thicket
But from my window, I could see it all: the sleaze of fingers,
The whispers, the thin plastic bags.
Lipstick and money. The cachupa was on the stove,
Bay leaf whispers in an eruption of waiting.
I had just arrived from Cape Verde. There, only my kitchen had secrets.
Distance is in the vicinity.
Instead, clandestine, improbable encounters.
The law does not allow for it. It undermines the surface, it faces those without a name.
I wasn’t given a name. The hospital called me ‘unknown’. And here I was, Desconhecida, alone, in The company of men who didn’t know me. Who didn’t know each other.
There we were, on a mound of not-knowing, together in Anônimo.
We live in a glass geodesic dome. You can’t see it now, but sometimes,
when the clouds burst and the last beads of rain have cleared, you notice
a trickle along a curvature. There were problems before, there were problems
after, but the greatest was the birds. Wood-pigeons, godwits, starlings, magpies: smashed beaks and shattered skulls. Our protection is their imminence.
Distance is in the vicinity. This ornithologist uses rhythm to guide their migration, one, two, three, four, swivel their trajectory away from the glass. The ornithologist poses a fault line, a crack: he finds the precise frequency at which the invisible cage reveals itself to the winged creature, who sees in its reflection, flying, falling. Is saved.
It’s 1993, my father braided my hair, wrapped me in marigold cloth and tucked me under his arm, we escaped being Paramaribo’s slaves, my mother waved but never forgave.
We arrived at Justus Van Effenstraat, it sounded like Justice, as if it had been named this way to point at us. Hence a fence. | He said, these are the edges of what
You will be. Distance is in the vicinity. My father was a boatman on
The Spoorsingel, as if it had the word poor in it to point at us.
I wore bow ties and chest binders but none of my classmates could tell
Anything was wrong because at least I looked European.
I wrote mama a letter, telling her about the canals like Anansi’s web
But never about my father, who spent most of his time on the water
Because there things were fluid and familiar, there he was at home.
I used to work in the basement of the rare book library,
Cataloguing obsolete books onto leftover index cards. Every day,
At exactly 1.11, I would take a lunch break. First, buy a small carton
Of milk at the corner shop, then sit by these hedges with a bowl of cereal.
One Monday, I left the building at the very instant that They decided to cancel all Work.
“Live in Leisure!”
Out of habit, I sat amid the green. Distance is in the vicinity.
I have been sitting here, milk in hand, ever since. Leisure time lilted,
Lackadaisical. They paid me more than my salary
But I would rather not stare, self-aware.
The hypnotist in the centre cannot deceive me into dismissal because
I am trained in sequences and can read his trickery.
I lust for that tingling typeface, the maps of
Conquered places, the pathetic biographies.
Here, I’m a rejected book on a shelf, indefinite, infinite.
About the artists
(H/D) is a poet/musician duo whose work centers around the rhythms of love and the beat of belonging. Singh Soin (New Delhi, 1987) is an artist and writer whose work is inspired by literature and the cosmos. Soin Tappeser (Bonn, 1985) is a jazz musician who manipulates time with the rhythm. Recent performances include ‘To Tehran in my Dreams,’ JNU, Delhi; ‘Radar Level’ at Kadist, San Francisco, ‘The Particle and The Wave, Latitude 28, Delhi, ‘You really got me now’ at Richmix, London, among others.
Himali Singh Soin has participated in The Missing One at Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, and OCA, Oslo; Archival Alchemy at the Abrons Art Centre, NYC; Radar Level at Kadist in San Francisco and Khoj, Delhi; In the Meantime at The Royal Observatory, Greenwich; The Abyss of Space at The Mosaic Rooms; The Clockmaker’s reverie at Pi Artworks; The Particle and the Wave at ICA; You really got me now at Richmix, [London and an ongoing India + Europe tour; Transit at Fabrika Moscow, The Paris Follies at The Meet Factory, Prague and Bucharest Art Week, To Tehran in my Dreams at JNU, Delhi.
David Soin Tappeser is a jazz drummer and composer based in London. Beyond his more traditional work as an ensemble musician – notably with his own quartet Good as Gold, his klezmer band Oysland- he regularly collaborates with artists from other fields – most notably in the context of his performance duo H/D with Himali Singh Soin. Past performance venues/contexts include Bucharest Jazz Festival, Sunset/Sunside, Paris, Classiic sur le Roc St. Malo, The Piano Man Jazz Club, New Delhi, NIghtjar, London, Richmix, London and many others.