this is for your book

smoke eyes

Your eyes
are the colour of
burnt pages
of a favourite book,
a shade
between smokey grey and
ashen black,
the way I can
read all your lines
in the glint of
this fading light,
and how the mystery
makes me breathless
even though
I know
how it all ends.

© SoulReserve 2017

Call Me By Your Name - “Masochist”

Call Me By Your Name is a book that enraptured, provoked and decimated me. But it is a not a book that I can truly love. It’s ruthless excavations of the machinations of desire are too exact, its costing of fleeting perfection’s price is too depressingly high. It’s painfully uncooperative in the way it offers no answers to the question it seems to raise – how can one live a life that contains perfection without all else being cast in its dreadful shadow?  A romance novel with high-brow aspirations and little regard for gratification, it asks – “are all lovers masochists?”

The book is an aesthetes dream, unfolding over a languorous summer in a never specified location along the Italian Riviera. The ephebophilic male relationships of the Greek and Roman empires, which must have taken place under the very same Mediterranean sun, undergird the romance between a preternaturally wise seventeen year old and the american philosophy student boarding at his family’s home. Elio, the younger of the pair, is a deep thinker, well read, a talented musician – the perfect receptacle for readers’ regrets over misspent youth. Why did one not learn the piano when one felt the inclination? Why did one never read the classics when one had the time? Oliver, the older, is finalising a book on the classical philosopher Heraclitus, whose key thesis is that everything must always exist in two states – the downward-leading path is also always the upward-leading path. Oliver, of all people, would know that all is both coming and going, converging on a single vanishing point, whilst being already past it. The reader too shall learn this over the course of the novel.

“Call me by your name, and I’ll call you by mine” - the phrase, spoken by Oliver in a moment of passion, from which the book derives its title. The idea? That two lovers can become almost one, that fixed signifiers can be reassigned through a moment of sexually charged semiotic chaos. Each makes love to himself, whilst experience something of what it is for their partner to make love to them. Is the jousiance of this merged perspective of self-as-other derived from pure narcissism or extreme selflessness? Have the four walls of the percievable world been exposed only as curtains hiding a boundless expanse? None of this really matters; life after this peek into a new world is the same as life before – leading too and from this transcendental moment.

Call Me By Your Name is a book enraptured with the deep scars time cruely leaves as it carries the present to the recesses of your memory – like a ghost clinging to significant objects, evoked through sense memories and experienced only in the aching feeling of absence, and the sense of having been short changed. It’s a heartbreaker of a book, offering piercing insight and astute observation, but no indication of how to escape the familiar trap the novel’s protagonist finds himself in. I suspect my life may now have found a new before and after of its own – preceding and receding from Call Me By Your Name. The book is a warning of the price of perfection, but like the lighthouse that can barely be glimpsed through the storm, it’s a warning only useful once the final course has been set.

Call Me By Your Name, written by Andre Aciman, is available now in paperback, and coming to cinema’s this Friday in a lauded adaption from Luca Guadagnino which stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer.

The saddest thing is that not all of us will be remarkable. Just a select few, only a handful, will make it out of the ordinary. Most of us shall remain unremarkable, unmemorable, ordinary.
But you know what I think?
I think ‘ordinary’ is the most underrated word in history. I think 'ordinary’ is the most extraordinary thing you could be. I think 'ordinary’ is what most of us should aspire to be.
Be ordinarily kind. Be ordinarily nice. Do you know how nice it is to be nice? How nice it is to meet someone nice?
Don’t try to reach for the moon. You might fail. Try looking at the stars. Trust me, they make for marvellous skywatching.
—  Ordinary

Was in DC for fall break and book collecting awards this weekend! A much needed respite from school and truly unforgettable experience.


   “This spot is probably what I’ll miss the most.” Then, upon reflection: “I’ve been happy in B.”
   It sounded like a preamble to farewells.

Call Me By Your Name (2017), dir. Luca Guadagnino

  • Me: Time to study for that test tomorrow.
  • Brain: Or you could read that book that's been on your shelf for weeks.
  • Me: I can read that after I've studied.
  • Brain: No you can't.
  • Me: your right
You are currently writing your own story. Your adventure is not going to look like anyone else’s, but is completely unique to you. No one else can replicate this life that you are living, for you are the one and only author.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin