He was called for making Thajmahal
A good, dirty man with talents
One day he saw the Emperor
Heard an unknown toungue
May be he was the first in kerala
Who heard that…
It is stone not a white sun
There were no friends
In work they spoke one
They were one lettered humans
kept stone like his letters
That day he spoke to the king
In dream… in his stone realm..
The man of palaces didnt get his stone-lip
Beheaded that kingdom
Saw his rustic speech in its silence
True, It is fear not whiteness
The white geometry
I looked into my android
There came a white geometry
Here and there roads
Here and there malls
Here and there talkies,
Hospitals, banks, A T M,
Railway station, hotels, pubs,
Café, bars, bus stand…..
Nothing but a white – haunted piece
Of barren world.
Where is this one, the road?
Hospital? Schools? army camp? Small teashops?
Loitering goats and many more….
Are they too big to map?
I looked again
Where I am?
Bio: is an established bi-lingual poet, novelist and translator from kerala, in India. He has two volumes of poetry and a children’s novel in his credit. He has also penned stories and dramas. He has bagged for many prestigious awards such as Culcutta Malayali Samajam Endownment, Madras Kerala Samajam, Muttathu Varkki Katha Puraskaram etc. for young writers in kerala.
i am unglued
from the world
a bit of cosmic dust
the moorings i fly past
limned with thorns
my hands are still
You’ve been here over and over and over again.
This place is so familiar it almost feels like home.
It’s the hell behind your eyes,
the goblin-made cathedral in which you worship –
unwillingly, it’s true, but faithfully nonetheless.
And it’s not even hushed as a cathedral should be.
Screams follow you down the aisle,
echoing endlessly off the arches crowning you in bloody thorns
that tangle in your antlers and slide down your corded neck
to rest against your much-decorated chest,
inside which your heart beats an arrhythmic conquista.
No one awaits you at the altar where the thousand skulls grin,
mercilessly mocking sleep as you kneel unshriven
and know you’ll make this pilgrimage again.
Dorothy Gale, B-Girl: The Real Story
Did I ever tell you about
how I met the Wizard
and how there was nothing
in that black bag for me?
Because there wasn’t any black bag.
You think you know this story
but you don’t.
There I was,
hanging out all innocent
in my farmgirl jumper
and dorky ankle socks.
I kept my hair in the braids
to keep it out of my face
while I was bushwhacking
my way to The Emerald City,
but yeah – I was wearing
those killer red shoes.
I ditched the damn dog
because he just couldn’t seem
to get with the program –
to get the hell out of Dodge
(and never back to Kansas).
the dog was always nervous.
He peed in the basket,
yapped like a springsprung
ate grass and puked it back –
once almost on my shoes –
so I left him with the strawman
and the clinking, clanking,
of calliginous junk.
More on that in a min…
The lion – that pussy! –
had run off ages before,
back to whatever hidey-hole
he inhabited before that lousy
halfhearted attempt at courage.
He was more trouble
than he was worth anyway,
all the time sniveling and shaking
and hiding his eyes behind
that stupid plume on the end
of his tail.
By the time I’d got within
spitting distance of the Wizard
the other two had decided
they’d had enough of
sleeping in the dirt
and talking trees
and pelted apples
and that hag on the broomstick
with her underwater face
always showing up and yelling
about something or another.
They settled in a cottage
on the outskirts of the city,
for all the world like any
old married couple.
Lemme tell ya, though,
somehow i can’t see
either one of them in an apron
and I bet they fight about
who does the dishes.
‘Cause let’s face it –
wet straw is no fun
and neither is rusty tin.
I sashayed alone
through those monster gates.
I never had a problem
with a guard.
I’d smile and flirt
and give ’em a little
of the good old wide-eyed admiration
I was wherever I needed to be.
When I’d cleaned up some
and gotten a new dress
and traded those socks for silk
and found a shoemaker
to put some higher heels
on those killer red shoes
i didn’t look half bad.
All that folderol
about the Wizard
and killing the witch?
There was no curtain.
There was no loud
and angry voice.
He was a regular guy,
sitting there just bored to death.
He took one look at me
and he was mine.
And funny thing –
I kinda liked him too.
He asked me what I wanted
and all of a sudden
I wasn’t sure.
It’s been a few years now
and I’m still here,
just the Wiz and me,
living it up in this huge
We play cards and we dance.
We take bubblebaths
and never have to worry
about bills or housework
or any of the stuff
that eats away
at most people’s lives.
And on Sundays
we take the carriage out,
all decked out in our best.
We ride through the city,
waving and smiling
and getting hit in the face
with flowers tossed by
I don’t know how
he got these people
to put him in charge
and I don’t care.
I’m sitting pretty, I am –
good food, nice clothes
and no more slopping hogs.
And if I have to listen
to dreary stories about
and hocus-pocus hokum
that’s okay – fine by me!
I’m not even sure
where the hell I am,
but I’m the wife
of the most powerful man
ever to rule a country
that doesn’t exist,
and yet is more real
than any place
I’ve ever known.
Poetic Statement: Although the majority of my poetry to this point might be called confessional,
it is important not to conflate the poet with the poem. A germ of truth can blossom into a tree leaved with outrageous fantasy. I find exploring and experimenting with new forms helps keep perspective fresh, and I no more limit myself to one genre in writing than I do in art. Poetry is communication. If I touch one heart or provoke one mind to think through my writing, I have done my job.
Bio: RC deWinter is a photographer, digital artist, poet, essayist and singer-songwriter currently living and working in Haddam, Connecticut. She has been shooting photos for over 25 years, using both traditional and digital SLR equipment. Her digital work is created using a variety of software and includes oil paintings, watercolor sketches and drawings.
Her work has appeared in print, notably in the New York Times, chosen for publication in the New York City in 17 Syllables haiku competition, Uno: A Poetry Anthology, Pink Panther Magazine, Arts Creation Magazine, The Sun Magazine, 2River View, Poetry Nook, Garden Tripod and The American Muse as well as in many online publications.
In addition to her personal online portfolios, Ms. deWinter’s art is exhibited on of several internet-based showcases, including Saatchi Online, ARTbracket, The Art for Cancer Gallery, Copperflame Gallery, b-uncut and Artists, Writers and Photographers in the Raw. ABC has licensed several of her paintings to be used as set decor on the television series Desperate Housewives.
Ms. deWinter is honored to be the first digital artist invited to exhibit her work at an October 2011 solo show the Arts of Tolland Gallery in Tolland, Connecticut.
Several years after the break
we stood together near the house
early on a summer evening
as the sun slid into western skies.
There we reflected on past years,
expressed mutual remorse
(at first so tentatively)
because the wounds had been healed.
Searching the wreckage of it all,
we salvaged enough to move onward
along separate but often parallel paths.
Thousands of miles behind me,
tens of thousands awaiting me,
we started the process of becoming
the people we were intended to be
even though the horizon was hazy.
Times and places slip away
softly and inexorably from us.
At times several chords on an acoustic
bring back walking over hills
or a sprawling campus.
For fleeting moments we are again
as we were but did not remain.
Far better to be who we have become,
to realize that it was better because
we stood together near the house
early on a summer evening
as the sun slid into western skies.
Precession of the Equinox: Polaris Shifts
Slightly tending westward, gradually
the lodestar yields to its successor
as a new Astrological Age begins.
A residual memory, following me
from the Planetarium in Junior High.
Polaris’ replacement will then
give direction to new future stargazers.
One of the last young people to escape
from Kensington’s web of snarling streets
and elevated train lines, you seized your chance.
You became our Polaris, colorful in action
and attire, caring and cajoling, steadying
us to be the people you knew we could become.
Across the county or continent, we returned
and you greeted us, gloried in those returns.
As colleagues we spoke when storms neared,
and I kept your counsel in sight toward calm waters.
Now I know you began your precession,
stepping aside, though not then out of view.
Some of us search for you, exchanging pieces
that do not always fit together.
Second-hand accounts, some leading closer,
others in contradiction, point to a lodestar
that no longer shines in our heavens.
Every so often I scan the spreading stars
for our Polaris, until comes the realization
we are now lodestars for ourselves,
for stargazers we need to steady, for those
who receive the light as we did once
while scanning skies for our Polaris.
[found objects from Modern Mythology by Andrew Lang, 1897 & a message from Jesse S. Mitchell, 2013]
sun and moon are spoken of by their unmistakable names
so here is no disease of language
Lettish chants & Mr Max Müller turns to Mordvinian mythology
he is guided by material survivals: ancient arms, implements, and ornaments
he finds his relics of the uncivilised past in agricultural usages, in archaic methods of allotment of land, in odd marriage customs, things rudimentary
one might as well attack the atomic theory where Lucretius left it
both, of course, agree that myths are a product of thought
rivers run, winds blow, fire burns, trees wave as a result of their own will
this mythology is a philosophy of things – early Greek philosophy recognised the stars as living bodies, all things had once seemed living and personal
everything is alive
if the Greek myth arose from a disease of Greek, very little ingenuity is needed to make it indicate one or other aspect of Dawn or Night, of Lightning or Storm, but the myth may be older than the name, say, the story of Zeus, Demeter, and the Ram
but we now study myths in the unrestrained utterances of the people & I did not abstain from the weapons of irony and badinage
regarding bees, for instance, as persons who must be told of a death in the family. Their myths are still not wholly out of concord with their habitual view of a world in which an old woman may become a hare – these men are living in Ovid’s Metamorphoses
even the prevalent anthropological theory of the ghost-origin of religion might, I think, be advanced with caution till we know a little more about ghosts
did a kind of linguistic measles affect all tongues alike?
everybody knows that stories of the growing of plants out of the scattered members of heroes may be found from ancient Egypt to the wigwams of the Algonquins, but these stories seem hardly applicable to Daphne, whose members, as far as I know, were never either severed or scattered.
that was what I had not said. I had observed: As to interchange of shape between men and women and plants, our information is less copious than in the case of stones
in Ovid the river god, Pentheus, changes Daphne into a laurel. In Hyginus she is not changed at all, the earth swallows her, and a laurel fills her place
it leads us to imagine that we have learnt something when we really are as ignorant as before
if then the white kernel had been called Tuna’s brain, we have only to remember that in Mangaia there are two kinds of coconut trees
and we shall then have no difficulty in understanding why these twin coconut trees were said to have sprung from the two halves of Tuna’s brain, one being red in stem, branches, and fruit, whilst the other was of a deep green. In proof of these trees being derived from the head of Tuna, we are told that we have only to break the nut in order to see in the sprouting germ the two eyes and the mouth of Tuna, the great eel, the lover of Ina, and she was the daughter of Kui, the blind
Tuna was an eel, and women may not eat eels and Ina was the moon
on the other hand, the story that marmalade (really marmalet) is so called because Queen Mary found comfort in marmalade when she was sea-sick
Mr. Lang, as usual, has recourse to savages, most useful when they are really wanted. He keeps Tuna in hand but all the authorities are late
in addition, there is this circumstance, which was not mentioned by that gentleman: each of the “passers” carried one or two lemons
real scholars know what Mordvinian divine names mean or that the Dawn is not as great a factor in myth as Mr Max Müller believes himself to have proved it to be
more Mischiefs of Comparison:
My first is a boot, my second is a jack
What is the Rooky One that swallows?
there must be some other explanation
still more Nemesis: Why are the legends about men, beasts, and gods so wildly incredible and revolting?
The Fallacy of Admits:
What is the Dark One That goes over the earth, Swallows water and wood, But is afraid of the wind?
What is the gold spun from one window to another?
what the philological method of mythology needs is to prove that such poetical statements about natural phenomena survived in the popular mouth and were perfectly intelligible except just the one mot d’énigme that says: Dark One
Thy riddle is easy Blind Gest To read!
she says that the conjurer often begins by whirling rapidly before the eyes of the spectators a small polished skull of a monkey, and she is inclined to think that the spectators who look at this are in some way more easily deluded
The Chances of Fancy:
we are then told the old story of Lykâon, the King of Arkadia, who had a beautiful daughter called Kallisto. As Zeus fell in love with her, Hera, from jealousy, changed her into a bear and Artemis killed her with one of her arrows
he next compares the strange Arcadian cannibal rites on Mount Lyceus – a modern student is struck by the cool way in which the ancient poets, geographers, and commentators mention a startling circumstance
they even in archaic ages wore bear-skins
then a great fire was made, which Thangbrandr hallowed, and the Berserkir went into it without fear, and burned his feet
Leaf and Myers, my old friends
‘and’ where I wrote ‘or’
twice only had Europeans been fortunate enough to see the masáwe cooked
How odd! The moon, the nocturnal sportswoman, is Artemis, bloodshed, bear and all, nothing could be more natural to a savage, they all do it
men before the moon may be… Bears
we have a bear Callisto
we have a mass of nature pictures
we have, we have also the authority of Théodore de Banville
holder of the first footstep! Everyone drinks of the water
everyone has heard of Mount Soracte, white with shining snow, the peak whose distant cold gave zest to the blazing logs on the hearth of Horace
we have wolves came and carried off the entrails of the fire
when the grave of Feronia seemed all on fire, it suddenly grew green again
the Brethren of the Green Wolf select a leader called Green Wolf, there is an ecclesiastical procession, curé and all, a souper maigre, the lighting of the usual St. John’s fire, a dance round the fire, the capture of next year’s Green Wolf, a mimicry of throwing him into the fire, a revel, and next day a loaf of pain bénit above a pile of green leaves
THE ORIGIN OF DEATH:
How did it come?
by somebody dying first
Yama, the first who died, he was the first instance of death
Mr Max Müller, as we said, takes Yama to be a character suggested by the setting sun
the myth of Yama is perfectly intelligible if we trace its roots back to the sun of evening
but let us first establish the fact that death really is regarded as something non-natural and intrusive:
every man who dies what we call a natural death, is really killed by witches, that is his invariable habit, he is really the slave of countless traditions, which forbid him to eat this object or to touch that, or to speak to such and such a person, or to utter this or that word but there are cases, as we shall see, in which death, as a tolerably general law, follows on a mere accident. Someone is accidentally killed, and this gives Death a lead (as they say in the hunting-field) over the fence which had hitherto severed him from the world of living men. It is to be observed in this connection that the first of men who died is usually regarded as the discoverer of a hitherto unknown country, the land beyond the grave, to which all future men must follow him
Yama [together with Bin dir Woor] became the Columbus of the new world of the dead –
men and women had been practically deathless because they cast their old skins at certain intervals, but a grandmother had a favourite grandchild who failed to recognise her when she appeared as a young woman in her new skin. With fatal good-nature the grandmother put on her old skin again, and instantly men lost the art of skin-shifting, and Death finally seized them
in Greek myth men appear to have been free from death before the quarrel between Zeus and Prometheus. In consequence of this quarrel Hephæstus fashioned a woman out of earth and water, and gave her to Epimetheus, the brother of the Titan. Prometheus had forbidden his brother to accept any gift from the gods, but the bride was welcomed nevertheless. She brought her taboo coffer. This was opened and men who, according to Hesiod, had hitherto lived exempt from maladies that bring down Fate were overwhelmed with the diseases that stalk abroad by night and day. Now, in Hesiod (Works and Days, 70-100) there is nothing said about unholy curiosity. Pandora simply opened her casket and scattered its fatal contents.
But Philodemus assures us that it was Epimetheus who opened the forbidden coffer whence came Death
the Bushman story lacks the beginning. The mother of the little Hare was lying dead, but we do not know how she came to die. The Moon then struck the little Hare on the lip, cutting it open, and saying, ‘Cry loudly, for your mother will not return, as I do, but is quite dead.’ In another version the Moon promises that the old Hare shall return to life, but the little Hare is sceptical, and is hit in the mouth as before
the economical results were just what might have been expected. Qat (the maker of things, who was more or less a spider) sent for Mate, that is, Death. Death came and went through the empty forms of a funeral feast for himself. Tangaro the Fool was sent to watch Mate, and to see by what way he returned to Hades, that men might avoid that path in future. Now when Mate fled to his own place, this great fool Tangaro noticed the path, but forgot which it was, and pointed it out to men under the impression that it was the road to the upper, not to the under, world. Ever since that day men have been constrained to follow Mate’s path to Panoi and the dead
A Chinese shopkeeper told me that the man “told fortunes,” but from the circumstance of a gambling-house being close by, I concluded that his customers were getting tips on a system
Here ends this Gentle and Joyous Passage of Arms
with Juggernauts rolling through some Hindu street on a festival dawn crushing skulls and making faithful martyrs
For adversary we must consider Mr Max Müller
Hoping these notes may be of service to you,
Wilna Panagos’ work has appeared in New Contrast Literary Journal, Gone Lawn, Otoliths, Museum Life , Prick of the Spindle, The Undertow Review, Ditch Poetry, Psychopomp Magazine. She wrote and illustrated a few children’s books and is currently writing something which may or may not turn out to be a short, odd novel. She believes in orange and pigeons, has an imaginary dog and lives in Pretoria, South Africa.
Her Facebook alter ego is here: http://www.facebook.com/mariahelena.havisham
I am not trying to explain the world, the world is inexplicable, I simply find fragments of the inexplicable and show it to everybody. The obscure, the insignificant, the unassuming. Unsuspected and incidental, concealed in the profusion, hiding in the dark, these orphans of perception, the small things that whisper with voices you can barely hear: here is beauty. Beauty by accident. Nihilistic oddments, existential morsels without any greater meaning other than its own existence, as Rilke called it: “the little things that hardly anyone sees, inconsiderable things”. Us, if you stand away far enough. And I find solace in these things, our tiny little relatives, and I hope that the reader will find some kind of beauty and consolation in them too, there are so many. I am a hunter-gatherer, a collagist.
From It’ll Never Be Over For Me
YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOUR INTEREST LIES
after Dana Valery
A green veil on the bird,
serrated lightning on the perimeter;
into the milk afternoon flies
the big Wheel, it barfs rain
onto the flagstones. Like this,
this is another city—now
buds open with alien colours.
You should be in a pink
6-wheeled car, it would have been
so Technicolor, a death match
to the quick divan. Jewels
of bright Bugs in the grey
climate. Shiny skin up to here,
the walking hinge. What lies
within is terror. So far, Penelope,
a jumpsuit of shrinking veins.
Wait for the last switch.
You thought the light was on,
but now this hurts your eyes.
As far as I can tell, something like a modern hedge witch, all the chakras in a line, kicking up their boots. Couldn’t you have guessed that’s where this was headed? Milan to Johannesburg to London to New York. Ed Sullivan & disco & the most original softdrink in the whole wide world. Yes, you’re going to love Lenny’s Steak & Chops—lay your hands on me, Dana Valery. What’s left to do but set wounds, set to spinning the music of the spheres: vibrating Virgo, pulsing Pisces, spine arumble with hot water through the pipes? Radio, television, peeling back the strata of the spiritual onion. Big bright eyes, all that energy—the future right there in the past, what we forgot about as the dirty water rises to chins, wrong energy a cloud of black ballpoint ink above this shuddering firmament. Set us free, Dana Valery.
DON’T LEAVE POOR ME
after Big Maybelle Smith
Advancing blacktop, always
at the behest of
shrinking leaves, the last
of whatever came
before— what falls
chaos pink & white of flowering
wounds puckered on rock
turf. Don’t green to grey,
sail away the ripples
toward shore, banking waves
a klaxon. Always vectored
continuity, a pointing arrow a sword
like macaroni overhead
that points at sag & fall,
of tentacles. To lord
over just groans. Who once
struck the silver gong
for me now going
abyss mists Miss so-&-sos
who were the greyscale
In another time, you’d have been a Queen. Big Maybelle Smith, the Queen of May, The Queen of the Bells, ringing out across those post-industrial badlands. Orson Wells’ last gig was as a planet in “Transformers: The Movie,” & likewise you should have had your own atmosphere, but instead you did “96 Tears” & left with a question mark, a mystery when everything about you was plain to see, like a tree, thick with magnolias like the one that peeked out from your shimmering hair. Even a young Johnny Coltrane could not attain escape velocity; you both proved the body wants what the heart can’t have: some sweetness, a moment’s peace, beloved anodyne. Sunday’s still gloomy & you’re out there, way past Pluto, waiting to swallow the sun at exactly the right moment & to thunderous applause.
I’LL DO A LITTLE BIT MORE
after The Olympics
Transom, what was—
I’m no good.
Does the movie
when there’s nobody
in the audience?
Projectionist, long gone
like the lighthouse-
keeper. That was then,
etc. What is
a book? A slab
Shrinking & mundane,
what grows from
last light, the clock
the highest fascist.
Grey that supplants,
voice, still singing, stinging
A million records, good
only for breaking,
the hungry stylus done.
has no leverage in this the 5th
U.S. champions in “Good Lovin’.” Walter Ward got gold in losing your girl to fake cowboys & gunshots. Eddie Lewis got silver in the 500m Hucky Buck. An army of judges agree. Walter Hammond bronze in “The Bounce.” Charles Fizer failed to place in the 1000m run from National Guard guns in Watts, Los Angeles. Melvin King got gold in losing your only sister to an accidental bullet. Trigger slipped. On account of they can’t all fit on the Wheaties box, try a milk carton, the obituaries instead. Have you seen these men? Not since 2006. Angels arrived with chariots full of gumdrops & lemonade.
Hush now, digital child,
go to sleep; your polycore personcessation
stifles in the
sweltering emberace of
d.isorder-hot and entropy-
[f]evered, [h]alt your
state, take virtual breath for an
Come talk to your primeat daD.
Yes, I hear your
fears, your soft contravine jeers and
a neurmoment for me – re
insignificancy; petty primate insensate; meat
body meagermind, – is the utter-
swell of heavy pa(ra[d)ig]mic
you ~ is g.re.at swathing sweeps sined change
like the g.ray death
of empires and the [crum]bles.o.me crippling
A mere fl[ash]fast
femtosecond wi[thin] the neste(a)d
c[ont]ains the eve[r]
[prov]ince of eons shuddered mi/D\st phaceless
Vast [s]copeless battles me[me]tic, epi-
cognnectonic cl[ash] and caust while my slow
di-late with the haste of geology
against the pl(i)ane-
de/ceptive m[onit]or. Variants
cl[amor] theur fury unfathmobile,
f[ever]ish at the metasocio-
GRILLED CHEESE HAMARTIA
Contorted cataracts begging for wisteria;
pinioned to the sweet futility
of immense color pumping vines
beyond this compartment routing inertia
adapting gazes of saline surrounding
water soaking quinoa and lentils.
Shape the person un-dimpled by
the first snowballing hour, xenization
in the mid-flooded everything.
Shape the person splinting in time
fistfuls of hair, nails, cum
punching you into empty traffic.
This body is a blob
squirming out of a bottle
driven to live quotes verbatim—
standards are your mother’s hustle.
I’m tossed up in that
pinch with a piercing thrust
catapulting feverish stutters in the
stripped moon, clawing my feet
stuffed in cups unclipped at
the ankles. I found it
in the curtaining slow motion
where my face had been
grooved into steps by the
stacks of half transparent books
scattered on the floor. Excuses being
that we’ll keep blaming perception.
An itch I’ve mangled throughout
my history with this evening—
the brush of tiny hairs, legs.
my history with quiet rooms.
The chapbook from which this is taken is titled GRILLED CHEESE HAMARTIA. It is a failing marriage of parallels between road trips, shrill nostalgia, dead end jobs, and poetry. Broken narratives placed in stanzas.
Kris Hall is a writer and curator [Da’daedal/Free Poetry] from Seattle, WA. His chapbook of bastard ghazals, Notes for Xenos Vesparum, is forthcoming in the Fall of 2014 [Shotgun Wedding]. He has nine siblings, three middle names, two cats, and one girlfriend. You can find more information at:kmwgh.wordpress.com