poet as anti-pedant

You cannot say true without
   an eyewash

You cannot brook the house on
   fire and not

Burn the root of your verb in
   -tent on 

Harboring a dissenting noun-
   you cannot

Bring in luck to say fortune,
   for anyone

Whose eye is set on this sun,
   this stone,

This arrangement of pebbles -
with the grit of each word perched in the soft corner of trial
error with the most you want from each blunt strand of past as
with making fire out of deadwood
     breath sits out un attached
     halves flit out as unknowns
You take in rage, the momentum of rage
   as it sinks into a
   root; as it

Becomes the heal; you take in
   the glib presuppositions
   as they  punctuate sense
   the allowed

Actual; the acclimatized ideal;
   you take in the
   flame of abetment and
What he called a sword was a sheath    lustful barometer
casting a trustless net over           here

What he called a swoosh was breath     nothing less
basking in a heathen tomb over         here

What he called a swan was a wreath     combed dusted
wanting flight as your youth over      here

poet as autocrat

What are poetics given to power? First, metaphors cannot be substantiated by references to reality. So they start referring to each other using erudition and authority, a hopelessly futile exercise in insulated creativity. Second, it is masculine in intent and hence inherently damage-bent. Third, it grows inward as it pretends to reach outward.

the poet as autocrat is the he-
call, call

-ous in its appropriation of
gender; tender

-ness its coaxed alternative;
poet; poet

-ess as merger of we and awe;
she; she-

call bound by physics but unbound
in so many other ways

Tagore/Kabir X. where is the fakir?

ix_th in the Tagore/Kabir set

Where is the fakir?
Where is the fakir that will stain the
Red of a million wants, a million stains
Of vermilion that breathe a hefty pant,
That breed a global want; the billion

Stars will testify to the wantonness of
The wanting fakir; where is she now,
The wafting fakir? save the busted cow,
Save too the million rows of unwanted

Bread, the grief of want, the want of
Grief, the million red, where is she now,
The warring fakir? shuck the busted shell,
Shuck too the million vows of private hell.

Tagore’s reflection on Kabir

I. 121. tohi mori lagan lagâye re phakîr wâ

  To Thee Thou hast drawn my love, O Fakir!
  I was sleeping in my own chamber, and Thou didst awaken me;
    striking me with Thy voice, O Fakir!
  I was drowning in the deeps of the ocean of this world, and
    Thou didst save me: upholding me with Thine arm, O Fakir!
  Only one word and no second—and Thou hast made me tear off all
    my bonds, O Fakir!
  Kabîr says, "Thou hast united Thy heart to my heart, O Fakir!"

shuck the hired bent of morn

Berate the blister; shuck
   the hired bent of
   morn; will the sub-

Human out of captivity and raise
   the humid accent into

Two treatisi on ice

the dark visits you with a wish
of cut, a

temporary appeasement, a drab
opening of

oblong effusiveness, ostriched

and the brim of dawn, the drip
of bland ice.


we caress the lip of morning 
with ice as the pink of it is downed with feather with ice as the loom of it is stung with nice and a little plum
     we tomb the tank of heaven roam in circles of pity grope the pier of now we 
     caress with

safe distance

In the mother’s womb
the child does not know
his mother’s face

nor can she ever know
his face.

The man in the world’s illusion
does not know the Lord

nor the Lord him,

(Dasimayya; translated by A.K. Ramanujan)

The stamp of the reckoned
The stamp of the reckoned
longing for mark, for lift,
for sun

is not a given, it is not
a known.

The longing for this stamp
is foreknowledge

and ignorance of him,


In the garb of tomb
In the garb of tomb
the word will not grieve
its shackled fare

its meddling stock of
livid pairs

of word and anti-word juxt-
a-posed for the benefit

of naught but the Lord,


safe distance
fragments of this poem are in
many hearts; we

care enough to bring the pieces
in synch? we can

try; we can perch ourselves at
a safe distance

above where everything happens,
and that is a

promise to not care but it shall
be in our minds,

a sort of thinking of you but not

The dry bed of a lake

The dry bed of a lake
    steers the course of the
    ragged feet of the river

The stone in dregs of 
    stone of river; where it
    sinks a heart bent & dry

Where it deepens heat
    of a baked rasp of heart
    of a tender deliverance.

It was like a stream
    running into the dry bed
    of a lake,
             like rain
pouring on plants
parched to sticks.

It was like this world's pleasure
    and the way to the other,
    walking towards me.

Seeing the feet of the master,
O lord white as jasmine,
   I was made
(Mahadeviyakka; translated by A.K. Ramanujan)

Tagore/Kabir XII. play!

7th in Tagore/Kabir posts

This ancient joy is your song
This ancient joy is your song to
Breathe, your

Final core, the dream, the pith,
The dust, the

Swan of luck and will, this ancient
Tale, this rim

Of axe and word and tale and
War, war.

What Kabir sung and how Tagore thunk it to be sung

II. 24. hamsâ, kaho purâtan vât

  Tell me, O Swan, your ancient tale.
  From what land do you come, O Swan? to what shore will you fly?
  Where would you take your rest, O Swan, and what do you seek?
  Even this morning, O Swan, awake, arise, follow me!
  There is a land where no doubt nor sorrow have rule: where the
    terror of Death is no more.
  There the woods of spring are a-bloom, and the fragrant scent "He
    is I" is borne on the wind:
  There the bee of the heart is deeply immersed, and desires no
    other joy.

play! as the duststorm wants you
to; play! as

the gatherer of forms will wilt an
archform, the

typecast word rummaging with
ancestral worms;

play! for the harbinger of verbs is
wont not to act.

reality as wiggles

to overrepresent the real is to map
           feel for the emotional charge behind nonsense feel too the map as it 
           guides your fingers along the crustacean's edge there is no ocean  
           except what is paper pen and a few wiggles

           the insular is this map the can of burn is suppressed in favor of 
           the image of hell this is perpendicular to fate perpendicular to the 
           motion of stars navigating paper & wiggles

           the overrepresented map gives nothing to imagination it takes charge 
           with an emotional plunk powdered with puff pull perpendicular to the 
           motion of stars - circumambulating wiggles
           at the point in history where the poet the artist the imagineer 
           became god at that very point something else conspired to teach the 
           fabric of reality a lesson in unreason in wiggles

           to give an encyclopaedia instead of insight is to bend light as it 
           enters your eye the fiction of the impossible is easier to bear than 
           the friction of reality - the bard and wiggles