Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A. V. Koshy writes

An Epic on Childhood - 18 - Rose day and a Rock Show

"Poetry is deviance from the norm but towards revolution, not 
do you know how beautiful my city was
after emergency and before the communalists arrived?
on rose day, the roses
blinded me
i never thought so many could undo me
the air was fresh
and the young ones walked,
with a newly found confidence, the red brick Brit buildings
before the palace
seemed festive, full of grandness
even without the garish decorations
when the women walked the ramp
life lit up
and when vinay played dylan's 'tangled up in blue'
- that was in another place and time, but i constellate-
i wished that you were there, and i
- the crowds in the background fell silent -
as we moved gracefully, like dancers
towards each other
(my imagination being still pretty Bollywood!)
but one thing i knew
the hush that fell
over the sky and the roses sometimes
a still, silent, unbearable haze that hung in the air
(of a new moon's promise of becoming full never to wane
of a rose that would bloom and not ever die)
rained steadily in my jealous stalker's thoughts turned human by 

singing in my head
"you're still the one i want
the only one i need
for love"
like a chiming cuckoo-bird clock's anachronism
and i became one with the roses
and you
and i came over you like a flock of starlings
that do not exist in my city
to drink of you, honeyed, and carry your pollen
on the breeze's back, to today
to pen
into a bouquet
of undying fragrance
yes, it is true, i always spoil things
but believe me, i destroyed only that which would stand in the way
of beauty and things that would hinder you becoming greater
i must diminish, you be
Cassiopeia, i dreamt
being misunderstood is the fate of the genie
who gives his three boons and has to go back into the bottle
but the roses and the stars and the souls sheathed in light
for a purpose, do not thereby cease to attract me
i am their foil and make them shine brighter
unsheathe them, as they, shook out from my coils willingly or    

by me or others, or ready to remain too -
take to wing and conquer galaxies
and while gaining altitude, look back at my dwindling figure
growing steadily smaller
waving, waving back
or not sparing a glance
my Wendys in growth
but are you also blinded by the roses?
my strong rose, can't you see we are yet one
and forever cannot but be so
all that we have been through dissolved inside
into our very bones and marrow
never to be the same again
even in forgetfulness
as altered, agate, multifoliate?

Cassiopeia -- Audrey Frank Anastasi


  1. Queen Cassiopeia (Kassiope) of Æthiopia was the daughter of Zeuxo (an Oceanid, one of the 3,000 daughters of Oceanus and Tethys). She boasted that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the daughters of Nereus (the Nereids), thus bringing about the wrath of Poseidon, the sea god, who sent a flood and the sea monster Cetus to destroy the kingdom. The oracle of Amon, who dwelt at the Siwa oasis (Wāḥat Sīwah) in the Libyan Desert, told king Cepheus and Cassiopeia that the only way to appease Poseidon was to sacrifice Andromeda to Cetus; she was chained to a rock at the edge of the sea to await her fate. But Perseus passed through Æthiopia after slaying Medusa (whom Athena had turned into a monster whose hair was snakes and whose gaze turned people into stone, because Medusa had sex with Poseidon in Athena’s temple), slew Cetus, and demanded Andromeda as his bride, though she was already betrothed to her uncle Phineus. Perseus settled the matter by using Medusa’s head against his rival. The newlyweds were the precursors of both the Mycenaeans and Persians. Poseidon’s sense of honor was still not satisfied, so he placed Cassiopeia in the heavens, chained to a throne; as she circled the celestial pole, she was upside-down half the time (in later drawings of her constellation, she was portrayed holding a mirror or palm leaf). Her constellation is bordered by those of her family: Andromeda to the south (placed in the sky after her death by Athena), Perseus to the southeast, and Cepheus to the north (holding his arms aloft in prayer for the life of hoisd daughter). Cetus was also made into a distant constellation.
    Communalism is the Indian term that denotes attempts to construct religious or ethnic identities and incite strife and communal violence between different groups, but it was coined in the early 20th century by British colonial authorities, who viewed India as several, disparate groups and tried to manage that sort of violence by placating those interests. Elsewhere, the term refers instead to systems that integrate these communities into some sort of federal participation, or that foster communal rather than individual ownership.
    Wendy Darling was the innocent “love interest” of Peter Pan, characters created by Scottish novelist/playwright J. M. Barrie.
    Peter Pan began as a seven-day-ole boy in a chapter in a 1902 adult novel, “The Little White Bird,” but became the central figure of the 1904 play,” Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up,” which Barrie in 1911 adapted into a novel, which May Byron abridged and published as “Peter and Wendy,” and continued to revise the play until its script was published in 1928. Peter was a magical flying figure who cavorted with fairies, mermaids, and pirates. Peter invited Wendy to return home with him to Neverland as a mother to the Lost Boys (who had been abandoned in Kensington Gardens in London), but after many adventures she decided to return to her own home in Kensington. Wendy’s mother (who may have also known Peter when she was a young girl) agreed to adopt the Lost Boys, but Peter preferred to remain a boy forever and refused the offer. However, he promised to return for Wendy every spring. The play ended with Wendy pleading, "You won't forget to come for me, Peter? Please, please don't forget." In 1908, Barrie added a new scene, “When Wendy Grew Up. An Afterthought”: years passed before Peter returned as promised, but felt betrayed that Wendy had grown up and married one of the Lost Boys; however, Wendy’s daughter agreed to return with him to Neverland. Eventually, Jane grew up and was replaced by her own daughter Margaret, and Barrie indicated that the cycle would continue as long as children were "gay and innocent and heartless.”

  2. Vinay Forrt was a Malayalam actor from Fort Kochi, Kerala.

    Tangled Up In Blue" – Boby Dylan
    Early one morning the sun was shining
    I was laying in bed
    Wond'ring if she'd changed at all
    If her hair was still red
    Her folks they said our lives together
    Sure was gonna be rough
    They never did like Mama's homemade dress
    Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough
    And I was standing on the side of the road
    Rain falling on my shoes
    Heading out for the East Coast
    Lord knows I've paid some dues getting through
    Tangled up in blue.

    She was married when we first met
    Soon to be divorced
    I helped her out of a jam I guess
    But I used a little too much force
    We drove that car as far as we could
    Abandoned it out West
    Split up on a dark sad night
    Both agreeing it was best
    She turned around to look at me
    As I was walking away
    I heard her say over my shoulder
    "We'll meet again someday on the avenue"
    Tangled up in blue.

    I had a job in the great north woods
    Working as a cook for a spell
    But I never did like it all that much
    And one day the ax just fell
    So I drifted down to New Orleans
    Where I happened to be employed
    Working for a while on a fishing boat
    Right outside of Delacroix
    But all the while I was alone
    The past was close behind
    I seen a lot of women
    But she never escaped my mind and I just grew
    Tangled up in blue.

    She was working in a topless place
    And I stopped in for a beer
    I just kept looking at her side of her face
    In the spotlight so clear
    And later on as the crowd thinned out
    I was just about to do the same
    She was standing there in back of my chair
    Said to me "Don't I know your name?"
    I muttered something underneath my breath
    She studied the lines on my face
    I must admit I felt a little uneasy
    When she bent down to tie the laces of my shoe
    Tangled up in blue.

    She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
    "I thought you'd never say hello" she said
    "You look like the silent type"
    Then she opened up a book of poems
    And handed it to me
    Written by an Italian poet
    From the fifteenth century
    And every one of them words rang true
    And glowed like burning coal
    Pouring off of every page
    Like it was written in my soul from me to you
    Tangled up in blue

    I lived with them on Montague Street
    In a basement down the stairs
    There was music in the café at night
    And revolution in the air
    Then he started into dealing with slaves
    And something inside of him died
    She had to sell everything she owned
    And froze up inside
    And when finally the bottom fell out
    I became withdrawn
    The only thing I knew how to do
    Was to keep on keeping on like a bird that flew
    Tangled up in blue.

    So now I'm going back again
    I got to get her somehow
    All the people we used to know
    They're an illusion to me now
    Some are mathematicians
    Some are carpenter's wives
    Don't know how it all got started
    I don't what they're doing with their lives
    But me I'm still on the road
    Heading for another joint
    We always did feel the same
    We just saw it from a different point of view
    Tangled up in Blue.


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