Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A. V. Koshy writes

Swapna Sundari
(First Draft.) 

In Quilon you receded into the shadows

I met you only at the crowded bus-stops

checking out the magazines that had Shakeela(8) on the cover

and condoms of different flavours from abroad

and one day you were a pretty foreigner

wearing a tiger skin top and shorts, legs showing

lovely and rather bare breasted

reminding me of karadi kali, 

We were both on our long distance government run red and yellow buses

You got down, having overshot

and said .."these kind of things always happen only to me"

The ganja scene by then having shifted to Varkala from Kovalam(9)

Those days, you never spoke to me

and I never wrote poetry

Only masturbated thinking of you

Seems I was finished,

you had moved on

I had Jesus left for company

Jesus who was always there

Kollam did nothing for what was brewing

Between you and me


Which was immortal and nameless

And explosive

Should I call it the iron age, or bronze, brass, lead or gold?

(8) Malayali soft porn actress and starlet. 
(9) Referring to the hippie scene.


La Commedia Illumina Firenze -- Domenico di Michelino

1 comment:

  1. Domenico di Michelino's “La Commedia Illumina Firenze” is a commentary on the relationship between poetry and sin. Dante holdings “La Commedia,” which illuminates Florence, while sinners proceed to Hell and Pugatory, where Adam and Eve preside, just short of Heaven. The Archangel Michael guards the ascent of Mt. Purgatory and Virgil goes to Hell; while Dante may get to Heaven eventually, Beatrice never loves him, and Jesus (like Godot) never shows up.
    Kollam (or Quilon, formerly Desinganadu) is an old seaport in Kerala.It has had a strong commercial reputation since the days of the Phoenicians and Romans, and trade with China flourished. Its name means “pepper.” In in 822 two East Syrian bishops, Mar Sabor and Mar Proth, settled there, and in 825 the Kollavarsham (the Malayalam calendar) was created there.
    Shakeela started as an actress in B-grade movies in the early 1990s and debuted as a soft porn actress at the age of 20; between 2000 and 2003 she appeared in almost 40 softcore films, then began doing comedies. Altogether, she has appeared in more than 110 movies.
    Karadi kali is a dance performed in bear costumes during the Onam festival in Kerala.
    Kovalam is a beach town in Thiruvananthapuram. Its name means a grove of coconut trees. In the early 1970s it became known as a stopover on the Hippie Trail (“the overland”) between Europe and South Asia.(Kathmandu, Nepal, still has a road, Jhochhen Tole, nicknamed “Freak Street” in commemoration of the many thousands of hippies who passed through.) But the hippies soon moved to Varkala, the only place in southern Kerala where cliffs are adjacent to the Arabian Sea. It is famous for the 2,000-year-old Janardana Swami temple, which is often referred to as Dakshin Kashi (:Benares of the South”); the nearby Papanasam (redemption from sins) beach contains holy waters which wash sins away. When a group of pilgrims told Narada that they had sinned, he threw his valkalam (a loin cloth made from the bark of a tree), thus giving the site its name.
    Cannabis has been used in an entheogenic context (a chemical substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context) in India and Nepal since the Vedic period dating back to approximately 1500 BCE. “Ganja” is gets its name from the Ganges river. The Aryans introduced it to the Assyrians, who called it “qunubu” (way to produce smoke), a probable origin of the modern word "cannabis." The Aryans also introduced cannabis to the Scythians, Thracians, and Dacians, whose shamans (the kapnobatai—"those who walk on smoke/clouds") burned cannabis flowers to induce a trance.
    Roman writers described social evolution through gold, silver, bronze, and finally iron ages, but in 1820 Thomas Love Peacock wrote an essay, “The Four Ages of Poetry,” in which he discussed literary evolution: the iron age was preliterate, the gold age featured early, vigorous poetry, as exemplified by the works of Homeros, a silver age, (“the poetry of civilized life,” refined but often derivative, such as the works of Virgil and other Roman poets at the beginning of the empire), and the brass age, which featured “verbose and minutely-detailed descriptions of thoughts, passions, actions, persons, and things,” which was essentially flaccid and useless in modern society, since the poet is “a semi-barbarian in a civilized community.”


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