YES, I HAVE BEEN TO INDIA
Yes I have been to India. To that crazyquilt sari of piecemeal continua. This corner of culture remnant here supraimposed with that antic pocket there -- all portions piled on, fu/ture/past juxtaposed and jangled, the mangled jazz of sitar/synth. In all this harem, whose hair is being plucked?
Yes I have been to India. Traced the serial Gandhicide graffiti through each election warren and heard the turbaned urban politicos scrawl their slogancreed upon eager puppetdom. And thus learned that here, like home, the public part of man is apportioned mainly between play and display -- performance shivas into form.
Yes I have been to India. Aboard a portable bedlam chugging from the station, a neverend circus of practiced infant beggary -- already, no gesture out of place, a persistent pantomime of persuasion and despair (yet my only alms a stone stare and stubborn refusal to be moved, and my sad wonderment at how the heart can harden so, and how soon.) Meanwhile, the Hooghly dawn unfolds in pinks and peach….
And all emerges from India. And all merges there -- pedestrians, pushcarts, palanquins, pigs pressed together on the pavement with the trucks, trikes, bikes, and buses -- like the constant blendings of ancient gods and newer fads. The whole universe, in India, remains submerged except for heat and mosquitoes.