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almost island- winter 2011/ page 1

GAJANAN MADHAV MUKTIBODH



Brahmarakshas
Translated by Nikhil Govind






























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Brahmarakshas


On that side of the city near the ruins
an abandoned, empty well
and within, in cold darkness
in waters deep within
amid deep-sunken stairs
in the old stale puddle
I cannot follow these seeming foundations
these depths

encircling that well, entangled
silently stood the fig trees
in them hang the abandoned owl-nests,
brown, round

the smells of a hundred past pieties
green, jungly, raw
swim in the air and become the weighted doubt
of some unknown quality
that unsettles the heart

on the railings of the well, beguiling, green
elbows resting
leans the white flowered tagar tree

and nearby,
a flashing red flowered cluster
my kanher
calling me to that edge of danger
where the black mouth of the well
glances upward toward the skys emptiness
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in the emptiness of the wells thick darkness
sits the gatekeeper Brahmarakshas
and from within rises echo after echo
like the mutterings of the insane
speculations,
defilement.
to wash away, at every moment
the shadow of impurity
day and night, to make clean
Brahmarakshas, scouring his body
with the claws of his hand, again
and again hands chest mouth
still it stays
still it stays

andfrom his lips
strange strotras, mantras
fevered curses in chaste sanskrit,
lines on the forehead weave
glistening strands of thought
in a continuous streams maddening flow
lifes sympathy blots

but when, in the wells deep inner wall
oblique sun-rays fall and
motes rise,
light surfaces
he thinks the sun has bowed and saluted him.
when a moonbeam forgets its way
and its rays stagger off the walls
he thinks it worships him as the
venerable knower.

body and mind pierced, yet
he rejoices, feeling the sky
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too has humbly accepted him.
and with a twofold, frightening potency
his understanding mind ranges
through the folk-tales of Sumer-Babylonia, mellifluent Vedic hymns
todays chands, mantras, theorems, theories
of Marx Engels Russel Toynbee Heidegger Spengler Sartre even Gandhi
everyones proof commented on afresh
all this as he bathes in the wells dense greenness.

this thundering, echoing, moving
darknessbringing up phonemes
obscure words revolving anew
each word dividing its resonance
each form battling its reflection
maimed
becoming
the echo that wars with its echo

upon the wells rails
beguiling green elbows rest, and the
white tagar flowers listen
to these echoes
the delicate fruits of the gooseberry tree
listen, the ancient fig
listens, I too listen to the tragedy that drifts
in this mad allegory
barred within this old well.


X X X


very high a dark savorous stairway
its ill-lit step
they of a strange interior universe.
a stepping-up and a falling;
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again, a stepping-up and a-slipping,
with twisted feet
and on its chest many sores.
more fierce than when good and evil
meet
calamity between good and a greater good

small fortune,
more likely misfortune!!

an exorbitant fullness
anguish is dear
geometrys eye constructs
a moral investiture

self-consciousnesss subtle moral recollection

when has it been easy
to placate an exorbitant completeness

all explanation is precious!!


the sun comes out
anxietys red haemorrhaging-river
flows into the day;
the rising moon
on the wound
dazzling white bandages on
its disarrayed forehead.
stars scatter the skys edge
from uncountable decimals
come decimal-drops on all sides:
in the transposed spreading field
beaten, he comes to use,
and lies spread
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chest and arms open extended,
a purifier.

his person a tender quartz, temple-like,
in that temple a stairway

it is hard to climb
the lonely stair.
with emotion with thought
the coordinated formed matter
the stair of assimilated arithmetic
i left for him.
that thought-emotion, that work coordinated and formed
in research
amidst all pandits, all thinkers he
in search of a guru
drifts!!

but the age turned and he came trading fame
his only wealth from work now,
from that wealth a heart & mind,
and, subject to wealth, from within
truths glint
ever smolders.

self-consciousness and yet in this
loves discord
a world consciousness unmade!!
at greatness feet
an agitated dejected mind!
if only i had met him those days
then living his anguish myself
i would have told him his worth
his greatness!
of his, and his greatness,
use to people like us
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i would have spoken of that inward greatness!!

powdered within
and outside between two stone slabs
this is a farcical tragedy!!

in the well himself
endlessly inside the mad symbols
how he within the dark room
kept at his arithmetic
and died
in dense barbed undergrowth
in a dark cavity
dead bird like
departed
that flame unknown slept forever
this happened: why!
why did this happen!!
Brahmarakshas breast-fed student
i so wished to be
whose incomplete works
whose pains source
collected, extracted, risen
I could bring.