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Translations from the Andromedan

Sloka One

Sweet  Talk  in  the Syrene  Limb

So enter by the living dream the secret
ever so, a glimmer on a sea of waving grain,
encoded ream of spindled words, of signals
double-seamed, starlit omens
on a distant shore and mirrored here on earth
by time and tide, sea-borne
insinuating surge and counter-
pointed mantic spin where memory
shall enter and abide: by
synergetic merge of sound
         and sense, rustle and rush in acid-
                           coded coils,        
collapsing syntax
jointed verb to verb, by nature’s
lovely knack for metaphor, the leaf-
limned splay of permutating words, trunk
and convolving branch of Orphic Elm
wide-sprawling cosmic tree
root-deep in the limpid rainbow glaze
of Aeon's pooling glow
molten and swirled and ornately
poured, the roaring ear-locked spiral
loads a signal down a spelling track
into a maze of porous pearl-veined crystal
where argot wrought in bright-tongued ingots
converts into the sweet talk of indolent sages
waylaid by disarming limbs
by galaxies that store
ripening troves of shamanic lore

And reckoning how words will tend to recollect
the almost pathological dimension of affect”         
is it any wonder then,
if elision from stork to swan, glint
of white feathers in the Pelasgian dawn, is
all the evidence that’s left, how
memory will desert its source
(leaving the local genius in a funk)
or how it arcs from Attic to Andromedan shore  
where cranes diving in Lake Manasa
                                             like silver blades
                  dissolve in aqueous depth,         
                                    almost sequentially, in 
slowness for which waterfalls are known, as tediously
words will emerge from ink, half-
hiding from the hand that
scrawls them?

And so Asuramaya, Zuni plume in hand, 
chose the mother tongue, the language
native to his stellar home M31, to venture
some lines in ancient rime, a random
record of his lives on earth
(that mirror-
that fractal maze)  

‘Though some
would say the task was never chosen
but assigned,
when he, Asuramaya,
court astrologer to Lord Krishna of Drudari,
reckoned cosmic timing in the dawn of Kali Yuga,        
around 3102 BC, the year Lord Krishna died
or so the legend has it
And so by rite of bilocution
mindful of bright sky-wound rotations, by slow
and sweet distension of covalent orbs
divining a fateful pause in Piscean Time,
composed a swan song for the Kalpa        

Time, let’s suppose, flows and
when it stops, it
overflows: and so         
precisely in a moment of temporal arrest, its
configuration assessed by the divinatory signs and
signatures proper to his sullen craft and art,
that one Dravidian sage,
he of the maiden-honored brow
five foot and ten
hands sworn to Sarasvati
adorned in ritual braids
twined in amber-turquoise strands
beneath the argent ramskin hood of Brihaspati
ventured the rime of his native slope, western prospect
of the third arm of Andromeda, the Syrene Limb

Thus by runic divination, encoding fractal signs of
sutra-mind for the straggling clans of ill-fated Orion

Asuramaya lived a double life.
The poet saw through time: not himself,
but in any variant of the wandering sage
some momentary guise, a refuge and
a mask the sweet abstracting gaze of Vishnu
took for a pretext, merely
so each expression became a look
each look, a way of seeing
Theoria: beholding

Here he was, on Andromeda, remembering
himself on earth
remembering he was there
on Andromeda, inhabiting
two worlds at once, two languages
informing him:

Axon and dendron, according to their myth - ” 
he pondered, sliding a thick-lashed look toward his consort
“Would correspond to the Andromedan tongue - ” she
hastened to reply (their foreplay began
undetectably, the usual moment when
there seemed nothing left to say)
“But here rendered in earthlike tones, tropes, allusions - ”
“Would correspond, but how - ?” his consort asked,
eager and unaloud. No sweet talk
escaped her, but constant discourse of
coresonating words, poet and consort
merged, lithe swan and phantom rider,
two figures in a telepathic dance  
“Since it is language you will use ” she chimed,
“but first you translate experience, you rime
  your words in the mother-tongue, although you
  lived it there, on earth - ”
“That mirror-world, lived so alike to here - ”
“Two realms distinct, one signal touch original to each - ”
“Feeling, a seamless rift in time - ”
“Here, the moment done and - ”
“There the memory begun,
  begotten in the moment that it ends - ”
“Andromeda and earth are two for one.”

He breathed the phrase her way and smiled,
relieved. “But the language
spoken here depends on harmonics
that cannot translate to there - ” he added with a shiver
“But translate the experience, yours and theirs - ”
“Our kinship with that zone - ”
“No destination being closer to home than any other - ”
“The bond of mirroring worlds - ”
“Is this, the language to tell the other what lives in you - ”
“The way it lives in them, too.”

His consort now is Vulka, dark-gestured nymph
of the Kerali Strain, a fragrant lotus
known locally as the shapely illusion
who licked his ears when the cosmic calculations got him down.         

Assigned, not chosen.
Or perhaps what is assigned  is
chosen in an altered way:  by intent
non-seeking its own aim,
Dharma that is
transcendentally inactive
can be momentarily disclosed by a tremulous mark
where the lovers’ embrace fades to a fierce glow
recalling a sky turned flamenco, a youth
                           adrift in mythtime, a mind
endowed in seasalt and mica....

“Designed is chosen” she murmured, and no sound
she made but blended to the luscious
swipe of thighs on amber, the lotus-eyes
streaming  blue fire licked from the Chen Ju Ridge.
Then the mudra that she was sunk him in a dreaming
                  his myth stuck to hers
                           their bodies slack to the drift
                  and soared down
off the Ridge before they could
dissolve to elsewhere, and precisely so

“Physics is foreplay - ” he signaled back.         
“The circuits are open for love, always,
  but in the physics of beauty all moments
 will be apposite - ” she beamed, and
glistening like a jeweled fog
condensed into his arms

“If Khlebnikov were King of Time - ”
“Do earthbound poets always suffer so - ?” she had to ask.
“The Russians do, but the effects are nice”

I will weep with the seals,
feel their pain, she quoted.
In a blood-filled puddle on the ice,
humanity's heaven
stained with earth.

Then is the moment when the Blue Prince
Lord of Andromeda
chose to address the Court on matters
germane to earthbound pain

“This is heroic provenance”  the Prince intoned,
sending a scarlet tremor through the coupled Limbs
Virya  pure and simple: supreme volition
  includes the will to hate to love to pity to rejoice,
abandon and embrace
Even if the womb of beauty
harbors a barbaric pain
all the fleeting contradictions
inborn to our terrestrial kin
cannot be entirely in vain.
Virya or virtu, in this elision
there is a kind of precision
called courage
What emerges in any moment apposite to suffering
will have been worth the pain, if
if all that generosity you seek
will have been granted
surpassing loss or gain,
for neither
can exhaust the full exchange:
esthetics here is anguish there, a curious
displacement due to cosmic law.

“But those ill-fated strays,
Orion Boys who bred with lion-maids,
wild beauties of the Sultress Strain,
unhinged virtu in virulent male rage
And so the moral power of sentient beings, open-        
ended desire to create or uncreate,
signature of the divine becoming or
just a daunting rumor (so earthbound kin believe),
leaves little to the imagination, or
little of it, anyone might say”

Then pausing for effect,
reached slowly for his blue guitar
and strummed a chord from Taurus, a gesture
known to conjure tremors from the Void 
“And so the augur will have been read,
  scrawled on the breast of Yellow Cranes:
  esthetic play will resurrect the dead
  when earthbound kin decode my smile
  and slake their petty individuating pains by
  numinous discernment.” 

“Because of this,” sung Vulka to the Court,
   “some kin on earth
     will come to reek of truth”
“Like a blaze,” another consort echoed. “A blade alight,
   a braid of scented fire”

The words were heard and
felt in the hearts of the Court
like hollowed darts of Devic lamentation.

Suppose then that time does flow and,
if it stops, will
                           at the point, say,
where attention gathers to a curl,
watch the soft nub of a
fiddlehead fern, tuned
to a lyre-like pitch,
quiver by the curve of Ummon Creek
deep in the Orphic Glade where you enter
by the eastern slope, the morning glaze
melting the Syrene Limb, now disguised as a 
moor in the Scottish highlands
the light there
obviously laden with rain, although
                           description, steady as she goes,
         will cloak the gleaning coloration of the dew
                  until it comes to you by numinous discernment

The counsel of the Blue Prince
encouraged Asuramaya. Knowing the sweet talk
would persist eternally, he would pause and
dare the ambisexual twinning style
to make runic divination plain
and so to bring courage again to that commiserate and
tragically over-sexed zone
spun dizzily
                   but without delight, without
                         tantric transmission,
around the orchid bight of Orion
--  even if
syntax collapsed, one verb end-
jammed into the
No meaning without apposition.

“Would those aside detect the bilocation?”
he wondered to his muses three

Silent company of one all-pervading look

In that noble audience no one supposed
precisely how or where the flickering rime
erased its sense,
Nor did their interfused and loving gaze         
misted upon the crystal mirror of their dreaming 
disclose the streaming interstellar codes, or
gauge the juxtapoise of constellations
merged in ex/stasis of the Void:

Galaxies awash with haunted animation 
images of loss, of
brutal conjugation
unfurling down the helix stem, blue-
shifted into so-called minds
sweet mudra of
double axe and butterfly

Starcraft for vital reckoning                 
cut in ancient rime
inchoate formulate degeneration
one letter at a time
encrypted trance of the Volupsa
                  in snatches of ancient veneration
                  after the twelve similes of Naropa


[Nov 2009 Flanders]

Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2017 by John Lash.