Kali Yuga, Poets … and I don’t know

Visible Origami – June 14, 2012

Dog Poet Transmitting…….
May your noses always be cold and wet.
(thank god for Origami. I definitely need to be here right now-grin-)
I have to tape that Red Ice radio show today so I am getting this started while I wait for sleep to come.
If you really, really want something you get it. If you want it for the purity and beauty of what it is, it will take it’s clothes off in front of you. Real poets never get rich but the best expressions that Lady Nature can work her way into coming out for find their way into their beds. All real poets get tired of that early. They only want Lady truth to knock on their door and ask them if they are kind to strangers. Then she takes off her clothes and the world disappears.
It is a hard struggle in the aftermath because the world comes back again and truth puts her clothes back on. There isn’t one of us to whom it happened that can remember what took place between the unveiling and recovering. People don’t really read history, or if they do, their glasses fog up. Take the case of Richard Lovelace. I suspect almost no one here knows that story. Some of you might know his name and some of you might know that enduring poem he wrote. I’ll put it here-
From Prison.
Set by Dr. John Wilson.
WHEN Love with unconfined wings
Hovers within my Gates ;
And my divine Althea brings
To whisper at the Grates ;
When I lye tangled in her haire
And fettered to her eye ;
The Gods that wanton in the Aire,
Know no such Liberty.
When flowing Cups run swiftly round
With no allaying Thames,
Our carelesse heads with Roses bound,
Our hearts with Loyall Flames ;
When thirsty griefe in Wine we steepe,
When Healths and draughts go free,
Fishes that tipple in the Deepe,
Know no such Libertie.
When (like committed linnets) I
With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetnes, Mercy, Majesty,
And glories of my KING ;
When I shall voyce aloud, how Good
He is, how Great should be ;
Enlarged Winds that curle the Flood,
Know no such Liberty.
Stone Walls do not a Prison make,
Nor Iron bars a Cage ;
Mindes innocent and quiet take
That for an Hermitage ;
If I have freedome in my Love,
And in my soule am free ;
Angels alone that sore above,
Injoy such Liberty.
Everyone has heard about Rumi but how many know about his life? Or Omar Khayyam, with whom I am singularly familiar in a very personal way. How many know that he went to school with the man who became the Grand Caliph and The Old Man of the Mountains, Hassan-i Sabbah, from whose name comes the word ‘assassin’? How many know Hassan’s story? That is very interesting; should you get the comprehensive version. The tales and wonders of the past should be sufficient to grant the intelligent inquisitor (inquisitor! The horror! The horror! Cue Marlon Brando or Joesph Conrad, I don’t care) ample evidence for adequate faith to survive anything, yea, even prosper.
I don’t particularly like Rumi’s work. I never have. A friend of mine wrote a bestseller about him called The Illuminated Rumi. Well, he was a friend, like I said but I haven’t seen him in decades. I know he must be a fantastic poet but it doesn’t work on me. What the hell, we’re in honesty mode… then there are poets I detest, like Alan Ginsberg, who I met on several occasions and the dislike was mutual. He hadn’t ever met or even heard about me when a New York publisher brought me up to, or down to him, depending on your perspective… and the publisher said to Alan, “I’d like you to meet Les Crook, one of the finest poets I know…” and before the publisher could finish saying what he was saying, The Ginz said, “Don’t waste my time, I already don’t like him”. I was a little surprised though nonplussed but the publisher was astonished. He said, “I’ve never had that happen before”. Then he made me feel better as we walked away. He’s gone now. Him and his loyal dog, Joe, who hung on for 18 years to be around him. He put his arm around me and kind of squeezed me up against him and said, “Don’t worry about it. That’s proof you must be pretty fucking good”. I still laugh sometimes when I think about it. It never came to anything but… it is Kali Yuga and I didn’t come here to be a poet. That’s just the train that brought me to this station.
Of course, there’s Rod McKuen, the gay, cowboy poet, who tapped some junkie vein in the flabby arms of all those Staten Island Ferry, secretaries putting on their makeup in the big open air women’s room on their way to the financial district. There’s versions of that everywhere and they probably are the same girls who just love Barry Manilow. The obvious irony here does not need to be fleshed out. Rod McKuen made more money in one year than probably all of the truly great poets that preceded him; again, Kali Yuga.
Back to the positive, ♫accent the positive, eliminate the negative and don’t mess with Mr. In between♫ Like I wasn’t saying or will probably get around to. Life appears to be unfair; according to what? I happen to know that everyone getting fucked over now was doing the fucking over last time. Lots of people aren’t comfortable with that. They don’t get Karma and they don’t get Kali Yuga. Well some do and some don’t. I know there are various people who want access to things I have done, written or collaborated on, with Frater Patrick W. or others and can’t find them, get them for free, purchase them; want that thing there and this thing here. Sometimes I can find them and sometimes not. On two separate occasions, two different hard drives failed and each time those were specifically where the music was kept; if music it be; Kali Yuga. I actually lost things that have yet to be discovered again. So, it isn’t easy finding things if they are determined to disappear. There are old cassettes, do they work anymore? Miles of video wanderings through streets and seascapes, VCR relics in a box in the dark basement room below. I never got around to making them digital. They’ll probably just wind up at the dump some day. There are early transmissions concerning the way to the kingdom but they may or may not be of use, given how many times I have lost my way again since; Kali Yuga.
I woke up this morning after several nights without sleep, more refreshed than I might have expected, since it took until four in the morning and a bottle of Campari to accomplish it. Four or so hours was apparently enough. Interestingly, this morning, Susanne says to me, as I have made my way down to the kitchen for tea, something along the lines of asking if I can feel it. It has something to do with the sky being higher and clear. Indeed the sun is shining after many a day of rain.
Before I came down, I went to the computer and noticed an email from this Kumbh Mela company that I had contacted last year, telling me about their rates and so on. It seems tent living among the many, is as pricey as the best hotels. I’m thinking do I really want to be around the largest spectacle of it’s kind, when I don’t like crowds in the first place? So I cyber-wander around Rishikesh and figure that if I do this thing, it will probably be more like this, with Arunachala and maybe the stations of Lord Ganesha as further ons in a kind of walkabout, while not actually heading in any of these directions, just passing through, moving light, cause it is the dark of the night; Kali Yuga.
So, just now, Susanne disappears. Someone is at the door, something to do with electricity, dogs are going off. I am reduced to cobbled together German, talking to only German speaking and I just take the guy to the downstairs apartment and hand him over to the lady who has been living there in recent times. I hear conversations through the window; nothing to do with me, the mother still sleeps in her bedroom and this part of the world goes on and not much of it has anything to do with me. Conditions are pleasant, except for the terrifically bad feng shui of this poorly designed monstrosity house, full of the possessions of the dead. There’s something that just doesn’t connect with much of anything around me here. It is like I was placed in a certain time zone, culture bucket, to do no more than what you have seen occur on these pages …but it is evident to me that I will soon be gone somewhere, in a kind of ‘no harm, no foul’ way of amicable departures and bon voyage. To where?
Last week I had a bad event. I was mostly alone for a couple of days, except for the care of the mother and the dogs and it cycled all the way up to this morning, when it just kind of went away, being replaced by doorbells, landlines, cellphones going off and brisk comings and going of all kinds not having anything to do with me; world in transition, Kali Yuga. I was a devotee of Kali for awhile. Hindu posters of her abounded on my walls and I would see her in meadows and forests, the Shiva Shakti thing going off the hook. I’m not so focused on the black mother for some time. She has changed her relationship to me; more Saraswati now. All those gods and goddesses, all the same being, all very real, in whatever particular aspect he/she/it may present in. Some people have difficulty with all that. I have no problem with it. I could, at any time, be Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist… it’s all the same God. It’s a matter of taste. God presents in the form most accommodating to the needs ans desires of those for whom God appears.
The cracking of the Chinese economy should prove interesting, given that they are the ones who came up with, “may you live in interesting times”. I couldn’t even venture a guess. The divine has intentionally led me to predict things just so I could see them not happen. You will note that we are now about to go into that half of this year where a whole lot of those interesting things are going to happen. I get the strange suspicion that those who have put their reliance upon material culture and those who have flat out feasted and inhaled like reavers and siphons, are going to be the most disappointed. Those of us that never had much anyway might not even notice the difference, then again, it depends on whether you are one of those who never had much but still wish with all your might that you could get it. Those who got it might interest some in this intriguing slideshow. Sometimes bad things happen to rich people but more usually to their pets.
It’s been a truly strange period for me but that’s all about to change now. I have no idea of how, or why, or where. It’s going to be one of those things that just appear out of the air, the way this one did and I knew that was coming, was even announcing it for some months beforehand. All in all, this segment has been better than the rest, mostly cause of the company and also the decency of the people in the area, however truculent and provincial they may be. I hear this next step is going to be much better, more suited to my needs than my having been suited up for everyone else’s needs.
Once again, I’m saying these things, using my own life as an example, because I’m not The Lone Ranger here. Many of you will find the same thing coming around in this time of change and transition. It’s for the best, however it may appear initially. Okay, time for Luke to get his mind right. “You got your mind right yet Luke”. You ain’t gonna be backsliding now, are you”? No, I won’t; speaking of getting my head into the frame for this Red Ice Radio show that I tape this early evening. Okay then, just keep on chopping that wood and carrying that water till we get to flow our of Shiva’s hair and down to the Ganges.
End Transmission…….


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