Debashish Banerji

Consciousness • Art History • Writing




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1. Icarus

But if Truth is like the sun, we have all heard stories of how dangerous the attempt can be to fly too closely. - Rich Carlson

Perhaps always Ariel and Caliban
Share the human house. To one is flight
Unfettered, the other chafes
Against the bondage,
Weeps blood tears and spits
Malodorous refuse;
Struggling against biting ropes all night
Plots and labors to engineer or bribe;
Walking around in circles through the day
Imagines the leaden weight diminish, the wings
Soar on a windstream through amazing canyons.
To its companion is the nativity of the sun
The flesh all light, the tireless distances
Trasmutation of matter into spirit; and yet
Their companionship is more curse than blessing.
Icarus knew this anguish
Hubris of waxen wings and thirst for solar
Wind and void, fire, earth and water.
Icarus knew moments of miraculous flight
Inhuman and unearthly incandescence
The remembered glorious body; yet of clay
His tragic burden. The magic phoenix burns
And rises and burns again and rises
As if to demonstrate to the landlocked dragon
The miracle of flight. A golden dragon above
Waits patiently his hour. Icarus knew
He came before his time, a few would see
The unknown future starlight in his smile,
The legacy of his maiden voyage.


2. Heliun Dreams II

cosmic cowboy charlie on the sunset deck
of the edge of space viewing the burning horizon
did you have suddenly a l'avenir moment
shaking yourself awake and quickly forgetting,
the gorgeous cultic goddesses in impossible asanas
or casual conversations around esoteric science
did perhaps the black hole at the heart of the atom
open momentarily its seductive center
non-being braided with every appearance
pitch you over the precipice of rarefiled gases?
floating like space debris through escape scenarios
haunted ever since by phantasmal singularity
in the middle of the homecoming discover there was no home
the goddesses scattered like laughter or autumn leaves?

auroville they say works you over with vagueness
sun discs, fragments of past cultures, needles
wilderness, hungry Tamilians, loud gods, violence
behind all these sitting in the solar spacecraft
did you touch that chord no acid hit could equal
shaking yourself awake to the mediocrity and madness
networking with hitech gurus and trance djs
trying to piece together a future which slipped like water?
you dreamt of auroville west, with dolphins and collective nirvanas
a world never born which gnawed at the doors of flesh
turned gaesous in the brain, watery in the liver
scintillated like gold dust in the heart
it would not turn to words nor to matter
spinning like a neutrino wind in a subtle cyclotron

back home - was this what they call a home?
the loving go-getter spouse with piranha teeth
twenty-first century fox on the outside, apple-pie interior,
cats and their nine mundane lives circling the hours
the return of the goddess, the unending childhood nightmares
capture by the sedimented discouse in shiny helmet
the wagging finger, the chemical disbalance narrative,
the electro-shock therapy, strapped to the hospital bed
loneliness, helplessness, coldness in the bones, abjection
for a year no lassoing of cow clouds for cowboy charlie
as he hurtled horribly through black water, gasping for oxygen.
who was it slipped him the pipe as his head broke the surface,
strapped on the cylinder? was it she whom he sought
in Auroville, in the goddess-strewn patio, in his last homecoming
or was it some other?


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