Our past present and futureS ARE written on palm many thosan

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SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Our past present and futureS ARE written on palm many thosan

#1 Post by SivaRamanathan » 30 May 2013, 07:14

1980 The Black–MarieAmman Temple

Devotees struggle to the ant hill temple
and the undisturbed snakes inside---they lug in
offerings of milk and eggs, fangs puncture holes
in these eggs until the yellow and white stream
down; you picked up a small kernel of muck
and swallowed but I could not even go 'round
the foul pit thrice as required for divination[A1] .

1981 Nagercoil


We went back and forth to the Temple of the Snakes
with a vow to donate two bell metal jars;
we overturned them in a corner of the courtyard
to be set upright when our children were born.


1983 Kasi

We dragged a heavy sack load, stone serpents
of two sculpted snakes intertwined in passion--
if baby Krishna did not lie in a cradle hanging
from the hood of these snakes then our child
remains unborn in my womb.

1984 The Palm Parchment Oracle

If you had trampled on these reptiles in coitus
in your previous birth, a curse will leave you childless
until propitiation is made to the Gods with an abundance
of service.

1985 The Story of a Piece of Flesh

Gandhari [A2] cut a piece of flesh and put it
into a hundred jars, and a hundred children bloomed
like the stories that grow in circles when we talk mythology.

1958 The Bharathi Mill Pondicherry

Amma and I scrambled the pits of coconut trees
for snake skin jackets. Amma was a little mad
so I was un-cared for, but we made a go all the same.
We did not have common hobbies like collecting stamps
or matchbox labels; we merely picked out
the shed skins of reptile-moult.


2009 Pugalur Snake- Catching Week

My grown up son now drapes snakes around his neck
at snake shows; the charmer holds the snake'e mouth;
after this simple demonstration, pots and pots of sealed snakes
released in the Kolli hills to found new colonies.

2010 Snake Show at the Pugalur Paer Mill Colony

I hold the dull brick coloured non-poisonous snake in my hands
and I choke; yet nothing happened when I held the Viper
and the Krait. (non poisonous snakes have venom on their skin)
So much for my bragging; I died of fear the day I handled
the blunt poison-less mud snake that smelt of s hit.

1978 Erode

A snake came to the cooking pandal at my wedding place
everyone prayed with camphor and incense and tight shut eyes
it slithered away, I alone kept my eye-lids full open.
(I could not trust my life to a Cobra,however sacred.)

1990 Varanasi
We went to Kasi thrice to show off my children
also as thanks giving; that stone-stupa rests
under the great Banyan tree with hundreds
of other stone serpents, undocumented.















1980 The Black–MarieAmman Temple

In the ant hill outside the temple, where
snakes inhabit and devotees offer milk and eggs
fangs punctured holes in these eggs
so the yellow and white streamed down
you picked up that mud and swallowed it;
I could not even go around the pit thrice.

1981 Nagercoil
We went back and forth to the Temple of the Snakes
with a vow of donating two bell metal jars
downturned them in a corner of the courtyard
to be upturned when our children would be born
I can still hear the din of alloy to this day.

1983 Kasi
We dragged a heavy sack load of a stone serpent
two stone snakes intertwined in passion
if baby Krishna did not lie in a cradle
which hung from the hoods of these snakes
then which child would sleep in peace?

1984 The Palm Leaf Oracle

If you have trampled on these reptiles in coitus
in your previous birth then the curse will be on you
in this birth, to be childless in this birth,
until you propitiate the Gods with an abundance of service.

1985 The Story of a Piece of Flesh

Gandhari cut a piece of flesh and put it
into a hundred jars, and a hundred children bloomed
like the stories that grow around in circles;

1958 The Bharathi Mill Pondicherry

Amma and I scrambled the pits of coconut trees
for snake skin jackets. Amma was mad
and I was uncared for, but we made a go all the same.
We learnt how the reptiles molt.

2009 Pugalur
My grown up son now drapes snakes at the snake show
around his neck as the charmer holds the snake’e mouth
it is a simple demonstration,after which the pot sealed
snakes would be released in the Kolli hills.

2010 Snake Show TNPL

I hold the dull red non-poisonous snake in my hands
and I choke, while nothing happened when I held
the viper and the crate.

1978 Erode
A snake came to the cooking pandal at my wedding place
everyone prayed with camphor and incense and tight shut eyes
it slithered away, I alone kept my eye-lids full open.

The Birthing Of Snakes

He began going to the Black MarieAmman
around and around the snake pit, as
I swallowed the rise of vomit.

We went back and forth to Mannarshala
with a vow of donating two bell metal jars
downturned them in the corner of the snake temple
to be upturned when our children were born;
the din of alloy still sounds in my ears.

Once we went to Kasi from Chennai with a heavy load
stupa of a stone snake intertwined in passion
the baby Krishna lying in a cradle in between.

The soothsayer was top class, he said
you have trampled on snakes in coitus
in your previous births, so the curse
follows you now, you will remain seedless
till you meet an Ayurvedic maestro
who will make you eat the ash of burnt snails.

I remembered Lawrence’s snake
and my thesis on that horrible black hole
Madam English telling me, you are too young
enjoy poetry but no psycho-criticism.

How as a child I had gone in for snake-skin jackets
collected from under the coconut tress
my amma naming some of them, she spoke in poetry
‘’see how the natural reptiles molt.’’

I keep wondering about our Upanishads
Gandhari cutting a piece of hard flesh
putting them into a hundred jars
and babies growing out of them
as stories that grow around the circle.
of the myth of the hen that swallowed the snake
and snake lings in my omelets.

My grown up son now wears snakes at the snake show
around his neck as the charmer holds the snake’e mouth
it is a simple demonstration.

I hold the dull red non-poisonous snake in my hands
and I choke, while nothing happened when I held
the viper and the crate.

A snake came to the cooking pandal at my wedding place
everyone prayed with camphor and incense
and it slithered away ,I alone
kept my eyes full open.

Our past present and future is written
on palm leaves, has been written
many thousands of years ago.




Edit-1
At the Temple of the Black MarieAmman,
my man circumambulated a snake pit
I swallowed the rise of vomit.

Even been to Mannarshala with a vow,
downturned bell metal jars
and two three years later
upturned two of them,
after my son and daughter were born.

From Chennai to Kasi
did we not carry
a 48kg snake idol
in a gunny bag to leave it
under a Peepul tree
two intertwined snakes
with a baby Krishna in a cradle?

The soothsayer who said,
"Your husband has trampled on
two snakes in union
so now you are to face the wrath
of disturbed passion;"
his voice resonates in the CD.

I envied Lawrence's snake
even wrote a thesis on the horrible dark hole
''do not delve into matters of Freud now.’’

The snake skin jackets
I collected as a child
could name snake species
from the discarded skin
even though the cataract in my eyes
was an ointment.

''I hear of snakelings in a hen's egg
'why not, they who could preserve sperms
in the mace of bottle-guards
could make ninety nine brothers
for Duriyodhana. It is all about split DNA;
'Ha ha the myth of the hen
that swallowed the snake,''
my first omelette has a four inch snake-ling;

So much for my bragging;I died of fear
the day I handled the blunt poison less mud snake
that smelt of shit while nothing happened

as I held the viper and the crate.

Original Draft
At the Temple of the Black MarieAmman,
my man circumambulated a snake pit
I swallowed the rise of vomit.

Even been to Mannarshala with a vow,
downturned bell metal jars
and two three years later upturned two of them.

From Chennai to Kasi we carried a 48kg snake stupa
in a gunny bag and cemented it under a Peepul tree
two intertwined snakes with a baby Krishna cradle.

After my marriage a soothsayer said,
‘’Your husband has trampled on two snakes in union
so now you are to face the wrath of disturbed passion.

In my undergrad days I envied Lawrence's snake
even wrote a thesis on the horrible dark hole
Madam said,’’ do not delve into matters of Freud now.’’

As a child I collected snake skin jackets
and could name snake body from the discarded plastics
even though the cataract in my eyes was an ointment.

As a new born, three mongoose went round
and round my crib, grandma shooed them away
with a back handle of a palm leaf fan.

Panicker says,'' I hear of snakelings in a hen's egg
Hema says ,'why not, they who could preserve sperms
in the mace of bottle-guards could make ninety nine brothers
for Duriyodhana. Ramesh says,’’it is all about split DNA;
Chitra says ha ha the myth of the hen
that swallowed the snake, and already my first
omelette has a four inch snakeling; so much for my bragging.

I died of fear the day I handled the blunt poison less mud snake
that smelt of shit while nothing happened as I held
the viper and the crate.

IapCharon
Posts: 17
Joined: 13 Jul 2013, 06:08

Re: The Birthing of Snakes

#2 Post by IapCharon » 20 Jul 2013, 01:29

Dear SivaRamanathan,

I am not so sure this is working yet. Without a doubt, it's difficult material you are handling here! With that said, the manner in which the material is rendered, makes the reading harder and dims, must I say, the brilliance of the trope. I feel the poem is circular in premise, in so much as the effort does not pay off like it does when one travels from say Penn Station to Broadway...and stops...it's like climbing down to the Colorado river from up top in circles.

The reader is taken from vignette A to Z...with Snakes as the leitmotif, the 'pseudo-narrative' (shall I say) winding in and out of places, characters, situations...some visceral. Why would anyone want to read or re-read this - that's the question, I think the narrator must address, squarely. The narrator has thrown it all in there, it seems, hoping, it will stick. Everything sticks...that's not the issue, the issue is in what holding up the things, the glue, essentially, the language used: "The Birthing of Snakes" - or "I swallowed the rise of vomit"....or "I alone/kept my eyes full open" etc...don't appear to have the stickiness to hold anything like this material up and steady...if the attempt is to recoil the reader in disgust or to tangle her in inquiry or to harass her with history or to numb her down with epic ...this piece needs more work.

You could consider a strategy like Terence Winch used...here in Three Addresses..http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/238644 or you could use a more chronological approach that he employs in another poem that goes by the name I am Dressed as a Gondolier ....(don't have the link, sorry)....here's some suggests in the same vein:

Around 1939:
I went round and round
a snake pit to see MarieAmman,
(biting my tongue)

Around 1945:
I went around Mannarshala
with two bell jars so it could be planted
in the snake shrine as seeds for a child.

Around 1960:
In Kasi I carried a stupa -
snake intertwined around
my little Krishna in a cradle.

Around 1953:
The soothsayer said in a previous birth
I trampled on snakes in coitus
so I am to be seedless -
until I ate the ash of burnt snails.

..... etc. for you to consider. My best. IC

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: The Birthing of Snakes

#3 Post by SivaRamanathan » 20 Jul 2013, 21:28

IapCharon

Thank you.I will work on it with your suggestions.

S

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Our past present and future is written on palm leaves

#4 Post by SivaRamanathan » 20 Jul 2013, 22:40

1980 The Black–MarieAmman Temple

In the ant hill outside the temple, where
snakes inhabit and devotees offer milk and eggs
fangs punctured holes in these eggs
so the yellow and white streamed down
you picked up that mud and swallowed it;
I could not even go around the pit thrice.

1981 Nagercoil

We went back and forth to the Temple of the Snakes
with a vow of donating two bell metal jars
downturned them in a corner of the courtyard
to be upturned when our children would be born
I can still hear the din of alloy to this day.

1983 Kasi

We dragged a heavy sack load of a stone serpent
two stone snakes intertwined in passion
if baby Krishna did not lie in a cradle
which hung from the hoods of these snakes
then which child would sleep in peace?

1984 The Palm Leaf Oracle


If you have trampled on these reptiles in coitus
in your previous birth then the curse will be on you
in this birth, to be childless in this birth,
until you propitiate the Gods with an abundance of service.

1985 The Story of a Piece of Flesh

Gandhari cut a piece of flesh and put it
into a hundred jars, and a hundred children bloomed
like the stories that grow around in circles;

1958 The Bharathi Mill Pondicherry


Amma and I scrambled the pits of coconut trees
for snake skin jackets. Amma was mad
and I was uncared for, but we made a go all the same.
We learnt how the reptiles molt.

2009 Pugalur

My grown up son now drapes snakes at the snake show
around his neck as the charmer holds the snake’e mouth
it is a simple demonstration,after which the pot sealed
snakes would be released in the Kolli hills.

2010 Snake Show TNPL


I hold the dull red non-poisonous snake in my hands
and I choke, while nothing happened when I held
the viper and the crate.

1978 Erode
A snake came to the cooking pandal at my wedding place
everyone prayed with camphor and incense and tight shut eyes
it slithered away, I alone kept my eye-lids full open.

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