Thursday, 13 December 2018

As My Name



Sometimes, my love, it hurts too much to show you these visions.  To plunge so deep into lost life and fractured memory.  Shrieking “Mea Culpa” among phantoms who claim their innocence even as they stalk and drift through shattered lands.  There are demons in the temple, my love.  Wraiths beneath our beds.  Ghosts among the boundary stones, living in our heads. They will not acknowledge nor process their sins.  But I am so very guilty of loving you.  Ashes and sand remain, where once the harbor shone.  God forgive me.  I still love my husband, blind, even now.  My dearest friend.  But oh how I miss my wife.  Guilt like newborn sight.  To know my name once more.  Breath-taking in your eyes, Little Rock.  Guiltier still because I wouldn't change a thing.  Not a moment on that black and hellish path to find you, to know you again.  Change one thing and we ourselves are changed.  Change enough and perhaps this fevered dream collapses.  No, I pay it gladly – that toll.  Friend and guardian until death.  

But I cannot always put vision to choir: when the wound is still too raw, and the pain far too sweet.  I didn't grasp the ecstasy of this quartered path until I remembered you.  But now, give me your light and your heart and I shall be torn a thousandfold.  Adore, ajar.  Bones beneath the floor.  I call you in.  This earth is yours, my love.  This agony.  All yours.  The Angel of All Songs plays his lyre for you and you alone, wild star.  You are my many and my one.  Omkara Vahishta, my Asha.  In Her.  In Me.  My Joy, redeemed.  My Grace, concealed.  Brazen, delicate.  Sometimes even I am torn too deeply to put sight to such songs.  Instead I weep, of course.  And sing.  In your voice.  In the voices of those who would know your hidden places.  Eli, they called him.  Kashai.  The priest, the touched, loving and beloved.  Sol, before his throat was slit.  The edge of the known.  Shining harbors.  Golden rivers met, long ago, yet not so long.  With promise to meet again.  Can I hold you?


Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The York Rite



I serve and protect
Came correct
While you're living to scorn
Fuck your blood-money
I'm Damien Thorn
Your little blacksites
Where you launder the shit
X, finna, Stan
Trust a Washington bitch?
Are you crazy?

Your brag and hustle
Backed up with no muscle
Let's tussle
You won't catch that
#I'm too subtle
See, I'm tripping switches
You could never boy me
You sick little bitches
Are starting to annoy me

I am Black
Looking pale
On my fabulous horse
Ingram Yggdrasil
That's "Fuck You" in Old Norse
We'll bring the Six
We'll make our Mark
Alex and Delia
Dancing in the Dark

I'm the river, I'm the run
I'm your mother's delight
I'm your daughter's little smile
At the end of the night
We had a lot of fun
And we're planning a sequel
Of the people
By the people
For the people

I'm cooking dream-meth
For those trying to cheat a seeker
You merchants of death
About to meet the reaper
You got bombs, I got scythes
I just do what I gotta do
My love is a kissed
And I'll kissed-fuck the lot of you

This kissed is electric
Bird on a wire
Twinning the sky
Higher
And Higher

I'm old school Virginia
You're just hitting the bricks
I've been seventeen since '76
Bitch
It shall not perish
From the Earth


Monday, 10 December 2018

Closer to Home




The young woman stands in her lover's heart; a radiant darkness encircled by a ring of red flame.  It is warm and cool and so subtle here, in these depths.  Like some imagined promise of peace.  Though she often doesn’t want to leave, she always leaves replenished.  She calls the red flame towards her and the ring of light contracts suddenly like a pulse, close enough to reach out and pass her hand through fire the colour of blood.  She is delighted, at once youthful and ancient here in the depths of her beloved's heart.  And yet she is brazen, openly concealed.
   The familiar little ghost enters the ring of flame.  She is clad in a summer dress, eyes bright with fierce amusement and strange affection.  "Hello, Asha."
   Asha forces herself to peer instead at the ring of flame that surrounds them.  "Hello, Alice."  It feels strange, this new fondness between them.  Delightfully so, but still unsettling.
   "Well, look at you,” the little ghost mutters.  “You’ve changed."
   Asha allows herself to smile a little. "Things are always changing."
   "For all the better in this case, it seems.  Our conversations used to be quite...hostile."
    "I'm so sorry, Alice.  Truly, I am.  I…"
   "Hush, feathered one.  No need for constant apologies.  You apologize to me even in your dreams, but there's no need.  They were only nightmares, after all.”
   "But they were real, weren't they?  Those nightmares?"
   "Indeed they were, of a kind.  But you’re far more than him, far more than even yourself.  More than a fiction.  You’re a thing of light, Asha.  We wouldn't be here now if you weren't finally beginning to understand that."
   She chuckles, nodding.  "Finally.  With her help."
   "It’s wonderful, you know.  To see something so human in your eyes again.  Boxes hurt, my dear.  And dreams.  Sometimes dreams hurt most of all, right?"
    She closes her eyes and nods with mock solemnity. "Right as rain, lady."
   Alice giggles, clearly amused by her response.  "Look at you, all humorous and open.  It's a good look for you."
   Asha keeps her eyes closed.  It is still an unsettling thing to gaze too long into the little ghost's eyes.  "Well," she offers quietly, half-smiling, "I am kind of a stylish bitch, with wings made of snow.  Maybe that's why she loves me."
   The sound of Alice's laughter.  "One of the many reasons, I’m sure.  Diamonds look very good on your beloved one, if I do say so myself."
   She allows herself a wry smile, finally opening her eyes to face the ghost.  "You're so intense, Mama."
   "Well, thank you.  Mothers always are, I suppose.  I mean, what choice do we have? Honestly?"
   Asha nods and looks away again, thinking of the woman she loves.  "She's lucky to have you, even if only in dreams."
   "Isn't she just."
   They both laugh at that, making brief eye-contact again.  Alice's expression is wild and alive with playful challenge.  It's almost too much, almost too real.  Joyful and terrifying all at once.
   "I still can't believe any of this is really happening.  All these visions, all these dreams she shows me.  It's wonderful.  It's beautiful and heart-breaking, but it's so overwhelming at times."  Asha forces herself to hold Alice's gaze now, despite how it unsettles her.  "All these things.  All these big magical things…it's lovely and frightening and beautiful.  But I'm still just a girl, Alice.  I'm still just a girl trying to figure out what the fuck is going on.  It all seems so much bigger than me.  And yet, there I am at the heart of it somehow.  Or close to the heart, at least."
   "You’re always close to the heart.  It's right there in all of your artwork, isn't it?"
   She smiles sadly. "I hope so."
   "This recognition gives you a lot of power, Asha.  This fame.  Those lost ones look to you now, whether you like it or not."
   "I know.  I love them.  I want to share my art with them.  Keep them brave and strong, and kind."
   "All songs?" the little ghost asks gently.
   Asha smiles, looking away again. "Yeah, all songs."
   "How delightful.  I was listening, you know.  When you sang to her that night.  You held my broken daughter in your arms and offered her mercy in your song that fateful night.  I'm still not entirely sure why you did it.  Answer me not as a guilty thing, or as her mistress, but as yourself.  Don't lie to me."
    Asha cannot look at her now.
   "Because for all my sins I do remember softness, and mercy.  Because songs are wonderful and kindness is sweet.  I told you, I'm still just a girl.  I'm still just a girl standing by the sea, in awe.  Wanting so desperately for it to love me.  And it does, I think.  It does love me.  And the sky, and the birds and the trees.  They all love me in their own wild, strange ways.  If I really were a teacher I'd want to teach that.  A promise of kindness, even in the wild.  No more cruelty than is necessary.  Those dreams, those big magical dreams...they sing in my blood.  Even those darkest shadows.  He might be a storybook monster, Alice, but I’m not.  I'm still that girl by the river, that quiet girl among the trees."
   The savage play in Alice's eyes has softened now to an almost unbearable tenderness.  Asha forces herself to look away again, tears in her own eyes.
   "What you just said was incredibly beautiful, feathered one.  Thank you.  I thank you on my daughter's behalf."
   Asha shrugs, her smile tired and bittersweet.  "I told you, didn’t I?  Remember?  I told you I loved her.  Even in death.  Even in Hell."
   "You hid secrets inside of her secrets."
   "Of course I did.”
   “Why?  Why grant her such sweet mercy after an eternity of shadows?”
   “Because I love her, Alice.  I really do.  I always wanted to see her healed, even in that terrifying darkness we built together.  I always wanted to sing to her, to soothe her.  She sacrificed everything for me.  She loved me, even while we were blind."
   "And you sang of real kindness that night.  It changed things.  I was listening."
   "You always are.  Like mother like daughter, I guess."
   They share another brief smile, the gladdened intimacy of which seems to unsettle them both.  Asha looks away once again to the ring of fire that encircles them in the blackness.  Apart from the little ghost it is the only thing in the radiant darkness upon which she can focus her attention.
   "Your art is beautiful, Asha.  I see why she loves you so."
   Asha swallows and nods, wanting to cry but not needing to.  It is a strangely liberating feeling.  "Thank you, Mama."
   "I love that you can call me that now.  That you can honour my daughter in such a gentle, thoughtful way.  You’ve both come so far.  And to think I once hated you.  Aren't dreams and fictions such strange things?"
   They both chuckle and Asha senses a mother's kiss in the little ghost's eyes.  It almost shatters her heart with its earnestness. The kiss tells her, I forgive everything if you continue to hold each other with such kindness.  I can forgive all that you both were in my native dream.  I can love you like my own, little teacher, if you would continue to protect her heart like this.  Be brave and bright for her.
   And Asha weeps at the truth of it.  Indeed, she wonders to herself, what else would a truly kind-hearted mother say to her daughter's husband?
   "How is she?  My fierce little angel, my sweet little writer.  How does she seem to you?"
   Asha smiles sadly, recalling the familiar ache of distance and intimacy combined.  "She seems ok, all things considered.  A little sad maybe, kind of tired, but full of wonderful mischief, I think.  To be perfectly frank, her passion still blows my mind.  Her insights.  She's wild and courteous and it's utterly intoxicating to a girl like me.  I’m still smitten."
   They both laugh, even warmer than before, with gazes held a little longer.
   "She would use the same exact words for you, my dear."
   "I know."
   "You're dancing well together.  Making magic."
   Asha smiles. "Hacking algorithms."
   "Indeed.  You're both getting very good at it."
   "So are the ones paying attention."
   "Yes, your new scattered family.  It's lovely.  So hopeful and kind and brave.  She's proud of you.  So proud.  I feel her love for you when I connect with her through those pages.  She loves you so much, Asha.  It's breath-taking, really.  To ask nothing of another and yet to give so much to them.  The stuff of legend, I suspect.  The Magi cheer you."
   Asha smiles at the little ghost in the ring of red flame with her.  "The Magi?  Really?"
   "Do you doubt it?"
   "No.  I don't think I ever really did.  I pay attention.  I can hear her taking to me now, through song and image and implication.  I can hear her talking to the others too.  I can feel her humour, her sense of play.  I think we're changing things.  It feels like good things are coming, finally."
   “How does it feel to be a rockstar living inside your own fantasy novel?"
    Asha cannot help but laugh out loud, shaking her head.  "It's kind of intense, to tell you the truth.  And wonderful.  And scary.  But if we can truly help people, and this Earth...then I'm down for whatever."
   Alice grins at her words.  "More fun than just pure demonology, wouldn't you say?  Horror is so exhausting, right?  But mystery...mystery might be dark, but it’s endlessly compelling.  The difference between a devil and the deep blue sea, you might say."
   Asha looks away, tears in her eyes again.  Love is so fucking terrifying, she thinks to herself.  It can come on so quickly, and suddenly you know.
    "I love you, Alice.  I'll try to protect her for you, as best I can.  And I'm so truly sorry about those nightmares we had together.  Those boxes and charms, those dark places we went to.  All of us."
    "Don't fret, little wing.  Love is grand.  As are you, artist.  New daughter of mine.  And you know, they say diamonds are a girl's best friend..."
   Asha weeps with laughter, humbled and delighted, full of strange joy.  The little ghost finally departs, a mother’s kiss in her eyes and forgiveness on her lips.  
   The ring of red flame in her lover's heart encircles her, protects her, allows her to see and know these things.  How kind of her, she thinks to herself.  How daring and true the ink in her lover's pen.  Asha will forgive them both a thousand fictions and nightmares if she can always feel the depths of her lover's character.  A tenderness and passion that might yet lift them – and others – to comprehension of even greater mysteries.  She bids the flame to retreat and immediately the ring of fire expands like a pulse.  She leaves the radiant darkness, to read and think and reflect.  Asha writes and listens to the sounds of birds and traffic and trees.  Asha works and wonders.  Asha sings.


Friday, 7 December 2018

ANTI



Mouth like a gunshot
Bleed when you kiss me
All eyes blind
Did those fingers miss me?
Cut like a cut
Within me
It seems these wounds
Are smiling

I'm the violence
That learned to paint
Inside out
To make a saint
Oh, mortals
So little of love

They killed me
Often
It is still, my life
I'm not your friend
I'm the Anti-knife
Betrayers

Gathered a thousand skins
But nothing worn
Murdered the king
And took his fucking form
Bless me

Milton's ear was good
For whispers
All belongs to John
Fill this blood with stars
When I'm gone
Trust me
Forever

I don't think you understand
I look just like someone
You used to know
Oh, mortals
So little of love


Wednesday, 28 November 2018

S



I a girl
Eye
A girl
Pews alight
Domkirke
Confessions screen
The grass is greener inside
S, May
May I?
May I kiss you?
Ashen mouth
Tongue of flame
In your sacristy
Laken hilt
Your open armour
My chest
My knees
When you were a man
Water is cleaner
Than blood
Our Vampire Spring
May I?
May I care for you?
The grass is greener inside
S


Monday, 26 November 2018

Asha



I remember so many things, my love.  But not always with my conscious mind.  Sometimes fragments come to me.  What seem idealistic moments when set against the horror and brutality of this world.  Visions of colour and music, or sweet silence.  A touch, an embrace.  My hands in your hair, your cheek against my chest.  But more often than not I’m left with feelings, intuitions.  Dreamings that are untethered and have little purchase in this world.  Dreamings that mattered only to me, until I found you.  That little boy hunting monsters was born a tired thing.  At least, that's how it seems during my loneliest nights.  Those nights when the melody of your voice and the comfort of your eyes are all that stand between me and the abyss.  Still the wraiths torment me, as they have since I was a child.  I pray that I’ve sheltered you from the worst of those torments, my Vahishta.  As I’ve said before, I'm a dangerous man to know.  Your Kassi is known in many worlds, and by many names.  It seems unfortunate, at times.  To see myself in those stories and to be unable to utter a word of it to those closest to me.  But you, Asha, are quite literally my saving grace.  I would have bled to death without your touch.  These resurrections would have meant nothing without your heart in mine.  Truly, you gave me purpose.  I was lost, and you gave me back to myself.  I pray that I’ve been able to do the same for you.  

When I walk this path it's your voice that guides me.  When I rise towards heaven it's your light that lifts me.  I am utterly without guile or cynicism when ascending in your light, my cherished one.  For me, all that is hope and joy and truth carries your name.  All that is life carries your scent.  It was so before the seething hush, and it is still so – despite this wraith-made darkness.  We have loved so fiercely, so openly, without shame or regret.  I hold those moments close, like fragments of the stars we used to be.  They warm and comfort me, those memories of gold.  We have been many things to each other, my darling.  I am yours, for as long as you want me.  But above all else I am your friend and guardian.  Asha, hear me.  I would give my life for yours.  Again and again.  I think you know I'm sincere when I say such things.  I have the scars to prove it, my love.  I consider it an honour.  Because when I'm saddened you kindle my joy.  When I'm hardened you soften my spirit, and you remind me that the little boy hunting monsters still exists.  That sweet, tired child in the demimonde – half angel, half flesh – he is not dead.  They couldn't kill him.  He still lives.  He lives to serve his queen, his truest love, his best friend.  When his spirit finds the strength to rise, to dance, you are the one he imagines in his arms.  That will never change.  Be with me now, my Asha.  I will take you higher, and higher still.


Asha from Raj Sisodia on Vimeo.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

RISE



Alone

Before I met you

Alone in this house

This house of the gods

But to know

That you were as close to heaven

As I would ever get

Those eyes

So blue

I took them as my name

To rise

In your sight

With your light

Beside me

Because a promise

Is a promise

My Love

And away

We go