Ghosts of the Ganga
The Ganga is your feline ghost lover
caressing and culminating existence.
The Ganga is your blood-mother,
dressed in her widowed veil.
Ferrying tidings of the sleepy sun
dissolving his orange petals in death,
as the dots in the city murmur on her banks;
halogen evenings on clay
and the vibration of rails,
a city conjured up in the white mist,
as she protects her banks with her flapping shroud
and the lights in the city twinkle;
the mercury lamps of a ghost city,
refracting life; unreal in the movement
Those moments of light, life, unity,
staring at the cityscape like a speechless assassin
and watching the buildings rise and melt
like Illion’s flute,
conjugating the matter and spirit.
The river is your flowing Goddess,
stopping at the land of death,
The river is the metropolitan blood of the city,
purifying the crystal ghosts
and ghosts of time,
ghosts of the blood wedding,
ghosts of the violet princess,
ghosts of the orange cat,
ghosts of the sleepy sun.
Ghosts of you and me.
Driving insane through the haunted streets,
the Bypass swerves like a ghost tongue
vanishing beyond headlights;
or the little violet figure,
transparent in the wind on Dhakuria Bridge;
the little ghost-seller blowing out his oil lamp
at Gariahat Market as he walks towards Golpark,
sleep-walking almost, beyond an earthly destination;
they all feel this strange presence,
all a part of this strange dance of ghosts
that flow within a river through the city.
Strangeness her mask,
strangeness her face and flow;
the Ganga is your ghost lover
raging in her sacred tumult
through the nerves of the city.
Jelly nerves of the city
throbbing at her synapse
with nitrate grins,
post-modern, post-colonial, post-structuralist
problems of existence,
political ghosts of killing,
wherever you look
there’s no left, right or centre;
just a ghost-land of struggle
for the crystal noose.
Red is no longer green,
Green is no longer red,
(what happened to crystal blue?)
just the elegy of crystals
with their viole(n)t descendant
to violate beauty.
Yet the metro gushes in the underworld
carrying semi-dead walkers
like a blood demon.
I can’t care less, sitting with you
in this tiny café
and staring into the ghosts,
form and un-form
in the hollow of your eyes.
The secret of Time
is to travel like crystal impulses,
transmitting the sky-ghost,
the night-car, the radio and cold pendulum ash;
the secret of time is the happiness of the walrus,
the violet smile, the orange cat, the blood wedding
and the little yellow cab at Landsdowne
beneath the dissolving sun
and the love-making of crystals
beside the Ganges;
the post-colonial ghosts of the nitrate grin
with the metro rushing in her night-dress
when you fiddle with the safety-pin in bed.
Everything then dissolves like the sun
when you dissolve into me;
arm in arm,
lips on lips,
breath in breath,
a single static reality
sans time, sans crystals, sans ghosts.
Transmission of truth,
telepathy of the ghost city.
In the name of Time, Crystals
and the Holy Ghost,
the trilogy of truth,
triangle of existence
To be mad is to see the truth,
when the green walls of the asylum
and the fluorescent lights
and crystal vapours dissolve
in isolation and depression,
the syringe fiddles with the blood veins of the city,
and you dream up the trinity of harmony;
the ghosts, the river, the crystals, the love-making
are then mere spectral dots of existence
like the murmuring ghost-lights over the Ganges,
twinkling, throbbing with life
in synchrony with the swaying bridge.
Even the moon sways then
and shines on the violet crystal,
the clock-desert records super-truth
The city drenched in her quinine grin
is then a secret flux of fading light,
floating in and out of your consciousness.