NORMAN DUBIE | Book of the Jaspers



Dear Ahyum Lo Nasa Vueh:  Marie, this is the name of the dead
that they have given you in the Laotian hills.
And I am weirding this
straight into the Bardo following the tracks
Khandro left when ciphering my true mother's  voice
which I detected to be actually present in that ventriloquism.
It's a halving of the 'golden mean.'  I've tracked her

past a small nursery of suns'-abraxas near the center
of our galaxy. It's hopeless perhaps to think I'm transmitting
to you.
And yet Ruth Psalter said it was a commonplace, a mourning siddhi
of Angkor Wat.

I think any letter to the dead should begin with apologies
and flute songs.
Your sister Laura has been wonderful
with Urze. She is, though,

concerned about your accident.

Asks if it isn't foreshadowed at several moments
early in the transcripts from Lux.

My answer was,
I think not.  There were glad ringsels in your body's ashes:
a stylized Nairatma, blue shooting from its crown
and an Askobya buddha with diamond hevajra tears
on its golden sleeves of bone.

Urze, Laura and I went to the Maine woods
and there under Norway spruce
we all dreamt of a yellow bear burning
while he danced over a still lake —
the canon bone of a moose
for a great red mace
held high above his head.
He was joined in his dance
by a crashing taxi of loons. A net
of grapes over  the bear's face.

The moon was full.

The loons together made a sound
worthy of birthing dragons.

We heard the voices of Flute Clan maidens
over the water. There were green lights flaring
in the direction of what must have been Quebec.

We left cotton string around a small water jar
for your thoughts that evening.  Your sister is quite

worried about the 'pova-hic passage'
you made to the Four Peaks.

That was twenty-five years ago, wasn't it?
Do you understand my question?  If this has worked, my love to the Khandro!

You know, this papier-maché moon that transects the Mars dome
is finally depressing to me. So I've written a letter
to the President of France asking him to respectfully fuck off.
Our little exercise in projective verse must be terse,
or worse, not at all.
Blessings and quick rebirth.  Urze-la says we'll find you.    Paul.


                               wat ruins. lo, lo. back in a moon.
va, del hi. ffee's oldest sister says you, ekajati,
killed the brother.  because of the wedding massacre.

'burning bears indeed.'  back in a wink. va jra. del hi.
sorry, psalter's dead.  remember the candle.

b.s.:      holy smokes, what if no khandro. what if ffee & you, sweet,
are the bees in the bardo's bonnet?   lo' vueh.


Dear Urze:      yes, dear, I received it also —
a stockgram from Hades.  These are my suspicions.
I believe the Khandro as a girlish prank
was preparing to wire-back out of the Bardo
using Ffee's akashic voice.  Ffee overpowered her
which would explain the three week silence.

Now the Khandro is not truly vulnerable.

Ffee is just a paltry echo
fading in that aspect of her consciousness
we'd call the sylvan fissure.  However,
if he enjoys a rebirth as a human,
god help us all.

Meanwhile, L. must be alarmed
at the uncanniness of midwife Psalter's death.
She's assisted us there in Winslow, Arizona,
just two weeks past.
Your aunt probably thinks the Khandro
doesn't need a Ffee-cleat satan for a companion.  One thing's for sure:

your mother is being reborn in Delhi.  They'll call her Kirsna.
The candle-maker's family
                                                        39, Cottonpet . . .
She will be so powerful this time around
that you may indeed feel her presence
even while she's in her mother's womb.  This is all very wonderful.

Alfred so far has failed
at your aunt's recipe for the butterscotch cookies.
Our water tower is just now leaking
and I must quickly assist him with the repair.
I love the dance of acetylene in the moonlight.
The vapors aren't bad, either. Love.            the Ekajati

Post Script:     Out there in the wind
working the torch with Alfred, I felt a great need
to pray for the dead midwife. A thousand words from the Thödal, etc.

I had a vision of an Indian woman, really a girl,
being prepared, not for the heraldic delivery
of the Ming River valley,
but for one of our lotus births with a heated immersion pool
and stacks of bleaching towels.  The bowl of crushed cloves!

Guru Rinpoche was there
in the heavy presence of his mantra with tendrils of smoke.  Yeshe Soygal
held a burning butter lamp.  More tomorrow . . .                   hung, phet.
I'm glad

I didn't push any of this off to you sooner,
there was another brown-out. Calamity compounded with calamity,
and a cough.                Uncle.


Ekajati:            it's Martha Smythe but you'll contrive
to mark this wire
a Khandro clearing her throat.  (She thanks you
for the vote of confidence
with regard to the terrible Ffee.)  So this is just a packet-wrap
with a jump start
from a dakini in a buddha field.  Just that!

You know, there's a rumor
that you killed the Ffee in a pebble breach
below the mountains?

Paul do you remember the Ash Wednesday disaster
with my little sister. You and I were fifteen.
We were down in the coal room making love, then
rising through the kitchen to an upstairs shower
but reaching the landing
there was Kendra's frail voice asking, "Martha?"

Beside the icebox, we turned —       coal dust on my face and breasts,
menstrual blood on your forehead like an old stamp.
You carried yourself in the manner of the elect
bearing a golden lamp.

Kendra, screaming, ran down the sidewalk
and across the soccer field.  By the time
we were out of a very quick shower,
she was composed and sitting at the kitchen table.
Her feet linked at the ankles, kicking them
to pass the time.  She began
the negotiations
detailing your burden as five dollars a week
and all her algebra assignments.

When I crashed the old red Buick
just a week after mother gave it to us.
Well, my part of the contract fell to you.
That was truly heartless of her.
I was quite awake
going through the windshield. The Coca-Cola sign
growing imminent . . .

We had outrageously good fun.  When I was asked
about the Ffee, they also wondered
about your black arts.  I said, that's forbidden to him!

I said, "The fleur-de-lis is no flower,
it's just a conventionalized bee
with its legs pulled off. Muses can assume
the form of bees."  I explained that's what
you said to me when I asked their very question.
They didn't seem interested.
Then I insisted the Mazda-ffee, that evil Cleat,
was well dead.  I guessed

that he'd rather be in New Philadelphia
with the brillo of a mundane egg
and great distillations of violets and hyssop (purple absinthe
acquired from your father with Hank Olmo's charcoal.)

I explained how once your mother returned from the Gobi
with a watercolor of a horse's testicles
being baked in a double oven
of camel brick or dung.  Wrapped in large leaves
they looked like fossilized dinosaur eggs —  white
peeling to white.
Your family was so kind to me. I send my love.
(Beware.)                  Smythe.

Thank god for small towns in New Hampshire
still burning moss and bituminous sticks.  Thank god
they did have a witch or two.  Thank god
it isn't all just water nukes and water nymphs.  I miss you.


Dear Urze:     well, I know that I've been quiet
for a week.  I had a very disturbing
stockgram from Martha Smythe.
It contains intimate details from our childhood
that I have shared with no one.  The Khandro couldn't
know these things
unless my whole life is utterly transparent to her.  Perhaps

it is simply a cable from 'the Smythe' in paradise?
Furthermore, the Khandro's signature
is nowhere, anymore?

Well, Gregory St. Vith is in bonded exile here.
It will last six years and he is unbelievably
under the registry of the state of New Jersey.

We laugh about this 'til it hurts.  Alfred once, in Gloucester phrasing,
wet himself over it.

St. Vith is a roller of big cigars.  And
a former teacher of our little satan, Ffee:
after the Missouri quake, Ffee's mother —
a 'Born-again' police sergeant and instructor
in water sports — relocates her family
in Denver.

St. Vith is already there with tuberculosis.
The former Harvard professor was now teaching
in a community college licensed under the umbrella
of a ghetto's shopping mall. He says
he was never happier.

He ended up in New Jersey trying
to fix the five state Masonic lottery
while of course escaping — who else? —
the then Justin Ffee, Esquire.

St. Vith insists that our Ffee was a lotus birth,
his mother, once an Olympic swimmer, was addicted
to Guatemalan Pituitrin in an 11% solution.
This was grim
even in the eyes of St. Vith. (They killed
babies to create this drug, mostly in China, Mexico
and Bangladesh.)  Urze-la,

Fee begins life
with an enlarged pituitary body and the great flaccid eyes,
all of him more involved with our moon
than an elephant's menses or the tides.

Urze, I'm trying to be kind here.  But St. Vith confirmed it.
Ffee cut the young Galbraith's throat!
In eleven years that excellent man would have been our President.

The crash of the Spec Airliner 800 was his work also.

In his next life he'll be standing in a silk suit,
his hair silver at forty, a dark green
Mercedes-touring, in Rome.  This photograph
will appear on the front page of the New York Times.  Exactly twenty-

five years later he'll die, at dinner, while visiting the Algonquin.
The great Manhattan champagne fire of '24.

Some will call him Magus-ur.
There's an alarming aside here:

I did dream one winter night,
not long ago, that I was on a yellow pebble breach,
in Montana, wrestling with Alfred,
who looked like Einstein, who became suddenly
an Irish patrolman in a blue vest
named Michael Clare Purseheart.  Then, well,
he turned into Ffee.
In the dream, I did strangle the poor bastard.

There was a lovely stand of aspen
in an easterly wind.  Later, a very blue night!

It was one of those very clear dreams.  I saw his next death.
Did I tell you
he massacred friends of mine at a wedding in Greece?
Ffee's next birth is not lotus —           it's gonna hurt.

The site will be the old city of Philippi.

If this dream had some substance
then the Khandro has given our little company
illusory bodies.
Universal law forbids it.
(Unless we are unconscious
members of the Karma Pakshi Shint.)  Your mother
had this idea once.  She turned green and forgot it.

Oh, hell, it was probably just the noble 'tin-pageant'
doing what he does best.

I detest myself for actually missing
the Khandro's letters to us.
Alfred says I must be a masochist.
And his cookies are still shit.  My love, emaho!        uncle.

Post Script:
I've been thinking about Eta Carinae's homunculus.
Yes, the two heads of cauliflower.  And Balick's rogue comet sailing
out of NGC7606.  Those stellar 'wind fossils'
have always held our galaxy's darkest secret.
The bi-polar dorje nebulae, that's it, I think? More about this tomorrow . . .

If you intend sharing this with your cadet friend
who is a physicist, tell him
to forget it.  It's a lightning bolt for us —

just glamorous barbells for him. Grunt . . .
Well, I'm sorry.          'the Ekajati.'

                                 (.4/.13 nibes.)

Dear Uncle:     this is Urze without 'an inflection of dakinis.'
I will be late for Russian Language Class
if this cable isn't brief.  But my mother
did mention the Karma Pakshi Shint,
and in our underground of cadets, there is some talk.
Marie said
that I should wait until you raised the subject
and only then I might share
with you a small prayer that I obsessed
on as a little girl:


That's it. I do blush.
I might as well tell you also —          the cable
of your shameless adventures with the Smythe . . .     well,
it arrived here Wednesday. Which explains Aunt Laura's silence.
I think she might even be a little jealous.  Of the dead?
What a thing for me to say.

Mother thought that humility was your wild card;
that your temper, when young, was terrifying.
She thought there was no one
more generous on the planet.  (She added,
that's not saying much.)  She once believed you would have six wives?
She guessed you had an addiction.  Or two?
But this was good for you, she surmised.
She insisted I would come to trust you with my life.

Enjoy my little prayer; ha, translate its galactic-celtic, please!
Marie said you spoke it in your sleep
when heavily attended by muses.  She teased
that it was probably just some poetic psycho-dialect.
What are these 'wind-fossils'?

EMAHO, yourself.      The niece.

John, my friend who studies particles,
must know everything about your bi-polar
nebulae. Gasons, batons and quarks?
And frail larks?


Dear Urze:      you do know that the slow-wind is further frustrated
with the opposite spin at a star's interior hydrogen-shellac,
but mostly there's just exceptional mass leaving the star's
equator —     this leads to the dorje, lightning-bolt, nebulae.  They are
all fossils really.  Brodde Bleterum did the classical

description of all this while dying of a gangrenous foot.
He was in a tent near Ulaan-baatar, Mongolia.  His two companions
had gone mad in the first storm.
The event was an eclipse — they were
in the Path of Totality.

Now a comet was collateral to all this —          that fucking
accursed Hale-Bopp was glowing,
zero magnitude, 40 degrees straight above our sun.

So Brodde
broke his leg getting there.  He had two cowards from Princeton
for companions.  The younger was named Kush.
They died of thirst there in all that snow.
Bleterum's sister loved the behemoth, Charles Olson, and

actually died of thirst, in Tunis.  An alcoholic,
she wrote about the human orgasm, rivaling
all texts including my beloveds, Hildegard of Bingen
and Alice B. Toklas.  I knew a great baritone named Toklas.
Georg X. Toklas.

The secret about those wind fossils
is in the electromagnetic folds of these obese solar giants.
Think of them for shamata practice.  The X-rays
alone at the second and fifth cakras.  Corn mush at the third.

Georg X. Toklas was a member of the Pakshi Shint.  Those Fascisti —
who died of nosebleeds up in the grandstand
with the most evil
of the last three flower-Popes? That was Georg X. —          he was doing
some phurba speech while forgetting the exact location
for the Kro'die syllables.  He faked it
and killed them all in twenty minutes.  It was an accident.
He had saved History itself, for our planet,
but wouldn't be consoled.  He was a vegetarian, etc.

The lovely man spent the balance of his life
with lepers in Old Florida.  He finally hung himself,
which, again, is distressingly poor form
for an enlightened being.  The Bodhisattvas, the great ones,

come to assist us, never knowing who they are . . .
This way they climb the bhumis faster.  You will know them
by their petty acts of self-recrimination.  The genius of this path is the
great inversion of silent mother-Talmud:

the 'dajjal' or local anti-christ
in New Havana hated Georg X.  Georg had turned the dajjal's sister
into a laundromat.  Again it was an accident, but as the X. liked
to say, 'it's a very successful laundromat to this day.'

(Ici-ffee would have a fit over these failed quatrains.)

I would love some of that Thousand Flowers honey from Provence —
across whole lifetimes I have sheltered this addiction.  It's great
on hot muffins.

Buffalo Bill Cody was right, "If there is no god, then I am his
prophet."  Love to my niece and the timid aunt.        Ekajati.

I think Georg X. is now a coracle in the deepest assembly of sleep.
I'd feel him if he was here with us.  (The Guru just laughs
and says, "He's the purse, the 'X' and the wat?")
It's a loss.

Did I tell you that yesterday the Hopi
made their annual offering trek of salt, water
and flour.  At the Colorado River, by traditional agreement
the local warden
was to present them with two eagle chicks.

He didn't. It was some sign of the sacred
lunar calendar, perhaps jibes or ibis.

Furthermore, he insulted three female elders.
They said to him four times, this is the completion
of a prophecy.  Greatly saddened, they then turned
and walked away.  The Blue Star Kachina
is secretly a woman now.
She has already begun dancing before europeans
in the central plaza.

My love to you, Urze-la.        Sad uncle.

                                           — space station WGYN.

Urze:              it is just awful.  Alfred went into a diabetic shock
and has died.  He was supposed to jettison my ashes
in the Khandro's jewel-harp, Star field 1nec707. Now,
I'm coming to Earth with his remains.

There's a cave
in north central Tibet and it's mine for the taking.
It's in a desperate wilderness.  The last
cable to Tring wa ka', to our guru, was returned.

I feel he is dead also.  I'm leaving Mars for good.  That last dza
I opened is  the Dza Obum.  I will present it
to the old Arak Tulku.

I'll be in Lhasa by the full moon.  I'll be in Virginia
the following Tuesday.  Love.          Your uncle.

                                           — intelligramme, (WGYN). Urze Ei' Ekajati.

Dear Cadet:    I regret to inform you that your esteemed uncle,
Paul Ekajati, is the victim
of a very focused scripting of this space station.
Your uncle must have been an important gentleman
for they want him immediately out of quarantine
and returned to Earth.  To Geneva.

He is technically dead to us.

He was smoking cigarettes in front of a large office watercooler
just as the script hooked into his brain.
This is an unprecedented strike.
He calls the cooler, 'the Smythe,'
and must be restrained when in the same room with it.

Under instructions from local-cluster doctors we are told
to annihilate 'the Smythe' with your uncle present.
Then massive doses of sodium amyutaol x — for 72 hours.

When we reach your farm in Virginia, he'll seem much older,
depressed, but perhaps oriented in his Ego.

I should report that when your uncle appears less agitated
he is always conversing in Greek
with 'a black mother' who he once insisted
was the goddess of all projected space.

Madame, on the slim chance that he's right about this,
I've shown them both complete respect.
And with reference to the invisible goddess,
this is difficult!

I just pretend that she is the night and about the size
of a watercooler.  Is she a loose thread
from his lost life?  If yes, he may be the first recorded salvage
from a Snakedeath Wreath.  We Marines have

pulled straws to see who would annihilate 'the Smythe.'
I got the shortest of them.  There's something
in your uncle's eyes that hastens me to beg for your prayers.  

Lieutenant Peter Schofelt, Jr.


Lieutenant Schofelt:  do not annihilate the water entity — it may support,
at the very least, the Smythe's psyche.  Tell the physicians
attending my uncle that if they kill the watercooler
they may well end up berry-crepes hurtling in the direction
of the nearest collapsing sun.  Uncle is an advisor
to a distant, beneficent sleep assembly.  Harm nothing!
He's experiencing first love and he had a terrible temper as a child. 
Repeat.  Do not harm 'the Smythe.'
This is my third cable to you in ten minutes?  Will you respond?

By the way, an Ekajati is a Khandro. Yes, lieutenant,
think of the night and then withdraw into your prayers.                Urze Ei' Ekajati.

                                             — in empty lading.

Broadband 3:  we regret a confirmation 'in aspurtive arc'
that the catastrophic script in wreath
has vanished.  First having
destroyed the Universe Plaget.  It has yielded lotus births

for 111 deities —       all other life was lost.  This zone is now called
The Cloud of Hayagriva.  It is off limits to all Marcelots, weavers
and salvages.  Om mani padme hung.  Om mani. . . . .


                                                                                       — Paracelsus

                                           — the Potala.

Dear Urze:    I am very sorry for my silence. I've had the most terrible
fortnight.  That silly lieutenant on the space station,
after adorning himself in a bulk-suit, actually used his ray gun
on the watercooler.  And when the water began to boil,
the Smythe and I
enjoyed the most uncommon distress that was altogether pleasurable.
Even here in Lhasa they can't say, with any authority,
whether or not I've broken my vow of celibacy?

It seems anyway that I beat the script, just as my brother did.

I am looking forward to a bath.  But nothing ever changes in Lhasa.
I didn't see the ray gun incident as violent — the heightening
transformations of water to steam, etc.  Well, it seemed a happy
turning for the Smythe and at the last moment

she explained that 'her next reservoir,' following a thousand year passage
on some filthy snowball of a comet, will be
somewhere on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain.
A very nice body of water and the very resting place for Alfred's ashes.

The Buddha was right
about how illusory it all is — Smythe made that perfectly clear
before turning to vapors.
And do you see what I mean: nothing happens, constantly!

We lost a neighboring universe to someone's action script of speech.
Maybe I was a bit cavalier, months back,
and we should talk more about your phurba practice.
It's strange, the Universe Plaget is, of course, far seated —

is, in the lieutenant's notes, at 11 degrees,
north by west, of the space station WGYN . . .

It could be a coincidence. All my love.           Your uncle Paul.


Urze:   I have spoken with the Tulku Arak
who is very much alive.   We went to the Muslim baths
wearing red plaited hats.  He said
it was critical that Alfred and I found the Dza Obum.
I have given it to the Tibetans.
This means I will never again be welcome in Paris or Geneva.
It's especially awkward
for it was the Swiss who released me from quarantine.

They will blame the young lieutenant for the whole thing
and he should probably be warned.  Is he still
at that naval base on the Great Lakes with your aunt?

The tulku said that we should not be fooled by our governments'
reports regarding the Clouds of Hayagriva.

He added warmly, "Lo vueh has flown the coop!"  Do you
then feel her here with us again?  This is marvelous,
if true.  Is it possible that Lieutenant Schofelt, Jr. has been
utterly felled by your Aunt Laura?  No,
not to worry about their ages.  Well, I wouldn't . . .

The guru seemed to suggest
that the gods are in a hanging season in Universe Plaget.
This involves the Khandro.  Absolutely.

Tulku Arak will keep Alfred's cat, Boil,
who has already eaten out the throat of a rat
the size of a Mastiff puppy.  The tulku says it was
auspicious for them both.  I do love
these old holy men from Kham.

I miss Alfred terribly, and I am still deep
in the forty-ninth night of Bardo alarms.

I saw a zombie on White Street in Lhasa yesterday.
A Chinese general, clearly long dead,
clearly parading in the service
of a monk who cooks in the French quarter . . .

A beggar woman, whose left eye is almost entirely draped
behind a black mole that a white hair grows from,
told the tulku that this cook is sometimes called Magus-ur.
He has no teeth and
a great hatred for the Chinese.  We just won't learn.

And I'm no different than the worst of them.
Pax, child.      Your chastened uncle.

                                        — at Ganden.

Urze:  in my sleep last night
thousands of lines of poetry
like smoke erecting a stone
for the horizon.  Hungry ghosts

calling to me with some troubling nonsense
about the apothecary's quatrains being less arbitrary.

These very same ghosts

follow the zombie and his collection
of marbled cats into the stables
to the kitchen.  The cook's
shrineroom is draped in silk legends
of the Buddha, falling brocades
and images, in snake scales and gold,
of our Mother, Prajna Paramita.  Her face,
shoulders and arms

are raised with sapphires and diamonds.
There's a broad turning mosaic of azurite
and pearl for the top knot.
Her gown appears to be the skins of cobra
dyed red and cobalt.

There are a hundred butter lamps.  The cats
do drink from them —       on weekends their shit
is everywhere in the kitchens.
The zombie's cats
converted all the rats in the French quarter
to the eternal sutras . . .

The cook's sanctuary, Urze-la,
has one large image of Palden Lhamo —       her mount,
a one-eared mule, is formed
with a checkering of amber and cinnabar.
The mother's blade dates from the ancient sky metal harvest
after the meteor shower of 1138.

The cook-monk and his zombie
seem to do little devotional work —       there is one
secret sadhana that they perform at midnight
and they do give beggars
scraps before closing their kitchens at noon.

The cook's amulet, or gau,
is the collapsed syllable of the Kalachakra 'ten.'
It is formed of recessional gold and peat
from the hotsprings near the Panchen Lhama's summer retreat.

The zombie fears it.  The neighbor says
it's because the cook has put the zombie's
member in it.  I think that's preposterous.

Your uncle is too proud, dear —       he has survived a narrow script.
I stabilized a whole universe
just so he might continue to live . . .
He could have died of the Dza Obum
just like his attendant, Alfred!

Urze-la, as your advisor, he must be warned
his time has ripened and I would welcome now
fifty thousand additional prostrations from him
before his dear deceased mother
celebrates her Easter.  If he ignores me in this matter
his right knee will fill with worms.  I am glad he misses me.
I am the Khandro.

Post Script:
I think you mortals are fond of these afterthoughts
for they are a sly garden of false assertions.  Tell him,
the Ekajati, that his nostalgia for his old friend Georg X.
made me retch.  I placed that man with lepers
and they did absolutely nothing to deserve him.

The most evil of the flower-Popes, Allius, the IV Innocent,
was my consort in a past life.  He was always misunderstood,
and the best lover we've ever had.  He was
something of a child.  And so that moron X.
killed him by accident.  You know,
none of us is invulnerable
to a wild or sideways magic.  We fear men like the Georg!

Your uncle
doesn't feel his presence on earth?  Your uncle
will not ever again feel the presence of his X. —        not
anywhere in the Cosmos.  I am telling you that I am terrible.
And I protect you both.

If he doesn't stop explaining me
I'll dissect him for the cannibals on Lingam XY73
as a charity.  My earnest love to you.           The Khandro.

                                             — Kathmandu.

Dear Urze-la:  so we've heard from the young mother.
She is terrible, and as always, for you
speaks exclusively the truth.  We're in her debt,

for she's caught us up on all the news from Lhasa.  And please
don't be frightened by her.  It is mostly bluff.

Please excuse the brevity of this cable for I am exhausted,
having now, tonight, completed
the fifty-thousand prostrations.  It took ten days.

I did sleep.  Twice.  And ate heavily at the start
with a complete fast in the final week.  I do love
her black mischief.  I will now sleep for days.             Your uncle, the Ekajati.

P.S.: Your mother wanted to change the name
of this town to 'Uranus d'Argent.'  I'd have
signed that petition.

                                                        — in sheer brokenlading. the tax stamp torn!

Dear Martha Smythe:              I envy you this ephelion tack,
your obscure address, that is a frozen comet . . .
It's romantic, like the P.O. Box of the early Marlowe novels.
And yet, in a month I've sent you three dispatches
and even when weighted or full
these ladings burrow back to Alaska?
I know better
than to make any assumptions about this?

Your empty phaxx of '1ylptio'
that spoke of the equinox dagger
was tracked easily to the comet?
Aunt Laura has twice
visited that old Din' é calendar near Flagstaff.
Your warning was invaluable to me.  And I have
been trying to thank you since I received it.

You know, Ekajati was still distracted by your death
during his undergraduate years
and it would seem my mother, Marie,
was his first attempt at forgetting

which, of course, results in the unlawful
birth of a girl child in Laos.  That would be me,
making you the other breast I was shifted to
which Freud says triumphantly
is the first intimation of disease and famine.
We are a pair, aren't we?

For all the redundancy in our bodies, I sometimes think
that our creator should have been a late Twentieth Century
NASA bureaucrat.  We are the strangest beasts,
aren't we?

I found a nude black and white polaroid of you
tucked inside "uncle's" rare paperback
of Plato's Republic.  I once borrowed that camera
for an entire Christmas recess.
And I can already hear your vulgar joke
about the book's title.  That's what I really envy about you —
to be truthful, it's your desperate fun!

Are you in Alaska?  I guessed
long ago that you were a clandestine
Karma Pakshi shintling.

Uncle said, laughing, dakinis in raincoats
were his undoing.  He meant you
and I knew it immediately there
in our musty tent in the Maine woods.

My mother was just recently dead.
She had fallen from a horse
onto a field of stones and purple nettle.
The horse that threw her
was sister to the mare who gave second birth to me
in a cold November field.  This is one of those anniversaries.

Why do we have words for an experience of religion
or politics?  They're just the worst existential facts,
yes, worst than ghosts.  The ghosts of mules,
to quote the second Regency from his Sakya parapet.
He told the Dalai Lama he was always sad, and hence,
unworthy of being desperate.  That describes me I think.

When I think of the Chinese sweeping across Tibet:
in one village cutting the uterus from a nun, and tongues
from children, forcing the young retreatant
to shoot in the back of the head his perfect teacher.

And as the old man lay there dying on the hardpan,
his longish beard changed from white to black,
hardy April flowers making something like
the chalk line of a crime scene around his body,
every yak in the valley screaming.

When I think one of those men could say to his Holiness
that he was always sad but never desperate, then
I stop cursing my equipoise, whatever it was mother gave me
there in that hillside village in northern Laos.

I still envy you your tits and mischief.
Love, your friend.     The Khandro, L'urze-la!

Post Script:   I met a distant cousin of yours, Nagarjuna Watts,
and together we explored one night
the ramshackles of Calcutta.  Is he some florid hybrid of daka?

Lama Arak praised you
for your patient travel, ventriloquism and investitures.
He said it was the first ethical standard that keeps you
from possessing any sentient being.  Instead,
water coolers, comets, etcetera.  He said
that you belonged to the blue and opalescent harmonies,
unlike my red dakini friend, the Khandro of Lux.

I will become one of her manifestations,
of speech and medicine, is my best guess?
I was chosen to do this.  Just what our family
needs, another tulku of fire.

Her first invasions of me were quite gentle,
and I tried to explain to Aunt Laura
how it is almost boring — more like a colorist's waterglass
than a nine year old's chemistry set
going kaboom in the attic.

Lama Arak, just before his death, explained to Aunt Laura
that you would recognize my new friend Nagarjuna
from a ritual cleansing he performed
for a far monastery in Kham in his last Earth incarnation:

he was the Kalzang Rinpoche at Dhor, and the monks there
had made a special chapel for red four-armed Chenrezig.
They wanted a passage way
all that first week of fire and water rites, and the rinpoche
was assigned this gate and an especially hateful
mountain spirit called Zabtak.  What he did was memorable.

He hung there
three gutted black bear, sixteen wild dogs, two female yaks,
and an assortment of dun rabbits.
He paved the courtyard in goat shit
and caged hundreds of marmots beside the bell station.
He filled the cadavers of the bear and yak with straw
and set them on fire while letting the smaller animals
just rot.  Cows had never given sweeter milk in that district.
There are bountiful barley crops there to this day.

This sounds like a Bon practice to me.  I think
I will beware of this old Rinpoche.
He's very handsome. My love to you.            L'Urze Ekajati.


Urze-la:            I was telling my friends, L.S.
and the dear Wang, that I don't want
to sleep on their boat.  I'm never
constipated, and would rather
lose my return ticket to the womb.
My mother's confinement was brutal —             her fair brother
was already dead in The War
of Glasse, and she couldn't be certain

our father was alive at all.  She had a vision of him
dead and slumped over a camel
along a dry river in Algeria.  Later it was confirmed
he was only drunk, and the camel
knew where the water was . . .

She had morning-sickness for ten solid months.  She could
only be calmed in the afternoon by going
to an art-house film.  Here's the origin
of my addiction to the lately-rinsed black and white movie.

Her favorite films, and this is troubling, are Marré's Dogshit,
Clint Eastwood's The Unforgiven and Renoir's Grand Illusion.
Admittedly, all men of genius.

So it's Sergeant Schofelt now!  The Swiss
are exacting, secretly peevish, and, after all, what
are young men created for, but disappointment?

Tell him if he would join the Royal Merchants
going on the Venus mission, in December —             I'll see
that he is made Number Three.  My apologies, and this promise,
to both the sergeant and the timid aunt.

Your 'particle man,' Johnny
seems arrogant and insecure at once —            so
quite a normal gent by all accounts.
And if he can't keep his hands to himself —
well, Urze, just explain to him

that I know a woman
in the Peyote Culture, Navajo & black-Irish,
who'll place his hands in orbit around our moon
without disturbing his attendance there at the War College.

It's the strangest thing — I watched
her do it once — she substituted two brilliant trout
for the hands of her brother's boy who was beating
the daughter and consumptive mother-in-law.  I never saw
José again.

Later, she blinded him!  She is
really quite sweet.  Lots of old fashioned gusto.  You know
what I mean.  Love.              Your uncle.


Dear Uncle Paul:                   in the bargain,
you shouldn't have to listen to this, but
something both peculiar and awful has happened
and no, I am not on trillium or cocaine.
The thing is
there's only a mean freckled stallion here to talk to.

Two nights ago, in rain,
along the back creek, Johnny and I
were running around nearly naked.
We were covered in mud and not at all cold.  Then,
we were suddenly quite naked
under a clearing moon for an hour.  It was silly.
But somehow we fell to wrestling
and then to something altogether else
which I know you will supply in my silence.

I did finally object to some of it, but Johnny
seemed unable to stop.

It was and wasn't his fault.  But neither was it
finally welcome.

I got up when I could, and kicked
him in the rib, keeping the whole thing biblical.
I spat on him
and announced his rather total exile.  He left.  No,
he ran, in fact, down to the barn.
All this seems unimportant now.

After twenty minutes, still the mud-hen
sitting under a pin oak smoking, I saw
my dead mother's form rising from the creek.  She had auras
like colored pancakes stacked up behind her head.

She lit the trees above her
which were dripping with beaded mercury:
brilliant rosaries of it
were everywhere in the hawthorn and sumac,
issuing even from my nose without, somehow,
being gross.

Just then a headache came like an ice pick
to my crown
and a wild rash of heat climbed my back,
then slamming me to the ground.  I think the rising energy

had difficulty passing the narrows of my neck.
I was blotching with what I knew was tummo . . .

It quickly left and then, well,
a purple deva with pendulum breasts, wild black ropes for hair,
and heavy mascara at the eyes, made a speech
to me that was quite surprising.

Our butts were hiked in the air
as in those wonderful grade-school
productions of Peter Pan.  We were
entirely suspended in empty space
and we looked into each other's face
like peaceful lakes —
we then spoke in a common voice, "Oh how beautiful."

The volume of the voice was almost wounding.
I know they're not very profound
but those words made radical goose flesh even
of my tongue.  There were blue pearls bursting all around us.
And then, of course, I vomited.  Until morning
I rested in a very hot bath
and finally slept.  Any commentary, uncle?  Love.                Cadet Ekajati.


Dear Cadet Ekajati:  there's so much that is somehow
individually beautiful in all of us
that I'm astounded
we don't spring these leaks more often.  Well, in this instance —

you absolutely delivered yourself of a radiance.
It is itself essentially aware.  But empty.
It was clearly bound to happen.  You have now
this little spirit birth for a companion.  Much later,
it will become you.  Fear none of it.  Or us.

Nothing ever happens.

I am bored with Nepal.  I should be at the farmhouse in Virginia
about three hours after you've read this cable.
Your loving uncle.       Paul.

You know when you were born
your parents asked me if I wanted to name you.
And I said that I thought the Old Testament name of Hannah
was really fine.

Your mother countered, "Well, yes,
but she'll just eventually change it to Hega or Urze."
True story.  My love. Uncle.


Dear Aunt Laura:      I am speeding to Virginia
and will arrive by Cyclone in the evening.
I'll eat there, in Richmond, and will
reach the farmhouse before midnight.

You shouldn't worry.  I know
Urze has talked to you.  It seems
you must remain in Michigan for three more days.
This is fine.  I've arranged for Urze's friend, Clara,
to come immediately to visit us.
We'll take turns cooking.  Sweet potatoes and slabs
of pork roast. Apple sauce!

Urze must begin a new yoga discipline
in earnest.  It will be much more
effortless for her than it was for your sister.

I'm not certain that's a blessing? Excuse the brevity of this
stockgram. Please

don't worry.
See you at the weekend . . .      Ekajati.


Dear Lama-la: while working with the niece
on the unsayable relief of one hundred syllables
in fast mirror-like repetitions, the great Bodhiset, Vajrasattva,
entered the initiation.

She left everyone unconscious, including
the horses in our far barns.  This lasted for two hours.
A bath of mother-light, followed by a blast of conchs and then
everyone was awake.  The niece was wearing on her forehead

A nine-pointed dorje fell into my lap.
At the moment we began to stand, all the horses on the farm
participated in a wild laughter.

Lama, friend, the niece then danced
with no worldly aim or grace
until she vanished from us.

There was a smell of cumin . . .           roses even!

So, what?? She'll be gone for three days and nights??
Urze's little friend Clara didn't bat
an eyebrow over this.
The gardener shit his pants.  I'm not that well, myself

Any commentary?  Love.       The fool, Ekajati.


Fool:   could I have one of those horses?
Let me know by morning.

Got our ass in a sling this time, eh,
friend? Remember the vehicle, the Garuda
transport . . .

Happiness will shine upon us. Maybe? Maybe not
ever again.      Tulku Arak.

If niece, the beloved Delog, returns —
could my sister, Amala, have a strand of
hair for her gau . . . be calm,
nothing's happening . . .                    a.k.a. Otrul CHAK


                                           — Uma 'ta, Bhutan.

Fool:  Forgot to instruct that this
will appear on Ekajati's forehead
by morning:

You saw before, on Mead Mountain Road?
Right-oh? Yea? Good!            A fool's Fool.

P.S.:   did you like your Teacher as the
Canadian beer-wagon, Nedperse?  Did I
call you landlord?  One is bored, being perfect.

                                                   — in white xylograph.

Dear Aunt Laura:     it is a relief to hear that you are well.
How frightening that your stomach ruptured
while out on the lake.  The appendix is such a curiosity.
Something similar happened to me
in the mountains of New Hampshire when I was twelve.  I secretly
believed it was willful —        a desperate attempt
to escape the local jeweler
who was coaching summer baseball for my father.

I wanted to be with my grandparents in northern Vermont.  Well,
after great suffering, I did get to convalesce
with my great aunt at the homestead in Waterbury Center.
You've guessed

from this casual salute, that Urze-la
is returned to us.  She will write to you soon, but
is, for the moment, still somewhat confused.

It just took my heart away, as she danced before Clara,
the sudden internal movements, the concealed
mudras began to open
and I recognized the grotesque Chöd phrasing
of the charnel ground.  That craning seraph
of the Black Mother's raised right leg.

Well, she quickly passed
from blessing and exorcism to absolute spiritual
ravishment.  She simply vanished.

If Lama Arak was not so precious to me,
I would have grown angry with him.  When I first queried,
he responded like a bold beggar, demanding
one of our horses.  He asked for a ringlet of her hair,
calling her 'the Delog.'

Nothing happens, he assured us.

You must remember, Laura, that the Delog traditionally
dies and passes three days and three nights
visiting paradises and hell realms.  It must be
a much higher accomplishment
to do this in the physical body. Well, our Urze

did just that!

Clara and I, in preparation for her return,
draped Mediterranean blue skirts of poor cotton
over the door and windows of the room
in which she had performed the phurba dance.  We were careful
to see that it remained clean,
free of the presence of food and drink.

I sealed the door in a golden paraffin
of the wrathful scorpion of Mt. Arig.

After three days and three nights
we became discouraged.  We opened the room
and sat there for most of the morning?

Truly, nothing did happen.  Then Clara,
who is a rock, began to sob and shake!  It was dark out,
with fog and rain, but I dressed us in red slickers
and we went out onto the farm.  Near
what appeared to us as Urze-la's pin oak

was this great  painted mare, and we
realized immediately
that she was giving birth to a foal.  As we approached,
through the glistening
azure and red cellophane of it all, I saw
in full amazement, that it was Urze-la.

Clara fell to the ground.

I began fumbling about in tears —
the clear sack had burst
and there, plastered with mucous and blood,
looking at us with eyes
neither of us can describe, was your niece —
steam rising from her hair in all the colors of a rainbow.

At that moment,

every damn horse on that farm,
save the painted mare, began screaming in approval . . .

It seemed a weird celebration.

When I asked the lama for advice he had written back,
'Can I have one of those horses?'  And now he does.
Urze-la will have our crazy-wise
lama for her root guru.

And his sister will have a ring of the Delog's hair.

It always amazes me that he knows what he knows.
If he wasn't such a fool about it, they'd have stoned
him by now.

I think L'urze actually smiled at me. I carried her

to the house.
Clara bathed her and slept with her that night.
She ate fresh bread and soup the following noon
and then spoke, saying, that everything
in our lives seems awkward, cardboard or encrusted
with light.  Then she cried.  I believe

I was amused.
By evening she made a fire in the parlor
and seemed herself.  But, Laura —
Urze-la's eyes will never be the same.
They are amazingly kind and, yet,
intently nervous.  It is the look of the horse.
And it isn't.

This is the Khandro's business, absolutely.

We've just filled a vase
with pussy willows from the riverbank, you know
down near the boat house.

Meditating with our niece is difficult
to describe.  It reminds me
of a night near Portsmouth.  I was sitting on the beach
while a great moon set. There was a breeze
and my eyes were closed.  The whole time
I felt the largeness of it, thinking it was all moon,
when in actuality
an enormous tanker had silently passed between us —

that is, between me and the moon.

It took perhaps five minutes.  Sitting with her
is like that now, except it is glorious.

You can expect a cable from her tomorrow.  Love.    Ekajati.


Dear Aunt:      god, I hope you've recovered from your surgery.
I hope you didn't worry about me.  After all that has happened
I think I should be frightened, but I'm not . . .

Uncle has told you much of it.  But

what I haven't explained to anyone yet
is that I visited the paradise of the primordial Buddhas
for what I believe would be one of our days.
And then I spent the balance of the time
wandering through simply unforgettable, terrible hell realms.

Aunt, at one point, I was sitting on a large rock
observing a very slow and partial
lunar eclipse —           everything was reddening
and suddenly I realized the man beside me,
whose hand I held,
was Joseph Stalin.  Behind him were several mongrel dogs
who were the progeny of a lifetime he had suffered,
circa 720 B.C.

His zone was a clean vajra hell.

He said that he was unlucky; just
a child wandering across a hilly land
which was white with garbage, and
crawling inside an abandoned icebox,
he solemnly closed its yellow cork door.

The great monster of a millenium — and
all he could say

was that he was afraid.  That he had always

been afraid.  That finally, he had made it over in anger,
and so he became one of the ghosts of noon.

I felt contempt for him, then I felt nothing.

I saw the Ffee standing in a yellow river, which I believed
to be urine.  A dozen blue heron
threatened him from above.
I asked the heron not to harass him any further
and they laughed at me with the laughter
of Uncle Ekajati . . .

You know, I think, unbelievably
that he, without any question, killed the Ffee
and then performed the Chöd tea
right there on the dry riverbank.

Don't ask me how I know this?  Poor aunt, I'm growing tired.
I hope I will speak to you within the week.  Love.     Urze-la.

This link to the horse-head, our great lord Hayagriva,

has more to do with uncle, mother, and you.
My connection is to the Khandro,

and if I knew how those two forces met
somewhere in our future,
then I would have remembered
everything from my great dance, or sleep?


Dear Urze:     your bowed aunt has just returned
from a stroll along the inexhaustible
hospital corridors.  I'm feeling a little transparent
and have, in fact, lost some weight.
I never quite had your mother's waist,
so this is good.  And of course, she always envied me
my strength, so you should believe that I will heal
very quickly.

If I hadn't known
your mother so well, I would be surprised
at everything you and your uncle have reported
about the events of these last few weeks.  It frankly does
scare the hell out of me.

I have a useful vision for you
from my rather odd introduction to anesthesia,
but first
I should say that Peter sends his love
and your uncle will be happy to hear that he's
Lieutenant Schofelt once more.  Perhaps
we have Paul to thank?  Though I doubt it.

Now, my dear, I was put under by the old sailor's
method of a little smoke
and repeated flashes of delcloidal light
to the eyes.

I remember nothing from that whole day,
and nothing of the vacuum.  Except
for this dream:            I had the sense
that you and your mother were observing me
somehow from above, while in a great fog

I rowed a boat out to an island
in the middle of a poison lake.  I was carrying with me
a sack of barley.  There in the moving fog
were great raised snakes, purple and yellow,
and they were assisting me.  There was as well,
and this makes little sense,
sleigh bells coming from the direction
where I imagined you had perched.  Sled bells

and the cries of prisoners who were in some vast
wooded place like Siberia?
There was an eclipse expected.  (I was forced to ignore
all of this as atmosphere.)  I rowed to the island with my sack of grain
and heard what I can only describe
as the laughter of cats and pigs.  There was something

pained about it.  They had a great hunger.
I opened the sack to feed them,
and out of it poured
my appendix attached to intestine
which I severed.

I was instantaneously healed
by the very sound of those innocent bells . . .

I rowed back
through the jeweled sulfuric vapors
and heard then, clearly, your uncle
singing a cradle song.  It was
for all of us and, I must stress this,
for all of us and for the young Mother Khandro?

Suddenly I felt nauseous.  I woke
to an Irish nurse slapping me about gently,
calling my name loudly, with her offering
of a scanning thermometer and ice water.  Now, my sweet,

it is my turn to be tired.  I'll speak to you tomorrow.            Aunt Laura.

Post Script:
It was the island of Marpa, the translator?  Wasn't it?
Please share my vision with your uncle.  He must
be exhausted by all this.  I was so sorry to hear of Alfred's death.
Your uncle has a murmur of the heart, I seem to recall?  And
so do I, they discovered during the surgery.


Dear Uncle Ekajati:      the aunt has returned to our farm.
She asked, before everything,
to walk up to the north pasture to visit 'the paint' —
she had two waxen yellow apples that were quite sweet —
and there was a light rain.  I think

she has completely recovered from her surgery.
And you are settling affairs
in New Philadelphia —           I thought
you would never go there again.

Did the I-Ching reverse its warning
about the two women cooking
under the red shell of a tortoise?  Or,

& le ciel obscure . . .

The new gardener, this Uri Vanekin,
has done you proud —         out in the flowers
he has arranged hillocks of jasper,
obsidian and translucent flints.  'The paint'
had for a stud-companion
a local appaloosa called Jaspers.  It died

of an encephalitis, this last December.

In the paper today there's a photo
of the airport at Nîmes
closed amazingly with drifting snow
that reaches nearly the noses
of the stranded airliners.

The pilots refuse
even to use the maple-leaf shearing lifts
against this weather.  I heard your trip to New Philadelphia
was stormy.  We are late in this eleven year cycle
of magnetic phlegm from the sun.
You should walk out
to where
I heard the laughter of kanglings.  Also,
in the paper, all these children
coughing blood in the east of the Sudan.

Those butchers will go blind —
we can't even imagine, uncle.  Red clouds and black
crossing the long burning train
until it spills off the bullet track
into a flooded granite abyss.  Just cabbages
floating on the surface while the sun sets.

These men are not your brothers.  You never sat with them.
But one can become angry
with your sex, uncle: '

Then I shudder and say, Khandro,
khandro of the staggering snow plateaus, remember the poem,
the cradle song he wrote in Amsterdam:

it described peasants dressed warmly
in sack, spreading out
past the margins of white space,

past the blue canal, to an horizon
indentured to its foreground
where before dawn the children
have gathered wet armloads of calamus and roses
to be boiled for the perfumes
of a now artless Nouveau Provence.  Broomsticks

stirring sweet grass from Mexico, all the petals
of tiger-lily and nasturtium.
Baskets of dried rue, green claw, and the
Master's hornpout preserved on a block of ice.

Can I cry to you, 'the Ekajati,' across these cold
lyric grasses of North Europe?  It is your punishment
to dream again of your childhood
with its cloud-wheels, in Flanders:      still, there are

magpies plucking out the eyes
of a condemned Protestant farmer
in his blue jacket and orange trousers.

The child is weeping at the foot of the great pole.

You cannot forget her, or this painter, the elder
landlord, Brueghel.  He had two sons —

I swear on their scriptures —   one
was christened 'Hell,'

and the other 'Velvet.'  On this planet
let us put down the candle, the book
of confessions, and a purple scarf
that mother made
during incessant gray rains last Oktober . . .    soha.

This time, I will forgive you.

L'urze, Khandro of Sumtsek.

                                           (.1/.9 jibes.)

Dear Urze Ekajati:    we regret the death
of your uncle, Paul, by heart attack
on November 3, 2279.  He passed
in the city of New Philadelphia.  The sun was not rising.
This is my stockgram.
You do not know me.  I am Alfred Talbout's mother
from Old Canada.  I was visiting your uncle.  I was not
one of his women!
Again, with regrets.      Jane Talbout.

                                             — in empty lading.

To L'urze, the Khandro of Sumstek, at Achi:
I was a poor advisor at best.  I am now
returning to the assemblies.  Here is a poet,
who was your father, who did also drown himself,
but in the River Seine.


The World Isn't a Wedding of the Artists of Yesterday

                        They were with me, and they were me . . .
                        As we all moved forward in a consonance
                                     silent and moving
                                     Seated and gazing,
                                                Upon the beautiful river forever.

                                     DELMORE SCHWARTZ

A stub of red pencil in your hand.

A landscape rising beyond the carcass
Of black larkspur,
Beyond the Milky Way where
The lights of galaxies are strung out over a dipper of gin
With a large sun and the rotund

Fuchsia moon. Her closet is empty, except for the manuscript
With your signature. She has left you!
Where was it in the field
That you threw the telephone:
After moving away
From the farmhouse, you found it again when
Returning for the lost cat—

As you walked through the low chinaberries calling
Her name you found the white horn
Of the telephone. You are alone calling to the frozen
Countryside of New Jersey.
She sleeps
In the yellow wicks of the meadow:
You are calling the mopsy cat back

From the ditch, but Dexedrine presses a pencil
Up against your eyebrow and temple. And
You've forgotten—what was it?
Out there in the field calling

Across the cold night air, drinking from the gold flask,
Again tucking that stub of a pencil
Back behind your ear. You read, this morning,
In the crisp pica lettering of the old Remington
How boatmen navigated the winter shallows of the Seine
Guided by a lamp burning all night
In a narrow window in Flaubert's study;

And all of a sudden, under severe stars, beside water,
You remembered everyone who was a friend.

But why your hand is locked on a red pencil, again,
At the bottom of a wintry meadow, in New Jersey,

Is the mystery rising behind you on a wind.