blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


NORMAN DUBIE | The Book of the Crying Kanglings


                                           — in routine packet.

Dear Kirsna:               yes, I saw your dream last night
through that fair blue of the eyes
of your Siamese kitten. You were happily
riding the stormy seas in the Bay of Bengal
in a wicker thumb-print
plugged with black goat hair and candle wax.

A man in the sheerest of blouses, the blue of this moving sea,
smiles while he passes you —
he's walking over the water. His brother was near,
involved in the same siddhi.
They are your lost cousins, I think?

You should feel safe there in Virginia. The earth
has a very gentle breast.
If you study your Uncle Ekajati's transcripts
you'll find mention of 'the seven hills'
of a late coastal Mound-culture?
They are the local palas
you should feed cake to . . .      they are
the only ceremony of healing.

You are ten now, and no longer a small boy.
There are much younger cadets in the Academy
and you should be assisting them in your loneliness.

You will only dream of the fire on Cottonpet Street
for another six months, at the worst. And then
your body chemistry
will change more than your dreams,
and you will be at peace about the fire
and the death of your parents . . .

So, as of the last full moon you've legally been my son.
I have the papers from the Delhi court. And yes,
you should feel strange, for you were my mother
in your last life. But now, here,
you are the boy Kirsna.

That is enough to worry about.

I've left my cave. I am staying in a hut
that was a cholera checkpoint
at the turn of the century here, on the border of Ladakh.
I've agreed
to work as an oracle for these five villages. By ancestry,
I am the Madame of Achi.

Listen, K., you should call me
whatever you're comfortable with.
Mother is acceptable, but not
the greatly familiar, L'urze.

Your uncle was a great eccentric. Yes,
he and his friend, Georg X.,
are the two most frightening deputies

of the innermost assembly
of blue and red dakinis, respectfully.
That is to say, in the affliction of speech
that visited my childhood —    Georg X.
is the red.
We love your uncle and, yes,
he will protect you. But, please, remember
that when he is human
it is the strangest adventure — for example,

in opening the Dza Obum he canceled his friend Alfred
and the entire universe Plaget.

He found me irritable about this? He would tell you
that the 111 lotus births in that lost universe
balanced the damage I did in the star cluster LXT.

Gender is just like gasoline. Make of it what you will.

Now that I've been given treasure
here in Ladakh — in particular, an oboe,
one thigh-bone kangling,
                                       a human bone with diamonds
virtually wrapped in silver, female knuckle-skulls
dimpling their moon . . .   

that I'm on the payroll as a terrible hill oracle
I will have to mend my ways
with regard to men.
Sometimes I think they are nothing but a superstition
in the same tradition as the testicles
of the extinct white rhinoceros. But
the neighboring Bon witch
actually gave me a taste of that stuff this last winter —
I flew, adorned in foxglove —

I've got to remember who's listening. I'm sorry Kirsna . . .
Your uncle and Georg X. are difficult to ponder —
If they were fish in your mindstream,

your string would not reach them. You would need
drunken box turtles for bait,
and when they broke the water to greet you,
their presence would be like land itself.

I know that you don't understand 'the great coffins.' Or reports
of my last Black Ovum.
You are too young for these subjects.

But about your uncle's artifacts:            the Keet
left sacred scripts of great sleep —      for purposes
of creation, or destruction —
and this category of Dza is called the 'Obum.'
They are very powerful.

Now, 'an attraction script'
released by an immature dakini, or a checkered naga,
is not such a big deal; though
it can disturb the lives of billions of people, say,
across a whole star cluster. But they recover
after several generations. I like a freshening of view.
You must also, Kirsna?
How are the new slippers I sent you?

Like any self-respecting, bread winning oracle
I must go out now and wander in the mist
to be seen if possible, and to scream like a horse
so the children will have a perfect sleep. Love.  Mum.

P.S.: Yes, I believe your uncle was poisoned
by Jane Talbout. She sat, there in the rocky Scotias,
resenting her son and your uncle.
But, of course, he must have known. It was
his exit, of that you can be certain.
The old leachings of morning-glory for strychnine?
all of her sons are poets or chemists. Odd, isn't it?

                                       (.1/.1 fibes.)

Dear Kirsna:            Aunt Laura has sent the white pine
pencilbox that you wanted for your geometry studies.

Now, you are too curious about these
                    there are the Obums: the field scripts
like LXT: and, yes, then there is a very localized stinger
that visited your uncle at space station WGYN —
it's as if
it originated with a cupid! Most 'potions'
are not interesting, are just ornate foldings in karma.
Yet, of course, K., all karma is infallible

and streams geometrically from chaos!
Its signature
seems human, but isn't. Chaos

is the daughter who has no father, but
desires one. Order
is the son who has a mother
but desires another, and
another . . .

This is all the akashic Assayist's nightmare.
Let us forget it.

There are nesting doves out
by the kerosene, below my window —
I'm very excited about them. Yesterday
was the anniversary of my death. And
I swear, more of those yetis left wildflowers
at my door again. Finally, I was quite happy about it.
I should be pleased with their attention.

It's just, Kirsna, if it continues, and they become
more populous in the meadow above my shack,
I'll soon have to deal
with those loathsome Italian journalists.

All their lucent cubes and clamoring.
I'd shoot them —
or put a henbane hash in their gas tanks.

Oh, Kirsna, your mother's just been blistering all day
having confused, not willfully, my Hevajra totem
this morning. Second and fifth cakras!
I do believe I'm aging, like your uncle. That sad
wonderful Ekajati.
Love.          The Madame of Achi.

Post Script:
I know you worry about death —     anger is the shifting
birth of fear. Let go of it. Your uncle
said that the Bardo just waits for us
like a lit pinball machine,
all rubber flibber and rose bank,
attracting the mirthing bone of the pelvis. Just
what did he mean by that? Oh, I suppose
the Bardo's collusions of color, skull mala,

fangs, red lariat
or the great mace? Just say your prayers, Kirsna,
to Black Coat —

ask for emptiness and a centering peace.


Dear Mother:         I have a confession to make.
The cadet, Theodore,
whose father was the ambassador to extanting Morocco —
well, he brought a package
back from his visit to North Europe.

It was a gift from his older brother.
Samuel and I, and later Todd,
visited Theodore when he was opening
this box. It contained
the nest of a sparrow-hawk that had been blown and lacquered;
almost fossilized on the bottom
of it was the fetus of an albino rabbit,

and beside that was an aluminum foil wrap
of a fresh chocolate hashish. We went out to the barns
and each of us smoked a little of it. I think, mother,

it liberated Theodore
who described his aunt landing her pink magnum-Cessna
on the stormy North Sea. How he peed his pants
while it was happening. He laughed
and laughed. Finally I became quiet and sad.
I went into the orchards

and watched the sun set. Over the river
these white vapors gathered into the shape of a man
who I recognized as the Septaguant.
He came physically forward to meet me
and made a speech about his young ward
who is, surprisingly,
my friend Samuel. He said we must do our very best work

in the dreaded middle sciences, or
we would find ourselves dead in a foreign war —
furthermore, in a mustard field, mother,
surrounded by a dozen white tigers in harness
who are also dead or dying.

There were two suns on the horizon

and the Septaguant
became sad, saying he was already lost
in the recent Glancing Excursion on Jupiter. That
there would be no cables.

Mother, all of this has left me quite frightened
and I've mentioned it to no one for two weeks.
But you must tell me what to do.

Samuel doesn't even know
that his father's involved with a Jupiter mission.
Perhaps he isn't. I didn't like this drug.
It gave me gas, and my heart raced for hours.

Love.        Kirsna.

Listening to Lord Septaguant 's speech
I realized he was once, in some way, a friend
to our uncle Ekajati. And yet,
I don't believe that's possible? Do they have Karma Pakshi
in common?

The slippers you sent me are primitive
but soft. Such a wonderful blue. Love, and thank you.

                                  — in dual spledum.

Kirsna:        I dislike your dead white tigers even more
than I dislike your chatting
with the great High Lord Septaguant.

Of course I don't know what this means.
I could put on a rotten rack of elk in velvet,
absolutely lousy with life and the collective
insomnias of a dozen hill shamans. I could
dance around in this little space
and strike my knee or take a splinter in my foot
and escort the mountain spirit, Elai,
into my flower garden . . .       Kirsna,

I could drop paraffin into a bowl of water
and mime the importance of your vision.
But I'm in white ovum. And a job's a job.
You'd better listen to your mother Khandro.

Stay clear of drugs, and focus on those middle sciences.
Never volunteer for anything. Refuse all conscriptions.
If you hear a drum and flute, flee to the basement,
live with the potatoes. By god,
you've written me with this frightening story
on my darkest moon. Kirsna, I love you dearly.

I'm not going to be a perfect mother. You want to hear
about my last vision:       Keet Sleets
with their long snouts, a
board pushing their temporal lobe plateaus
up into the medulla oblongata, brain stem, and that
fat garnet screwed to the back of the neck . . .

And what are they doing on their raised platform?
They're offering to the sun
your uncle's Dza Obum, which Klincton King
has just ripped from his mother's chest. They will
paint the bismuth rail with it. In the end, somehow,
it's a volcanic cinder.

Kirsna, you see my point. We have these gifts
for seeing things that aren't there.
And if we credit them all
we'll end up suffering
the insomnias of New Philadelphia . . . just have fun,

These great premonitions quickly return
to the unconscious, and gather battery there
and then much later are returned to us as stark reality,
la pomme d'terre. Many blessings.   The Khandro.


Dear Mother:         I understand that you want
me not to be fearful. It's like uncle Ekajati said —
'in full lotus, the cannon breach spawning calla lilies,
with the crown ejection bringing that autumnal
morning light —     yes, then I'm unafraid.'

But later after the bowl of carrot stew,
in my bed listening to the wind and rain —
well, that is different. 'Someday, Urze-la,
you'll just walk around in the Mahamudra.'
I hope so, mother. I do love
the way he talked to you.

This girl I met from Norway, who's called Kaya,
is teaching me the cycles
of the I-Ching. It is bewildering.
She can be weird,
and then suddenly very pleasant again.
Her mother says she runs hot to cold. Like most everyone.

We walk out by the river and watch
the blue herons assault the fresh water mussels.

She's a second year cadet
and pretty much without friends.
I enjoy her stories. She says her grandmother
is a time-lord
of a red star fjörd . . .
that she has given birth to two daughters, one long poem,

and a vast, superior matrix of snow?

Kaya's grandmother salutes you, Khandro!

I will be happier soon, I know. And yes,
you may insist that I be brave . . .        but here
in loathing for the victory banners. Love.   Kirsna.

                                       — harvest moon, & spledum.

Dear Kirsna:           it's past the time when I should have
responded fully to your questions
about Lord Septaguant and the Karma Pakshi shint.
Because karma can fold infinitely, two events
that should be separated by thousands of years
can become, suddenly, contiguous
like New York and New Jersey. Ha.

Or two consequences of a single karmic action
may ripen distantly epochal from one another
simply because of their common origin? Ugh.

The vibratory signatures of karma
are stacked, 'inclusive and appositional.'
So a firestorm can cross a city
and leave three people living, and
for two of these three people, their survival
might be the worst luck. The remaining one
may be Jehovah himself. If

you put your mind to problems like this
it can be very dangerous. So mostly you must trust
your heart and stomach. And your gifts.

Karma Pakshi does figure
into the greatest federation that exists in the Kosmos.
It is the least discussed here on earth.
The Kamtshang federation had in the thirteenth century
the most remarkable emissary to earth

who was the second Karmapa, or Karma Pakshi,
He possessed miraculous powers
and succeeded in carrying the buddhadharma
deep into China, to the very court of the barbarian
Kublai Khan.

Today he is sometimes referred to
as the Mongka teacher. Uncle's old guru
was an aspect of the Mongka Shintling.
Now, the great Shint is too intense at the moment
to be very much present in our world.

Lord Septaguant was thinking of this
when he crossed the river to you.
But I can't speak of it further. And you
may not speak of it at all. So,

the K.P.S. does not have a secret handshake,
bake sales, or three-state lotteries. It is a lineage
of caring, whispering and possession.
For your purposes you can understand it
through recognition of the lives of those saints
that we associate with Karma Kagyu
Buddhism in Tibet,
but you've already guessed

that you and Samuel and Kaya
are suffering an acquaintance
which is, perhaps, not accidental. It is indeed
auspicious. And there is some danger.

But if you want my two cents on this, the
lord 'tin-pageant' expressed his fears to you
prematurely. God knows it is in his nature.
Perhaps it just reflects his affection for Samuel,
and so we pardon him.

If we're going to further discuss the impossible, Kirsna,
I would say that when we die,
we enter the Bardo.

We carry, for or against ourselves,
the akashic script of our past behavior
from this last life. We experience its full record — all the joy
and all the suffering we've caused ourselves and others —
with dreadful interest. Yes,
it's a little like a surveillance tape
but one that opens in five dimensions
within the cataract of a great body of falling water.

There is a kind of daylight.
This lamp of projection
is very sudden and very strong. Reconciled,
all this experience then signs itself
in a single vibration
which is added to, or subtracted from,
the signing vibration
of all your previous lifetimes. This new value,

or vibratory character, ends up defining
the attractions you suffer
in locating your next mother and father.
This is how it is on the wheel
without the teachings of an enlightened master
like the Christ or Lord Buddha. Though,

it is taught that with the benefit of an enlightened one
you may, while approaching the Bardo, accept refuge
in the paradise of a great bodhiset.

Now I say, let's play craps with the Shintling
and return to the wheel,
for the benefit of all sentient beings. Oh,

Kirsna, this talk gives me a headache.
But I guess it's sweet that you think of such things. And no,
I'm sorry to report that the yetis have all vanished.
Maybe we will hear of them again
after the winter. Love.   L'urze.  

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