Friday, September 6, 2013

The Greatest Story Ever Told...

dvāravatī dvāravatī

I watch them, and while I wait
for my order to come, I dream
of the greatest story ever told.

Mandala feeds mandala
along the banks of the Chao Phraya;
"Our umbrellas are high,"
"It is the age of Chulasakaraj."

Am I the son of Narai?
The daughter?
Am I the half-Tai bastard of Constantine Phaulkon,
the greek falcon of  Krung Tai Ayutthaya..
Am I the armless French mystic sailor
kept in a jeweled box for the pleasuring of
Princess Sirithida, or 'he whose long braids smell of jasmine'
I offered no resistance.

What was the sprawling mandala of celebration
along the Chao Phraya that evening?
I saw ten-thousand high umbrellas like gilded
straw mushrooms.
I saw golden Hongsa carrying laughing children
through forests of paper lantern buoys
in the maze of the river's surface.
Who had perfected the world?
Mapeek worn like hats worked their
way through the crowds
which I watched from my balcony,
signalling to my elephant pilot
to release it.

The balcony was a self-contained unit,
an umbrella house, and glided down
teak rails from the fifth story of the
Nokinsee, or falcon house, to rest
in its mounting cradle above the back
of Tambon, my largest elephant,
who had been painted pale pale green
and blue, a limpid pool, where fireflies
dart among the lotus blooms, and
the Sinta Panattee churn
the water into mandalas..

dvāravatī dvāravatī
lavo mon
lavo mon
Queen Jamadevi gave birth to twins
two suns, and two moons,
200 stars, and four hundred sitars..

Queen Jamadevi
in a Montgolfier balloon.
Tou-lo-po-ti, Tou-lo-po-ti
Through the arrangements of Phaulkon
the Siamese kingdom came into close diplomatic
relations with the court of Louis XIV

O how the sick and lovely, lubricated
and ugly, is the divine Sri Sudharmmaraja
who is plotting with his brothers..

My balcony is gliding.
My balcony is gliding.
Who has greased the rails?
Is it Ussadorn Vihok?
François-Timoléon de Choisy?
Who greases my teak wood rails along the Chao Phraya river
where ten-thousand golden umbrellas like straw mushrooms
rage in profusion, a mandala of churning Sinta Panattee?

Who cracks petroleum gas with a mighty squeeze
to make the hydrogen for my lantern? Is it Narai?
Who combines the hydrogen with nitrogen
to make the fertilizer for my orange groves?
Is it Pra Phetracha?
Who rearranges petroleum molecules to make
the synthetic rubber, glycerine, disinfectants,
TNT, and Vitamin E, which my elephant Tambon
carries along the river in his umbrella house

Who explodes my precious Tambon
into ten-thousand Paul Cézannes?
Who squeezes my pale pale blue elephant
into paranormal events and unexplained creatures?
Is it Maria Guyomar de Pinha?
Did she force gemstones under my foreskin?
Did she sew on soft golden puppet arms
onto my scarred torso?

Did she resemble the roundleaf bat
inspecting her cargo of petroleum?

Narai? Narai?
Are you my father?
Are you the long-tailed giant rat
swimming in the Chao Phraya?

Is Andre Breton in dvāravatī dvāravatī?
How many Andre Bretons are sleeping
in the three headed elephant of Bangkok?
How many petroleum molecules
will Paul Cezanne feed to ancient Mexico
through a teakwood nozzle?

Is it Jiro, or Yiro?
Is it hero, or monster?
The skulls of forty-thousand Paul Cezannes
are sewn beneath my foreskin, and their
voices rise to heaven to make
forty-thousand golden umbrellas
like straw mushrooms.