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Wichita Vortex Sutra by Alen Ginsberg

What sutra is it? Is it a Paglet sutra? Mr.Paglet in the vortex of sutras, experimenting from drugs, Bohemian life to hippie culture, smoking, moving in search of mental peace and recuperation, from place to place in the company of  gossip-masters, ramblers, vagrants, gypsies,  mendicants, minstrels, bards, mystics, babas, tantrics, sadhus, yogis and fakirs and learning the secrets of life, man, Nature and creation, samadhi and mahasamadhi. Sometimes yoga, sometimes dhyana, sometimes danda-baithaka in their turn engaging him from time to time, a poet from America with his anti-war stand, anti-Vietnam war agendum, away from material prosperity to in search of peace, happiness and content wandering from hill station to station to temple towns and cities and resorts. Take you ganja from a clay pipe and spell you, Vyom-Om in the company of sadhus and mendicants. But where lies it the joy of living, the peace of mind, the happiness of heart, say you, say you? Nowhere, friend. Go about beating you, the Beat dhuna. Om shantih shantih shantih.

What a chakkar is it? This is not a this and that chakkar, vortex, rounding of fate, time. Samay ka chakkar, bhagya ka chakkar-fera, kaal ka chakkar, ghor manthan ka vishay, Paglet Baba ki baat and he thinking it within. Manna to pagal hain. Where does it go now and then? Who can but say it about manna? Chintan and manna? Thinking and the inner mind? How does it take the flights?

The vortex? Samay ka jaal, the net of time, samsara ka maya-jaal, the net of worldly maya into which the jiva lies it entangled. Jal ka bhanwar, the vortex, whirlpool of water, how to cut it, swim it across? This too has a strategy and a technique of own.

What is the Mental Baba here thinking in? He is perhaps thinking about the Vietnam War and why did America participate in? Yaha kiska chakkar hain? Whose chakkar is it? Why did America fall in such a chakkar? Is it some graha-gochara’s chakkar? Is it samay’s fera, bhagya’s fera? As for being time adverse, fate being? What should he do it now? What should he for papa-mochana, sin-cleansing? Sprinkle you Ganga-jala over the head and chant you the shantih mantras.

Yaha baba ka chakkar hain. Nasha cchodiye and rama jaayiye apane jagat mei. This is but some Baba, Indian Baba’s chakkar. Leave you nasha, intoxication and get you lost in your world as it has been said, Ramata yogi bahata paani, Getting lost in sadhna and flowing water, alike, what to say it about? This is but the one side of the picture when we think of his recuperation while on the other it is his rebellious spirit of the counterculture, the hippie culture. Where does man drift too when excessive materialism takes him over? Is intellect all? Or, something it is there in Ananda, Delight, Spiritual Delight, in the Ananda of the Self?

Ginsberg’s poetry only an Aadh-pagala can illustrate it, a Half-mad fellow. His poetic property is the property of the aadh-pagala mind. Such a thing it is unworldly, spiritual, abnormal, mystical, nocturnal, mysterious, cosmic, creational, metaphysical, spiritual, experimental owing so much to the disturbed self-raked by splits, mania and internal crisis. How to resolve it? This is the problem. Pagal manna, what to say it about, as the manna is mad. Our consciousness is not systematic, we just try to systematize our thinking and consciousness in a coherent way otherwise the things come to not in a distilled way.

What will America get in waging a war on Vietnam? What will it? Has the time for re-thinking not come?

It is a song of Anandam when he refers to the Indian babas, sadhus and saints, invoking them to be with him during this ecstasy of realization. Where has the soul wandered? Where did the mind get lifted to?

His anti-war stance, his revolutionary zeal and spirit the poet voices it, the angst, bewilderment, loss and time-spirit of an age, of the young mind raked by personality split, doubt and suspense and the order unaware of lost in supremacist policies. Who tried to understand the young American minds and their sentiments?

A rebel, a revolutionary, he is a poet of anti-thesis, thesis and anti-thesis as in his thesis lies it his anti-thesis and in his anti-thesis his thesis. He is an anti-war poet, a poet of popular culture.

A controversialist, he is a poet of controversies, a propagandist he goes on doing propaganda and in him one can see the visions of the past revisiting, Blake, Whitman and Pound and his transgression from materialism to spiritual transcendentalism.

The American Heartland, how does he take to the Midwestern political denominations and nomenclature as for a background study as for to revert to for explaining his philosophy? The dictation of political conservatism and hypocrisy he does not admire it. His is a language of free spirit and pure joy ecstatic from within. Kansas, how will it be the song of Kansas? Where does he want to go from Wichita? Hearing the Vietnam news from the radio, touring Kansas, he goes on weaving his poetical tales. But who are those who keep destroying the free spirit of the lands? Whose are the political hegemony and legacy thrust upon?

A poet of democratic leanings though he does not proclaim it directly, he is Whitmanesque who keeps about loafing, loitering and wandering and reflecting upon privately. His poetry is the poetry of a bohemian spirit, romantic vagaries. There lie in gay and homosexual elements as these are in Whitman.   

Into the vortex of Kansas, he calls upon the company of Indian holy men and gods to help him, help him to get out or come to master it all that. He does not understand, why is he lonesome? Is it his lonesomeness or that of the whole of Kansas or that of the whole of America is feeling it? Where the bride? Who the lover? How is our love? And above all, who loves whom, say you? Who is whose lover, as I of you, you of me?

What is it in the Congress? Let it be. What does the President declare it? What does the legislature pass it? Those are not the things of his concern. He just keeps hearing the howls, the lunatics let loose by the winds, the spirits. Mystery is his mantra, the mantra of America, the manna of it and he hearing the music sweeping him off, taking to the open canopies of the skies, the blue azure of charming and tempting us to core. How to dislodge the war-mongering attitude? How to discern and dismantle war phobia? War Gods, be lenient upon us and save us from unnecessary anger, wrath and desperation. Why to talk of bombshells and bombardments? Can you not think in a human way?

This body is to lie upon and to take rest. Why to trouble with unnecessary taxation?  

Wichita Vortex Sutra (1966)

I'm an old man now, and a lonesome man in Kansas
          but not afraid
                    to speak my lonesomeness in a car,
                    because not only my lonesomeness
                                it's Ours, all over America,
                                                     O tender fellows--
                                & spoken lonesomeness is Prophecy
                                in the moon 100 years ago or in
                                          the middle of Kansas now.
It's not the vast plains mute our mouths
                                that fill at midnite with ecstatic language
                     when our trembling bodies hold each other
                                breast to breast on a matress--
            Not the empty sky that hides
                                           the feeling from our faces
            nor our skirts and trousers that conceal
                     the bodylove emanating in a glow of beloved skin,
                                white smooth abdomen down to the hair
                                                                between our legs,
            It's not a God that bore us that forbid
                     our Being, like a sunny rose
                                          all red with naked joy
                     between our eyes & bellies, yes
All we do is for this frightened thing
                     we call Love, want and lack--
            fear that we aren't the one whose body could be
                     beloved of all the brides of Kansas City,
                     kissed all over by every boy of Wichita--
            O but how many in their solitude weep aloud like me--
                     On the bridge over the Republican River
                                almost in tears to know
                                           how to speak the right language--
                     on the frosty broad road
                                uphill between highway embankments
                     I search for the language
                                          that is also yours--
                                almost all our language has been taxed by war.
Radio antennae high tension
           wires ranging from Junction City across the plains--
           highway cloverleaf sunk in a vast meadow
                                lanes curving past Abilene
                                          to Denver filled with old
                                                               heroes of love--
                                to Wichita where McClure's mind
                                          burst into animal beauty
                                          drunk, getting laid in a car
                                                     in a neon misted street
                                                               15 years ago--
           to Independence where the old man's still alive
           who loosed the bomb that's slaved all human consciousness
                             and made the body universe a place of fear--
Now, speeding along the empty plain,
                      no giant demon machine
                                visible on the horizon
           but tiny human trees and wooden houses at the sky's edge
                      I claim my birthright!
                                reborn forever as long as Man
                                          in Kansas or other universe--Joy
                      reborn after the vast sadness of War Gods!
A lone man talking to myself, no house in the brown vastness to hear,
                      imaging the throng of Selves
                                 that make this nation one body of Prophecy
                                          languaged by Declaration as
I call all Powers of imagination
           to my side in this auto to make Prophecy,
                                                                         all Lords
                      of human kingdoms to come
Shambu Bharti Baba naked covered with ash
                      Khaki Baba fat-bellied mad with the dogs
Dehorahava Baba who moans Oh how wounded, How wounded
           Sitaram Onkar Das Thakur who commands
                                                       give up your desire
Satyananda who raises two thumbs in tranquility
           Kali Pada Guha Roy whose yoga drops before the void
                       Shivananda who touches the breast and says OM
Srimata Krishnaji of Brindaban who says take for your guru
           William Blake the invisible father of English visions
            Sri Ramakrishna master of ecstasy eyes
                       half closed who only cries for his mother
Chaitanya arms upraised singing & dancing his own praise
            merciful Chango judging our bodies
                       Durga-Ma covered with blood
                                    destroyer of battlefield illusions
                       million-faced Tathagata gone past suffering
            Preserver Harekrishna returning in the age of pain
Sacred Heart my Christ acceptable
                       Allah the Compassionate One
                                           Jahweh Righteous One
                                     all Knowledge-Princes of Earth-man, all
            ancient Seraphim of heavenly Desire, Devas, yogis
                                     & holymen I chant to--
                                            Come to my lone presence
                                                    into this Vortex named Kansas,
I lift my voice aloud,
            make Mantra of American language now,
                             I here declare the end of the War!
                                         Ancient days' Illusion!
                     and pronounce words beginning my own millennium.
Let the States tremble,
            let the Nation weep,
                       let Congress legislate it own delight
                                  let the President execute his own desire--
this Act done by my own voice,
                                          nameless Mystery--
published to my own senses,
                               blissfully received by my own form
            approved with pleasure by my sensations
                       manifestation of my very thought
                       accomplished in my own imagination
                               all realms within my consciousness fulfilled
            60 miles from Wichita
                                          near El Dorado,
                                                     The Golden One,
in chill earthly mist
            houseless brown farmland plains rolling heavenward
                                                                        in every direction
one midwinter afternoon Sunday called the day of the Lord--
            Pure Spring Water gathered in one tower
                                  where Florence is
                                                        set on a hill,
                                  stop for tea & gas

Yaha kaal nahi, mahakaal hain, dharamashankat hain, dharamshankat hain, baba. Having smoked, the baba is babbling, this is not doomsday, but the greater doomsday, the crisis of religion is it, the crisis of religion, dharma, of piety and purity. But here the American baba is speaking about the shankat, crisis, danger, trouble, problem of war clouds hovering over humanity and man lost in taking up arms, getting prepared for armed conflicts bent upon destroying whatever good it is in mankind. None can say when the kaal turns into a mahakaal.

What is the American yogi doing it here? This is but the marvel of yoga. The time hangs it heavy upon so do the thoughts engage the mindscapes of man. God knows, how to deal with the crisis lurking around?


More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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