poetry by Andrew MacArthur

by Andrew MacArthur



She gives souls to all men who believe in her.

Parvati by daylight is patient with fatigue
Her precious stones are the golden-brown eyes of oxen.
Krisna is her favorite.
Her magical weapons are the Six Yogas and the Ten Perfections.
But her garments are neglected and stained green
- for she once fucked the rotting carcass of a donkey,
thus giving birth to Mother India- Maha Deva.

I will practice all austerities
Someday, I will die in Vrindhaven


She gives souls to all men who believe in her.

Sophia at midday is filled with mischief.
Like every goddess she teases her sisters
bullies their boyfriends
and accepts rides from strangers.
Her fragrances are anise and cardamom
- all generous and fugitive scents.
Phoenician sailors sodomized her at a sea-side taverna near Knossos
- thus giving birth to the Western Kingdoms.

I will be a pilgrim, a martyr, a crusader-
in Alexandria, and Jerusalem and at Constantine.


She gives souls to all men who believe in her.

In the evenings, Isis is quiet and ruthless.
Her favorite drugs are tobacco and opium-
all purgatives and narcotics.
She rules a region of space between celestial midnight
and the Northern Pole of the ecliptic.
When the crocodiles came, she slept and Osiris was torn.
Later, she married a man with a wooden prick
- thus giving birth to the 24 kinds of wrong-doing.

In the darkness I will carry candles
I will declare my innocence.


She gives souls to all men who believe in her.

Tara- her slender white flanks flash
through Vishnuís final dream at daybreak.
Her small breasts are bound with brocade
- her oily black hair is caught in combs.
Her cruel face is slit with frowning.
She sets Shiva spinning in his last spasmic dance
and brings an end to the Declining Age.

She taught small green monkeys how to masturbate
- thus giving birth to the lineage of Tibet.

I will fly my prayer pennants
I will burn confederate currency
I will petition for rebirth
in the realm of the Devas.

I hear, but I donít believeÖ

I hear, but I donít believe the young prince Siddhartha
was sheltered in palaces so free from the taste of suffering
that he sought in the market place for an experience of grief
- but I believe he went expecting (hoping) to find men happy.

I hear, but I donít believe the young prince knew not greed
- among the courtesans, slaves and wives,
naked flute-girls, shaved cunts, belladonna eyes-
I believe he stole to the market to find men contented.

I hear, but I donít believe there was no anger in the young prince
- but he has led obstinate elephants into battles,
heard the crying rage of bronze soldiers dying-
I believe he slipped to the market to see men at peace.

I hear, but I donít believe Gotama knew nothing of delusion-
but with an incestuous father and envious half-brother
I believe he fled to the market- left his infant son-
searching for families free of confusion.

I hear, and I donít believe the princeís loyal stallion Kanthaka
died, broken-hearted, carrying him away from the palaces.
But I believe it was Buddha walking , dying, broken-hearted
as he made his way to the Himalayas to be reborn.


©2000 Andrew MacArthur

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