Troubadour Kaul is a collaboration project between the two people exploring poetry, travelogues, prose, photography and music. Their art-words have appeared in various magazines and journals. Their poetry is forthcoming in print issues of Full of Crow, Pyrta Journal, Redaction: Poetry & Poetics, Alligator Stew, Micro Poetry Anthology, Mud Luscious Press and elsewhere in Fall 2012. Troubadour Kaul is also a Guest Editor and Poetry reviewer at Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and will be the on the masthead of the Golden Sparrow Magazine’s upcoming ‘Best of’ print edition.Despite a 2011 Best of the Net + two Pushcart Prize nominations + winning the Golden Sparrow Poetry Prize 2011 and being shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Short Writing in the World in 2012, their ranking in the Indian arranged-marriage-market remains dismal. An MFA in Poetry and promoting their first full length collection of poems seems to be the modus operandi for a happily ever after in 2012.The series “Letters to Samārā” are excerpts from Troubadour Kaul’s first collection of prose-poetry. His body of work explores the themes of existence, love and identity through the headset of a wayfarer writing to his beloved back home. The work draws its allegories from the Bhagwad Gita, German philosophy and pop-culture precepts with an occasional foray into European mythology.
Letters to Samārā: The Prologue to our Parable’s Premise by Troubadour Kaul
Tonight, I sip from Arjuna’s indictment of doubt,
“I do not know whether it is better
to conquer or be conquered.”
Between shores of my salt and a city of sin,
my roots revised into driftwood, float on a river of tryst.
My wine is not water fermented by the will of God
but my bread is the kneaded flour of sacrifice.
My mantle of sighs covets the amour
pouring at my quill’s delight;
my wayfarer’s scribe sculpting papyrus with words;
the bottomless concaves of indigo-etched paper pores
measure the distance between my heart and home.
There are owl-eyes leering at my swirls of ink,
their iris affixed, sclerotic-tight, downward slant
like chandeliers, upside-down from ceilings,
forlorn with their view of the world – whispering:
“You left home to find what you left when you left home.”
Prejudices perched on the jury bench goad oaths
from my heart-sheathing palms
to invalidate their judgment of You & I.
They will not call this the greatest song of love.
At every blink their eyelids crash with mallet-thuds.
A question posed, another verdict forged.
They are bound by the demeanor of their eigenlicht.
Is our love not impaled on circumstance?
Our circumstance not swindled by time?
Our times not inflated with punctured souls?
To those souls encumbered in morbid fright –
unknowing love to be the only manner to unlearn life,
what more could I can propose beyond you and I.
We’ve known angst to be more than a German word;
we’ve pitted tongues to outshine a kiss’ Parisian mirth
but we are neither Tristan & Isolde,
sailing on stale-winds of fate,
fouled by the disparity of black and white,
itching to reunite beyond death’s gray mist in after-life;
nor Orpheus & Eurydice,
resonating notes sans a Persephone
with eyes of stone to melt to tears,
just me making the error of I,
looking back on what you once bestowed.
Perhaps Eloise & Abelard,
strangled by the strange stories our silence holds,
louder than the clamor of big city chores;
more callous than the din of forged laughter.
Abstinent future, astringent past –
our tale in burning letters told.
While questions cock their titled brows
and answers shrug their shoulders cold,
Fate, lizard-like, crawls between moth and flame hissing
“Love is the ardor of life. Death shall not unite you
with what your heart beholds.”
So I weep love’s unseasonal rain and, disgruntled,
suckle on living smoke. I’m only armed
with portions of your voice drawn
from the ashes of our song, now cleaved into an urn.
I clutch that urn tight.
I burn with that song each night.
But the only demise is the failure of words.
Once more I turn to what I know.
Once more I turn to what I hope.
My regret is the grave without a corpse.
Our love is not a losing bet.
In these freckled lawns of scoured glass
just the melody of your name can make the gray clouds sweat,
even a memory of you can make the flowers grow.
Tonight, I read into love and existence
as the wisdom of Krishna’s karmic smile
“In the illusion there is no liberation
and in the existent there is no close.”