Sunday, January 04, 2015
[Poem] Ramakien Blues
Some take joy in watching the Ramakien.
There’s a reassurance in the villainy
Of the gentleman Thotsakan,
A constant in a world of chaos and khao nhio,
Devas and destruction.
We watch his mask of many faces, counting only nine.
Asked an observant child: “Where is his fabled tenth?”
The true answer leaves her wondering for a lifetime.
A diplomat watches beauty abducted, armies raised
To retrieve her from the distant isle of Lanka,
Bored at the deaths of monkeys, monsters and men
In a foreign fairy tale he can never believe.
Only modernity and policy concerns him,
Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Upon the stage, a dancer gets one step closer to the stars
Bordering Himapan or Aldebaran,
Worlds of masks and paste,
Immortals and their constellations
Churning the Milky Way into butter
For reincarnated souls and rice cakes.
Somewhere, an ancient god asks a child a riddle,
Trying to start everything all over again.