CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
Gold Carp Jack Fruit Mirrors
George Kalamaras



1. Gold Carp

You want, simply, to stop breathing and hear.
Yesterday was a day just like tomorrow.

A sun window, carved in a narrow cave,
pulls light onto a small Buddhist stupa.

Dust above a Kashi doorway is cornmeal
in the bowl of a wandering sadhu.

Picasso soup! I ordered Picasso soup!
What else is there but a solid hammer?

If you breathe cords of bees in your navel
upward toward your throat you will see blue light

flutter a hummingbird in your forehead.
In Benares heat you don’t want Pepsi.

You only want the juice of the jack fruit.
Liquid stones! Liquid stones! Liquid stones!,

the sadhu suddenly cries in samadhi.
You finally get out, a kilometer

from your destination, hoping for food.
Heat lightning in the lines is a traveling

of the inner topography of a snail.
A swallowtail drifts in fierce Benares

sun, Don’t you yet see, I am your own?
Tired, you wish that you could stop wishing.

Walking in Kashi, you feel in each cell
the hum of the world from fruit stalls,

flower sellers, rickshaws, marigold bees.
Children piss in the still green water

of Ganga that has run down from heaven,
cushioned by shiva’s wild, matted hair.

A baby monkey clings to its mother,
hissing at passersby at the temple

of Shitala Devi near Chousatti Ghat.
Joan Miro was not Paul Klee! Not even

the gathering of bees or the ink of squids!
What might you touch but solidified sound

in the shape of a wall, a piece of celery,
a ceiling, a cloud, a martini,

a lover’s tongue, 85 cents left
on the table by the people before you?

Today, all you see is a bucket
of ashes emptied onto the shore.

Paul Klee was not a caterpillar!
Carp come to still temple water out of nowhere.

Breaking words like slicing a coconut.
Christ and Krishna have the same

etymological root, the same tuft of sound.
The most sacred Indian art has a

dimension of guided eros.
Migratory finches and aboriginal bees.

How far do they travel to find sound?
You want to be in the cauldron, a black

bean, a piece of parsley, the gold carp
tasting shallows of a temple pool in Sarnath.

If you could but feel orbits of love pressed
into your forehead on a thumbprint.

You want the warmth of the opening meal
cooking slowly over a morning fire.

Jack fruit falling to earth as jack fruit.
There are many myths about the sexual

prowess of those who were tigers in former lives.
Most maps are wrong, the sadhu says, the way

to the heart is the way to the heart.

Back home, the mouth of a corpse is sewn shut

to prevent any leakage of the words of death.
A mango falling to earth as moon.

The white hump of a Brahma bull
is a clot of moonlight working its way

down through straw ceilings and dung-clad walls,
through a worm crawling on carrots in the corner.

There is a moment when all moments collide,
the peepal tree bends in Benares breeze.

All the sins of one’s previous births are
destroyed as soon as one enters the boundaries

of Kashi,
Lord Shiva told Parvati.
This tree, yes, this tree, yes—no, not this tree.

The silence of the world is a fishbone.
A brussels sprout in the turn of a young girl’s hoop.


2. Jack Fruit

Jack fruit falling to earth as jack fruit.
Walking in Kashi, you feel in each cell

the hum of the world from fruit stalls,
f1ower sellers, rickshaws, marigold bees.

A baby monkey clings to its mother,
hissing at passersby at the temple

of Shitala Devi near Chousatti Ghat.
Most maps are wrong, the sadhu says, the way

to the heart is the way to the heart.

A swallowtail drifts in fierce Benares

sun, Don’t you yet see, I am your own?
All the sins of one’s previous births are

destroyed as soon as one enters the boundaries
of Kashi,
Lord Shiva told Parvati.

If you could but feel orbits of love pressed
into your forehead on a thumbprint.

You want to be in the cauldron, a black
bean, a piece of parsley, the gold carp

tasting shallows of a temple pool in Sarnath.
The most sacred Indian art has a

dimension of guided eros.
There are many myths about the sexual

prowess of those who were tigers in former lives.
The silence of the world is a fishbone.

Yesterday was a day just like tomorrow.
Breaking words like slicing a coconut.

What else is there but a solid hammer?
Liquid stones! Liquid stones! Liquid stones! ,

the sadhu suddenly cries in samadhi.
Picasso soup! I ordered Picasso soup!

Dust above a Kashi doorway is cornmeal
in the bowl of a wandering sadhu.

Migratory finches and aboriginal bees.
How far do they travel to find sound?

In Benares heat you don’t want Pepsi.
You only want the juice of the jack fruit.

Back home, the mouth of a corpse is sewn shut
to prevent any leakage of the words of death.

A mango falling to the earth as moon.
Children piss in the still green water

of Ganga that has run down from heaven,
cushioned by Shiva’s wild, matted hair.

A brussels sprout in the turn of a young girl’s hoop.
Tired, you wish that you could stop wishing.

The white hump on the back of a Brahma bull
is a clot of moonlight working its way

down through straw ceilings and dung-clad walls,
through a worm crawling on carrots in the corner.

Paul Klee was not a caterpillar!
Carp come to still temple water out of nowhere.

Today all you see is a bucket
of ashes emptied onto the shore.

Joan Miro was not Paul Klee! Not even
the gathering of bees or the ink of squids!


If you breathe cords of bees in your navel
upward toward your throat you will see blue light

flutter a hummingbird in your forehead.
You finally get out, a kilometer

from your destination, hoping for food.
You want, simply, to stop breathing and hear.

What might you touch but solidified sound
in the shape of a wall, a piece of celery,

a ceiling, a cloud, a martini,
a lover’s tongue, 85 cents left

on the table by the people before you?
There is a moment when all moments collide,

the peepal tree bends in Benares breeze.
Heat lightning in the lines is a traveling

of the inner topography of a snail.
A sun window, carved in a narrow cave,

pulls light onto a small Buddhist stupa.
Christ and Krishna have the same

etymological root, the same tuft of sound.
You want the warmth of the opening meal

cooking slowly over a morning fire.
This tree, yes, this tree, yes—no, not this tree.