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"A Sleeve of Passion" by Prakash Kona 

Prakash is the author of Streets that Smell of Dying Roses, as well as Pearls from an Unstrung Necklace, both published by Fugue State Press.  He completed his doctoral studies with a comparative study of Chomsky, Derrida, and Wittgenstein at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS. He is a former assistant professor of English Literature and Humanities at Eastern Mediterranean University in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.   Streets that Smell of Dying Roses, as well as Pearls from an Unstrung Necklace, both published by Fugue State Press.  He completed his doctoral studies with a comparative study of Chomsky, Derrida, and Wittgenstein at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS. He is a former assistant professor of English Literature and Humanities at Eastern Mediterranean University in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.  

Prakash lives in Hyderabad, India.



© 2006 Prakash Kona


Think of a night that does not carry stains of day in its breast. In such a night a rose touched the transparent crystal. Stained by the rose the glass lost its original complexion. In the hollows of the eye the rose transformed the colorless frame. The glass mediated between the sun and its reflection. Remove the glass and the world is closed to sight. Perception is colorless as crystal. Days must pass through nights to embalm stains of light. In the body are infinite such moments that dart the skin. My body painted in the dark -- I dissolved into glass of a transparent night.


Out of my being comes a cloud inhaling into its dark nostrils the slim layer of light that like a membrane covers the sky. A ghost of a pale sky, distant and aloof, shares the moment before evening falls into arms of night. I'm not prone to recollection. It is dying that makes me search for the mediating glass of night.


I built a universe forgetting you were part of it. I broke the universe down. Infinite it may have been but it was glass because I had forgotten that you were the universe timeless as the sand that became glass. Imagine a flower going back to seed. I pushed time into a black hole. The world I discarded as illusion became visible all of a sudden because that's where you lived with those who suffered that they may laugh like children.


Finiteness cannot coexist with space. I prayed night after night to witness the smile on your lips that coexisted with tears. I was floating in a sea with freedom of sunlight. I could break down like a star putting an end to one among billion other lights. I lived for a smile. I danced when I saw the smile entranced in the joy of its being. Once such smile constituted the dark that brought to life the illusion of time. Greater than the smile is nothing. I was a girl who could faint with ecstasy if I watched stars for too long. That's how simple I'm at heart. No point laughing at me. I laugh at myself until I cry. Some day your smile will be my death. So what if I die. Through the night of dying I'll walk with your smile in my eyes.


May your heart be at peace because I speak with eyes as I hide words behind closed lips! My eyes are tired as of now. They have taken it upon themselves to speak for my lips. Hence I reach out with the look and you know that my eye is a generous one. Who can speak for my lips but my eyes! Tired they are. Age has taken away the passion of my look. I can look with pity when I see how distraught you are. Perhaps you think that I feel sorry for myself. Perhaps the night bothers you now that you're left alone with the stars and the sea. Perhaps your eyes wear a look behind which they lie in gentle sleep. The assumed look of your eyes has entered my soul with a vehemence that saps my body like bitter heat. May your heart be at peace that time may not fool me with coming of fall and leaves myriad as thoughts born of wind vanish as the rose in the glass of night.


The heat of body merged with eye of the moment. If emptiness could be shown it would be the lava of a dormant volcano hissing towards a cold sea like a python in the heat of the moment. If you can look at me with closeness it must be the passive empathy of your character that warms my soul for no reason. The instant I'm divided I've taken away the unity of your body. I'm worshipping you when I'm not passionate about the shade of trees. You change your forms and I perpetuate my division. The cruelty with which I can deface a reflection is my guilt that has the power of an earthmover. I drag sea and mountain into one moment. I break the moment as if wanting to burn and die in that moment. I'm angry and distant. The play is no more mine. I'm not acting any longer. I'm an adjunct to an otherwise passing fad for white heat in the shape of a cloud.


I gave loss to meaning. The imperfect rug with a missing thread that meant God was in my nature. I was forever losing something. My love for you is that you awake that sense of loss in me. In filling that loss I became a builder of palaces. Princes abandoned these palaces to find a meaning to loss and princesses fell in love with beggars of the street to carve the divine out of the human. In empty palaces worn out with time I sensed that my love for you is an illusion but you are not. How I would do anything to give reality to love! How I would discard my sense of loss if with faith that moves mountains I could say I love you! How I would abandon palaces and embrace a life of streets if it meant that you are love of my life and I the eternal bearer of loss!


Living in hills how could I've known emptiness of valleys! The fire on the hill I lived had nothing to do with the smoke. It was the hill that made the smoke obvious. From the point of view of the valley you could easily mistake it for a cloud. From an empty spot any idea is a possibility. I discounted every idea to the one of living. I lived and therefore I was. The old do not die because we want them to. They push life to the edges and defy what we call living. Ask me if the cities of salt were built in a moment. I say that it was a moment of flood and the salt of the sea left an imprint on land. Ask me if the world will come to an end in a moment. It is a moment of fire and my heart burns for the memory running down the aisle toward the pond and straight into the eye of a fish.


If I could turn stones of this city into gold what does it matter once I've lost the love of a friend! I embraced stones for the love of friends. My peace I could not hold. Fantasy bred fantasy and that fatality of one who meets his past in the future I suffered in my decaying bones. The father in me turned me mad. I could rebel against anything but not madness. To victimize is the favorite fantasy of a true victim. In truth I was a victim. I could take a body as if I were playing with a shadow.


I pointed a finger at the moon and it became the moon. If I could know pain that brought me into the world I would rather not be here. For a mouthful of wine I gave a handful of rice. My belly suffered for lack of rice though wine sent me into a daze. I felt the heat of long roads lying under a tree. Hills descended upon hills like steps of a cosmic garden. Surrounded by clouds the invisible web of fate shuddered as I drifted along dreamily. I'm no stranger to wine or fate. I'm intoxicated by anything that frees me of pain.


The left side of the chest is the heavy part of my body. As a child I remember that my body had a lightness as a whole that came with an impersonal mind; but the chest had a destiny of its own. I forgot that I had a body when it came to the left side of the chest. The rest of my body swims toward familiar shores but my heart wades through waters that embrace sunshine. The part in me disconnected from land is a trough where I'm in a darkness I don't understand. I'm often subjected to the dream of a séance and it happens I'm the voice of the dead. The only way I know that it is me who is dreaming is the heaviness of heart that I carry into an afterlife as proof of my humanity.


I'm amused by logic and unaffected by cleverness. Vulnerable faces of sleepers bewitch me. Concepts put me to sleep. Conceptions carry the idea of birth in them; for short of anything better I'm a poet of conceptions. The best in me is conceived in the dark. The conception of darkness permeates like rainwater through the ground of my imagination. The instant a conception turns into a concept it is a stillborn. Matter is conception to my sensibility. The rose is a concept but a street of the poor is a conception. Beauty is a concept but the compassion of those who suffer is not. I am a concept but you're a conception. Revolution is a conception if you've turned your life into a work of art. Life is a concept if it is no more than a begging of certainty.


I avoided your glance to make you believe that you do not matter. You do. How can I make you believe what I myself cannot! My world is that glance of you opening a window to make way for sunlight in a cold room. From a dungeon a person can feel that clouds have a place to go and stars are not there by accident. Your friend is the sky and sometimes you see waves of blue mating with orange in the horizon. I avoid your glance to make you know that you're more than a glance to me. You're fresh air from a lake spread across plains. My senses have aged but not my breath. I feel you as lovers feel love for absent bodies. A prisoner whose body is tortured frees the soul to explore every corner of imagination where it can hide from pain. Having exhausted the dry wells of fantasy I came to you. To see you preoccupied seemed the end of world to me. Pain had saturated body and mind. I waited until I saw that you were more than what my eyes perceived. I prayed to the gods to wake. I prayed for rain as one prays for death. I prayed for heaven that comes as a promise to pain. I prayed for a glance that would forgive the innocence that makes me a singer of dreams.


Sweet you are but there is sadness in sweet. Lovable I am because I took something of your sweet. My death is an accident. My life is yours. I conceived you in the dark as I'm conceived by darkness that brought you into being. Like rays of sun you filled my world like blood from a wound covers a mirror. Overwhelmed with color a rainbow integrated my stony breast with the body I hardly recollect as mine. The curtains that separate the eye from the dark vanished. You made a sleeve of passion out of the blue for angels to wear upon their naked bodies of light.








All work is copyrighted property of Prakash Kona.






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