Monday, July 27, 2009

Whitman Sutra (Tantrayana)

I sing the body physical
    shaping my cells out of the orgasm of creation
    pulling DNA-rapt bones around me like a Navajo blanket
    wrapping myself in the illusion of matter, eternally foaming
    living light wrapped in the thunder weave and quantum sea
I sing the body mental
    never separate from the physical
    but abstracted and far too full of myself
    able to build whole worlds but
    contradicting myself with hidden truths divisive
    double-willed, double-walled
I sing the body emotional
    pulling me into lust and action
    towards you, my infinite row of loves
    those I have loved, those I love, those I will love
    loving the women in the men and the men in the women
    equal balancing, newly incarnate,
    hope-fear under the rose
I sing the body spiritual
    the angel-beast ceaselessly climbing into the light
    pulling me onto then off of paths of desire
    divining the twin pulls of head, hand, and heart
    leading me with glimpses to find the good red road
I sing the body erotic
    fingers button-pushing energetic nerves of activation
self-touched and touching, tickles of sweat down ribs
    joineries of lips, hands, thighs, breasts, and fevered loins
    the whole skin come alive at once and tingling
    flushed from eartips to tarsals, brown aureoles red aflame
I sing the electric body
    grown hard and handsome in the cyberlight—
    if the body is to be transcended, let it be
    in the way of ecstatic spirit, not of ascetic cybergnosis,
    the avant-garde agnostic denial and scourging of the meat
no, no, yes I will yes, I sing the body sexual
    the pulls of semen and milk
    every flavor of sweat and secretion, febrile and erotic
    fevered and glowing in the inner eye
I sing the sensual sexual refrain proclaimed by the Old Body Poet
the first electric god, who if he’d had a guitar
    could have out-ecstasied Jimi and all the rest
I proclaim the body sensual
    all girls and boys of every age filled
        with adolescent hormone surge
    all pornographic incandescent illicit pleasures
        those lovely mergings of fluids
        minglings of desire and intent so dangerous
        to the stability of the State
    all engagements and weddings of every gender
    all wedding rings and love rings and sex-rings
    all starving naked poets drooling toothless and drunken
        over pretty boys and girls unclothed in summer’s heat
    all old ones grown wise as crones, and still in love
I proclaim the poetry of the body
    poetry of bodies aflame with desire
    poetry of self-loving masturbation
    poetry of coupling and uncoupling and tripling polyamory
        until the numbers rise past count
    poetry of touching yourself and touching each other
        in loving touch, gentle and tough and desirous
    all the poets of lust and innocence and masturbation
I sing the fulfilling promise of the timeless ecstasy of orgasm
    merging of sperm and saliva and vaginal pomegranate juice
I sing the forever moment
    encapsulated in chemical explosions in nerves and brains and groins
    involuntary spasm twitch of structural muscle and bone
    surge of vibrant juices
    tingles in belly and behind the knees
I sing the ultimate man, the ultimate woman,
    the compleat tumescent naked boy, the uncensored uncensured girl
    the men and women and children who freely exchange their very beings
        trading couplings and loving experiments
        like bees encircling their goddess-queen,
        the eyes of rising sunflowers
I sing all of myself and all of you
    joining in one quivering sexual thrill
    worldwide simultaneous orgasm that never falls off the crest
    exploding forever in lifelove
        (and Shiva dances in the flames:
        the world, the world’s on fire)
    resetting itself to one with every tick of tiniest quantum clock
    always on, even as everything flickers a billion times
        in and out of existence as I sing
I sing the man-woman of many parts and all time
    being and oneness rising from nothing
    decaying into glowing compost of spacetime
    bio-luminescent and strangely attractive
I sing the divine body
    perfect form of the lover
    who waits at top of stairs with glowing eyes
    and dissolves into diamond seawater sparkles at our touch
I sing every moment of absolute sexual fulfillment
    from hugest singing whale to oldest sun-loving lichen
    every million years or so adding a new verse to the eternal song
        a new chorus of voices rising into light
    coming round and round to the chanted refrain
    uncountable voices crying every moment in ecstatic climax release
I sing the music that never dies, that cannot die
    love of men and the love of women
    love of every moment for every location
    mutual masturbation of exploding spacetime
    the big bang, continuously created universal orgasm
I sing the coming and becoming
I sing the one that is every one
I sing the word that is every word
I sing the one song that is every song
I sing the creator seeing itself through the eye of the created
I sing every love-drunken poet who ever lived
    to proclaim the frantic lovemaking
    of one universe endlessly permeating itself
    penetrating and receiving in timeless mutual bliss
I sing every lover, every boy and girl, every girl and boy,
    and every boy and boy, every girl and girl
    and every boy girl boy, every girl boy girl
everyone and everything
I sing that I am you, that I am myself
I sing that I am everything and everything is me
I am singing to you, you are chanting back to me
    words of union and respect
    cadences of desire and sustaining love
    one final chord of resolution in each other’s arms
we sing the dissolving oneness of the divided
    yin melting into yang, yang melting into yin
    oneness that underlies all twoness
    union with the Beloved
we sing the mutual interpenetration of bodies
    and of hearts and minds
we sing each other into being
    coming together, two made into one
I sing you and you sing me
we sing each other into being
    we sing the body physical
    we sing the body mental
    we sing the body emotional
    we sing the body spiritual
    we sing the body erotic
we sing the body electric
we sing the body electric
    the Old Gay Poet, birds nestled with love in his beard,
    was right, was right, was always right
we sing the body electric

This poem was originally written in 1995, as one of the Sutras. It was the first of three poems that I've written, so far, to and for Walt Whitman, icon and poet and grandfather. Published here and now in slightly revised form, summer 2009. (©2009 AP Durkee)

Also in this series:

Ode to Walt Whitman (2008)

Walt Whitman's Summer Wander Across North America (2009)

The Ode to Walt Whitman is also part of a series of Odes I am writing for and about queer poets have mattered to my thinking and writing.

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