If you love, adore the moon. If you rob, steal a camel.

Stories for the Long Silk Road

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Anuradha Bhattacharyya: Night Bus

I was on my way to Jaipur by bus from Delhi after the Diwali break. I was very tired after the train journey from Shiliguri. My home town is Gangtok. My grandparents had moved in there for business purposes and we have lived there ever since. Otherwise I am from Jabbalpur, Bihar. Some of my relatives live there. I have often visited them but lately, after I took admission in the Regional College of Engineering at Jaipur, all my pleasure trips have been curtailed for this long, tiring journey twice in a year from Gangtok to Jaipur, cutting right across the entire country longitudinally. Someday I hope I will see Kashmir and go straight down to Kanyakumari as well just to check it out. I hope that trip would be pleasurable.

I want to tell you about one lovely but mind boggling conversation I had on this bus from Delhi to Jaipur. It was half past eleven at night when I boarded it and I knew that the bus would reach its destination about six hours later. I wanted a nap and prayed for a peaceful ride. But I had this unexpected little companion befooling me and spoiling my rest. As I boarded the bus and looked for my seat I saw a young girl wearing blue jeans and a yellow T-shirt and a golden jacket was casually slipped in. She had no companion in the seat next to her. I said to her,

Err, is this seat vacant?
What’s your number?
This is it.
Voila, at last!
How far will you go?
To Jaipur. I am coming from Gangtok. Straight.
And you?
You’ll go to Jaipur?
When do we reach the midway restaurant?
At one-thirty, Behror.
Two hours. I’m so tired. Traveling by train. Awful. This is my second trip. I’ve yet to get used to it.
What do you do in Jaipur?
I’m studying in MREC. You know?
Yes, Engineering College. So you’ve come from Gangtok?
Yes. All the way. It’s so tiring.
Could you please keep your leg away from me?
Oh sorry, I’m tall.
How much?
Five, nine.
I see. So this is the end of your vacation? How many days did you have? Fifteen. From now trapped again for six months. Where do you study in Jaipur?
You stay in the hostel?
Do you like it?
Yes, it’s fun.
How’s the food?
Hmm, go-od, sometimes we cook by ourselves at night. That’s fun.
The man behind you…
The one sitting behind you…
With large round eyes. Is he drunk?
I don’t know. I haven’t seen him.
He got in after you. He’s leaning on my seat.
Yours? O is he disturbing you?
Aye, that’s why I can’t lean back. When I turned round he was watching me with bulging eyes.


Are you sleepy?
You were tired.
No I slept in the train.
I know somebody in MREC.
In which department?
He has joined recently.
A student?
No, a lecturer. Which is your department?
Then you won’t know him.
Why, we know almost every teacher. What is he in?
But he is very new. In Metallurgy.
So you’re going to him?
No, no. Ya, well, I might see him too.
Where do you stay in Jaipur?
In the hostel.
O you too? Where is your home?
From Dehradun to Jaipur? Why?
Just like that. What do you cook in the hostel?
Noodles, porridge, soybeans… On Sundays they give us meat at lunch; then we have to get our own dinner.
I see.
Do you have special meals a week? We have Sunday special and dinner off.
We get four meals everyday.
So you don’t have to cook for yourself. What’s the name of your hostel?
I won’t tell you.
Why? What’s your name?
I won’t tell you.
That’s strange. I …
Sometimes the girls cook tomato curry. Eggs. Do you like cooking?
Not much. Why, don’t you?
I don’t think I do.
No? But you’ll have to, one day.
I’ll never cook. The girls do it. They give me a share, that’s all.
But you’ll have to cook when you’re married.
O, I’ll marry someone who’ll do the cooking.
laughs What’s your mother tongue?
Why? Don’t I speak Hindi well?
No, yes. Okay, do you have caste barriers?
No, not much.
We have a bit.
What’s your name?
Prasad. But I am the youngest son and all my brothers are married. I have four brothers. We are a joint family. One of them is in Delhi… Maybe in my case it won’t be a problem.
Are you in love?
Ha? … You are!
Ya… smiles
And she is in your college?
No, in Gangtok.
What is she doing?
I think she’ll finish her school this year.
You THINK !?
She is a neighbour. I have not talked to her.
How old is she?
Twenty, I think.
TWENTY ! Then she must be in college!
No, … actually she’s not… good…
Maybe she has … somebody else …
She … sometimes goes out with friends.
Have you seen her with a guy?
No one in particular. She looks at me. We smile.
Then go and talk to her!
Every time I think of telling her I have doubts about her reaction.
Why, be bold!
Have you told anyone?
Has she any close friends you can talk to?
She comes to my house sometimes. But I don’t get a chance to talk to her. She talks to my sister-in-law.
Can’t you tell your sister-in-law? How old is she?
Yes, I’m very close to my youngest sister-in-law. But I don’t know how to say it.
But if you love her, you must do something. Otherwise it’ll be useless.
Maybe next time I’ll try.
My boyfriend told me quite frankly.
The man behind is snoring. I’m feeling cold. Are you sleepy? How much time is left to reach Behror?
I can’t see the watch.
I’ll try to see my watch by the street lights.
Well, where is he now?
Who? My boyfriend? He’s in Delhi. Like you, doing M.E. in Electronics Engineering. You are in M.E., aren’t you?
Yes and you?
I’m doing my graduation in Economics. We haven’t met for a year now. In the summer vacations I saw him from a distance, we smiled; that was all. I hoped to see him this time. But no.
But you are sure?
O sure. Very sure. I know he loves me. Distance doesn’t matter. Now we are studying.
Doesn’t he come to meet you?
To Jaipur, or Delhi when you change buses there.
I don’t change buses and we pass Delhi at midnight. It was eleven thirty when you took it.
So you keep contact only on the phone?
No. We meet on vacations, I told you!
What’s the name of your hostel?
Have you been sightseeing round Jaipur, Rajasthan?
Not Rajasthan, but we went round places within Jaipur like Amber Fort, Kanak Ghati… and you?
I’ve seen Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal out of curiosity. There’s something romantic about them but too many tourists make them appear to be market places.
Did you feel bad?
Not bad, but something to prevent me from going there again.
But you’ll be here for a long time. This is your first year?
No second.
And which college?
No point asking me.
You won’t tell me?
I feel since we are both in Jaipur for some time we could become friends.
No point.
Girls don’t like to tell about their whereabouts to strangers. Why so?
No, nothing like that.
There now we have reached Behror. I think I’ll go down to smoke and have coffee. Coming?
And come back and sit with me!?
Why? You don’t like it?
It’s not a question of liking it. I can’t bear smoke!
You can have your coffee.
I think I will.
And I’ll sleep.

When I returned after not smoking, she was sleeping. If I am allowed to make a hunch, she was probably not sleeping. She was merely pretending to be sleeping so that I don’t talk to her any more. I raised my knees and jammed them against the seat in front of me and closed my eyes. I must have fallen heavily asleep since when I heard her speak I had no notion of how much time had passed. Not only that, it was dawn and the landscape outside the window was amazingly beautiful, although we were inside the city. She said,

Here’s Jaipur bus stand. Look at that man!
Gone. Funny looking.
Did you sleep well?
Fine and you?
So, so. Didn’t have any trouble from behind, I hope?
He’s half dead in sleep. It was good we talked.
I think I’ll find out your address.
I don’t think I will recognize you if I see you again.
You know what, I haven’t seen your face as yet. It’s been dark all the way and we have been sitting side by side, haven’t we?
See now, I’ve seen yours.
Even you won’t recognize me in a different surrounding.
I bet I will.
If you please.
But you won’t?

After this I dared not ask for her phone number.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Donal Mahoney: Hubert Might Go Upstairs But Not To Rome

Tea in the afternoon with his wife of many years is usually peaceful, Hubert thinks before he makes his announcement. Then he says it. 

"I'm going upstairs," Hubert tells Ruth as he hoists himself out of his old recliner, "and if I don't ever come back down it's because you want to fly to Rome before we die so we can meet Pope Francis. Fat chance of that happening! You think the pope takes walks in St. Peter's Square?"

"Well, why shouldn't we go," Ruth says. "We may be old but we're still healthy and seeing Rome might be nice. Pope Francis seems like a pretty nice guy."

"Getting old is bad enough," Hubert says, "but why complicate matters with a trip to Rome? We'd have to pull out visas and passports and we'd have TSA agents--total strangers--patting us down in nooks reserved for a doctor or spouse. Besides, Pope Francis might be busy."

"Well, I'd still like to go," Ruth mumbles, none too happy with her husband's lack of enthusiasm. "If I wanted to go to Minnesota and fish for northern pike, you'd be packed, sitting in the car and gunning the motor. Why not do something interesting while we still have time? We'll be dead long enough."

Hubert suddenly has another idea, one he hopes Ruth will buy into. 

"Why not let me die first and then you and the ladies from the garden club can go to Rome on that certificate of deposit we let sit in the bank all these years, the one I should have cashed in and invested in that electric car company, Tesla. 

"That CD is big enough to take you and five ladies to Rome and back home again. They'd probably like to see Pope Francis as well. Fat chance of that. Unless you want to stand with thousands of others on a Wednesday morning when he speaks from the balcony. Better take binoculars."

Hubert is on a roll now, explaining to Ruth that she and the ladies will have a great time touring gothic churches and eating the finest pasta in the world once he's in the ground looking up but unable to see the sky. 

"Once I'm dead, Ruth, you won't have to worry about me being grumpy on the trip. I'll be in the family graveyard stretched out between your Uncle Elmer and your Uncle Vince. Right now those two fine farmers are staring at the sky and bookending the plot your father allotted to me once the poor man realized I was actually going to be his son-in-law."

When Hubert first met Ruth's father many decades ago--fresh off the plane from Chicago, in a suit and tie no less--her father had bounced Hubert over many a country road to show him the plot in the family graveyard reserved in case Ruth married someone eventually. She hadn't married young because as a professional photographer working for National Geographic she had traveled all over the world and preferred taking photos to marrying any of the men she had met. Then she met Hubert in Chicago and decided to settle down. 

Taking Hubert home to meet her extended family of farmers, however, had not been easy for either of them. And not easy for her family either. They had hoped Ruth would marry one day, preferably a farmer with lots of acreage, not some editor from a big city and certainly not someone like Hubert who couldn't tell a Holstein cow from a Guernsey.

No matter how much Ruth talked about the delights of a trip to Rome, Hubert still didn't have much interest in going, with or without the rare possibility of meeting Pope Francis. 

Hubert liked Pope Francis because the media kept hoping the pope would change some things in the Catholic Church but the things the media hoped he would change no pope could ever change. It would be like saying the color red is blue which can never be true. 

Pope Francis, Hubert knew, was an old Jesuit, theologically sound and skilled in  handling the media. What's more he had the capacity to rile both conservative and liberal Catholics at the same time. And it was always interesting to see him pop up on the nightly news. Anchors not too well acquainted with matters Catholic would sometimes offer commentary far off the mark. 

"Ruth, you and I are the only family left, except for the kids and they're doing fine working in the big city, several big cities, in fact, as your father would have called them.  And although the grim reaper isn't waving his scythe and ringing our doorbell yet, I still think you should let me die first and then you and the garden gals can go to Rome. When you get back you can plant sunflowers around my headstone to give the squirrels something to gnaw on in the many hot summers to come."

"Well," Ruth said, "if you had a terminal disease, I might not mind the wait. Why don't we go out for dinner now and we can talk about all this later. I'm hungry."

"Okay," Hubert said, "but I hear the pike are hitting the lures pretty hard up in Minnesota. And I think there's a new bishop in charge. We could go to the cathedral for Mass. Maybe you and the new bishop could have a chat. Some day he might become pope. One of these days an American has to get that job. Can you imagine listening to the News at 10 when that happens."

Ruth agreed to go to a Thai restaurant that evening, a place she had never gone to in the past. It was a tiny place where immigrants from Thailand liked to eat. She knew the food would be too spicy for her but that Hubert would love it. 

Eating Thai food was the start of her new campaign to win Hubert over to making that trip to Rome--following a fishing trip to Minnesota, of course. Ruth planned on asking that new bishop to drop a note to Pope Francis to let him know she and Hubert would be coming to visit. She thought it was only right to give him time to adjust his schedule. She was planning on giving him a big batch of her fudge--and a small batch to Hubert to eat on the plane.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Perry L. Powell: Collateral

You are a drone outside my window.   I am hiding, crouched down in the bath tub with the shower curtain closed.  You are buzzing like an angry bee.  I piss my pants.  The liquid is cold under my seat and I shiver and bite my teeth.  You slam into the glass panes and I am sure they  will shatter from the impact.  Or maybe you will fire hellfire missiles. And I don’t know who sent you; I don’t know why you are here or what I have done...  Why me?  I am a civilized man, a gentle person.  I have never hurt anyone.  My shadow is on the curtain.  Somehow it seems a reproach.  Finally I decide I have to confront you.  I part the curtain and step over the side of the tub.  I am ready to be brave.

Suddenly, there is a loud noise, as if heaven itself were breaking apart.  You have exploded for no reason.  The light warms the window panes.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Andy Smart: Washing in Bad Water

When I lived in Belle Plaine, Wisconsin, I used to fish with my neighbor Jerry Bilinski. He was the son of a dairy farmer, and he was the only guy with enough patience to fish with me, a greenhorn from Madison. Most of the time I talked while Jerry hauled in pike. He baited hooks with one hand, held an Old Milwaukee in the other, and listened to everything I said. I told him all about myself: I took a job at Clintonville High School teaching English, both of my parents were teachers, I had a girlfriend at UW, and I had never been to Lambeau Field. And, until I met Jerry, I had never been fishing, which I told him the first time we went.

“No shit, not once?” Jerry said.

“Nope. Never. Dad isn’t into it.” 

“Never? Damn. I mean, nothing against your dad, but damn. My dad loved to fish, after he sold the farm and moved to Appleton. He’s been dead a long time, though. You really never went?” 

I laughed. The thought of my father and me trying to wrestle a musky into a boat was ludicrous. First, we’d have to fight over which of us would touch the fish, and eventually we’d cut the line and say we didn’t get a bite all day. But I didn’t tell Jerry that. 

“No, Dad’s more of a golfer,” I said. 

“Oh. Well that’s all right. You go golfing with him, and you can go fishing with me.” Jerry turned the boat toward the dock. It was late afternoon, and the sun was the same color on the lake as it was in the sky. When we got home, it was dark.

“Thanks, Jerry, this was a good day,” I said. I climbed out of the truck and shut the door. 

“Yeah, it was fun. We’ll do it again. Night.” Jerry turned around in my driveway and rolled across the street. I watched him unhitch the boat and back the truck into the garage before I went inside.

We fished together as often as we could, until it got too cold for me. One day, Jerry came over and knocked on the door while I was grading papers.

“Hey there,” he said. “Gonna take the boat out for a while. You, wanna come?” He fidgeted with the zipper of his coat. “I got a spare hunting jacket you can wear.” 

It was frigid outside. I watched Jerry tie a leader on, without gloves, like it was nothing. Everything I saw Jerry do looked effortless, like it was just Jerry doing what he was supposed to, by some law of nature.

“My mom’s got cancer,” Jerry said. “She called me this morning.” It was strange to hear him talk so candidly. He told me his mom had been sick for months, but hadn’t wanted to tell him. “She didn’t want me to worry. You believe that shit?” Jerry looked out at the lake. Everything was still, except the gentle rocking of the boat. I knew I should say something.  

“Jesus, Jerry, I’m sorry.” I said. “How bad is it?” Jerry laid his rod down. 

“She’s going to have to come live with me,” he said. “She can’t stay by herself anymore. And I don’t want to leave here.” Jerry didn’t tell me that his mom had Stage 4 rectal cancer, or that she sometimes bled back there. But he told me she was in a wheelchair now, and he would have to take her into Green Bay for chemotherapy. 

Jerry’s mom moved to Belle Plaine around Christmas. I watched Jerry help her out of the truck. She was decently hearty looking, like a Wisconsin farm wife. She didn’t look sick. Until she got into her wheelchair, I thought maybe there had been some mistake. Maybe Jerry’s mom was going to be okay. Jerry washed his mom’s wheelchair, a couple times a month, out in his driveway. He rolled it out, locked the brakes, and cleaned it with a green chamois and a bucket of soapy water. He dried it off with a pink bath towel, sprayed the seat with Windex, and rolled the chair back inside. 

Everyone on Adams Beach Road saw him, at some point, cleaning his mom’s chair. It wasn’t voyeurism, we just couldn’t help it. We had to look. The old women of Belle Plaine knew they might be like Jerry’s mom soon. When they saw Jerry, they saw their own sons, and it frightened them. When Jerry waved from his yard, the old ladies only half waved back before they turned away and drew the blinds. The only thing they resented more than Jerry’s dying mother was Jerry.  His devotion made the old women wonder if their children would do the same for them.

I cared about Jerry, so I watched, like I’d watch him catch a forty pound musky, when he washed that chair. Something about the way he scrubbed, especially once he started washing it twice a week, told me he loved his mom. I knew, from watching Jerry work, that he would wash the chair for a hundred years, if God would give it to him. I also knew his mom’s cancer was getting worse. But I didn’t know about her fistulae, or what Jerry was up to his elbows in. All I knew was what I saw. 

I saw Jerry in the yard one Tuesday. Since I hadn’t talked to him in a while, I walked over.

“Hey Jerry,” I said. “How’s your mom? You guys hear anything new from the doctors?” 

“Oh, hey,” Jerry said, looking up from the chair. “Hey, you don’t want to get too close. It’s not just soapy water over here.” 

I stopped and waited for him to say something else. Eventually, he stood up and looked at me. 

“It’s all under control over here,” he said. “Thanks.” Jerry looked back toward the house. “I got to get back inside.” He turned and started to roll up the garden hose.

“Here, let me give you a hand with this stuff,” I said. I bent down and reached for the chamois.

“I got it,” Jerry said. He dropped the hose and snatched the chamois. “I got it,” he said again.  “I’ll see you around.”  

I never walked across the street again. I wanted to avoid waking Jerry’s mom, or interrupting what free time Jerry had. All of us kept our distance. And, for his part, Jerry kept to himself. He knew the sight of his mom’s chair, and what her body leaked onto it, was off-putting. Some of the neighbors had tried, right after his mom came home, to ask Jerry about her condition. Maybe it was out of respect for his mom’s privacy, or out of fear, or maybe he just got sick of us, but Jerry wanted us all to back off. His waves turned into stiff-armed instructions to stay away. He even stopped shopping at the Clintonville Wal-Mart. Tom McNeil said he’d seen Jerry at a Costco in Shawano, with a cart full of bleach and bed sheets. 

“When he saw me he ducked down the beer aisle,” Tom said. “I guess he don’t want to talk.” Without Jerry none of us could know what went on in his house. But we speculated.

“His mom doesn’t wear pants anymore,” Tom said. “She sits in her chair with a sheet over her legs, but she hasn’t worn pants since she’s been home.”  Someone else said that the whole house smelled “like piss and 409,” and that “Jerry ought to send his mom off to a home.” I thought Jerry was doing his damnedest to make a bad situation better. His mom was going to die. Jerry knew it, I knew it, and the rest of the town knew it. But Jerry, the toughest farm boy in Belle Plaine, wasn’t going to let the inevitable get in his way. If I could have sat in the boat with him, I would have told Jerry exactly that: that he was tougher, more sincere, and more patient than me. I would have told Jerry he was better than me. 

But I didn’t tell Jerry that. I was afraid. We had all become terrified of Jerry, his house, and especially his mom and her wheelchair. For us, the presumptively healthy, Jerry’s mom’s chair was everything we didn’t want. It was cancer, old age, dependence. And, in some backwards way, we were afraid those things were contagious. Her wheelchair was death, and Jerry was out there, battling against it, trying to clean it, to keep it serviceable. So we kept away. We whispered to each other over beers or through screen doors, hoping somehow our conjectures might convey our sentiments to Jerry. But none of us spoke to him. 

By July, Jerry was out there twice a day, in old tennis shoes and a hospital gown, with the chair flipped face down in the street. He doused it with Clorox, sprayed the underneath, around the outside, and then dried it off. The natural grace of Jerry’s movements was gone. He had been working against the chair, and against time, for months. But now he looked like it. There was an almost resentful hitch in his stride as he wheeled the chair back into the house. 

“He’s got to be about sick of it by now,” Tom said. He and I were in the back yard, having beers over the fence.

“It’s hard, that’s for sure. But we’d all do the same thing for our moms,” I said. But would we? I wanted to believe it, but I couldn’t be sure. All I knew, all any of us knew, was that Jerry washed his mom’s wheelchair, and whatever else he washed, as often as he had to. He had cut himself off from us, and we, for our mixture of motives, had let him. All we could do for Jerry was hope his mother’s dying didn’t kill him too. 

Jerry’s mom died right before Labor Day. After the funeral, Jerry went fishing. I wanted to go with him, to apologize, for all of us, for not trying harder. I wanted to tell him I cried for his mom. I wanted to tell Jerry Bilinksi he was my friend. But I didn’t. I watched his truck turn onto the service road and out of sight. When he came back, Jerry washed his boat with the same green chamois, the same garden hose, and the same pink towel. He did it every Saturday, until I moved back to Madison. Maybe he still does.   

Friday, April 4, 2014

John Pursch: 7x24x365

She’s young, beautifully innocent, a loving mother of two wonderful kids, and like all of her closest friends, she is a serial killer. These days she murders without even thinking about it. Glass of water, swallow, off to work, home on time, fixing dinner, household chores, a little propaganda, into negligee seduction wrestling husband over the side and off to dreaming. 

Lucidity uncovers the occasional thread of ripened returning consciousness, lured to her frenetic coupling thighs, conceived in this century, hoping for rebirth, but maybe too aware by now of snuffed candelabra syndrome’s symphonic flow of laminar smoke, shunting weary seekers back to holding patterns of elusive red light lookalike conquests, yearning to be held again beyond myopic ritual drain to earthen cesspool tankard nozzle runoff spew of sad mitosis loop.

Myriad unending streams of addled semblances recede, regroup, and storm again, lunging in attempted fusion, without options, focusing on yet another lovely womb, far beyond return to clarity’s simple sanctuary, nodding into diving mode, ascending tubal inner pilot realm, conceptual until conceiving, pleated seams of syphoned identity in merging unanimity, now satiated with the coupling hosts and hoping once again for tensile strength against perennially sloughing walls, to fall in silent agony of multicellular opulence to fetid sacrificial lumber yard of pre-bone staggered homicide’s unconscious motive-free resistance. 

To try again in logjam splendor, crash against a billion seawalls of coupling catastrophic thighs, from early morning sleepless drift to nooners quickening the heat of languid weekend wastage wooed to dinner-movie-orgy clubhouse cataracts of lusty selfish pleasure grafts in quaffs and cackling swallows, across the cratered divide of urban moonscape sapience.

Of course, she cannot kill alone. Her accomplice is equally ignorant and even more responsible for their murderous routine. Worldwide, the death toll racked up by couples like these is far beyond counting, even the estimates are shockingly difficult to compute, let alone fathom; probably in the billions per year, accelerating annually. The guilt is impossible to avoid; we are all involved. Blood is everywhere, the world is softly crying, above and below ground, charnel and carnal. Even those wise enough to stand aside are hip-deep in flowing organs, dismembered torsos, winking heads, clotted ears, matted hair, the detritus of limbs and lost dreams. 

Wars rage on around the globe, waged by millions lucky enough to survive conception’s cutoff, grown to train for weaponized employment’s customary murder role of supported soldier; but these acknowledged killing seas are miniscule specks of blood dwarfed by the flood of casually redirected freshly conceived seekers. The backup in the bardo exceeds imagination, threads are stacked in endless loops of nested consciousness, confused beyond measure. And yet, inertia continues unabated, tidal wash of recombined awareness swimming through the blackness in between to sprawling rows of softly glowing couples going at it ‘round the clock, in hopes of breaking through to rebirth’s gasping breastwork chasm of brutish loutish escapade as newborn human being.

Strangely enough, she is simply a tool, a vehicle for mass murder, backed into a corner and raped by her husband, her lover, confidante, friend, father, random stranger, men everywhere. She is habitually objectified and reduced to a rack of bones, a pleasure platform. She and her sisters are being gangbanged around the clock, 7x24x365, strong-armed into submission, duped and forced to kill their freshly conceived children in the most physically streamlined, painless, and silently insidious way imaginable. If she attempts to object, to shun the daily swallow, she is marginalized at best, tortured and mutilated more often than not. She has virtually no say in her society, no escape from her role. 

Somehow she staggered through the killing wheel only to be reborn as an anonymous spoke, her feet cemented in the bloody hub, her head spun faster and faster, churning centrifugal insanity wrecking her mind, reducing her to a pill-popping sex machine, a slave with no way out but sweetly deferred death. So she closes her eyes to get by as they mount her and demonize her and sodomize themselves, driven by the nut. 

Amid this admittedly stupefying carnage, billions manage to swim through to new embodied birth. Of these, a handful somehow recall or learn or realize a way to sidle off the cluttered highway, to step aside and sit quietly in the empty meadows, forests, and splendid pristine sanctuaries that still remain on this vast, albeit plundered, planet. There they quickly come to see the opportunity that life and death open to the clear light’s omnipresent love and salvation, even while the billions salivate and tear each other to pieces with their hands and teeth.

Silk Road Mantra

by Suchoon Mo

bury me not

in the lone Silk Road

I go and go

from west to east

I go and go

from east to west

bury me not

in the lone Silk Road


As of June 25, 2015, The Bactrian Room is closed to submissions.


Search This Blog

Notice of Copyrights

Original material on this site is copyrighted by the authors and artists. No material may be copied or reused without the permission of the respective author or artist.