The Elvis of the Ganges, at his Height (in 1968)
by Gord Sellar
No more chariotside lectures for Krishna. He’s ridin’ high.
Coat scruffed with mantric sequins, pinned by lights
and screeching guitars to the wall, a sort of rock’n’roll insect;
forget rivers and fiery oblation. Forget statues bleeding milk.
He’s done his time in limos, in flower-decked tour buses,
once kept George Harrison awake all night as he drove
from somewhere in Italy all the way to the Western coast of France.
He gets fan letters from teenaged girls, smeared throughout with cheap perfume.
“If you’re not willing to fake it, you know, act a little,” he says,
“then you need to find another line of work. If you can’t
stand a little crappy music and bad breath, you’d better forget it!”
Lately, he’s cutting in on the Devil’s market, swapping record deals for souls.
Worst of all, he hates it. The music is crap, and nobody talks
to him straight anymore. They figure him for a con man. But he’s
never been other than what he is now. His own hair stirs his abhorration.
But what’s he supposed to do? Business is business is business.
It’s the fashion. And he’s damn good at it. If only it weren’t for all
those annoying bald kids making noise in all the bloody airports.
Must do something about that, he resolves… they could give a fellow a bad name.
— 2001 (from The Dänikbharata)
“The Elvis of the Ganges, at his Height (in 1968)” was published (under the title Shivaji”) in Matrix 59, Fall 2001, along with “Shivji”, as “Poems from The Dänikbharata” (for more about which, see below).
The Dänikbharata was a series of poems I worked on in 2000-2001, in which the gods of various historical pantheons turned out, as Erich von Däniken had suggested, to be aliens who had been stranded on Earth. The tale was to focus on the gods who ended up in India, and what they had gone on to do in their long wait for rescue; the epic was to mainly concern the war between the various gods and pantheons when a rescue ship arrived, but only limited seating was available. The project is currently incomplete.
February 2, 2012