part 2: god’s corner
by roopa singh
When I was last in India I trekked solo through city after city. Everywhere I went there were gods on the corner. Men, women, and children brought their hands chest high, palm to palm, paying respects to the urban altars in motion, on foot, rickshaw, and car. Growing up in the 619, corners started to figure into my thoughts when I started passing out condoms and bleach to hoes on corners in El Cajon. I was a 15 year old volunteer at the San Diego AIDS Foundation. Over a decade later I wrote and read poem called “Kinara,” at the 2007 Cyril Family Kwanzaa in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. Kinara means corner in Hindi, and it is also the word for the candleholder used to cradle seven candles for seven days and the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
There is a long tradition of spirituality and sensuality palm to palm in prayer, together. The three part story, “bhajans and boys,” culls from this ancient tradition to sandalwood frame a modern day, concrete coming of age story. It’s like a soap opera, but its not. It’s a blog opera.
Part 1: Prashaad and Giving up the P, posted Monday, opened the door to the Trekannand family. Thursday night bhajans were a staple of my young life. So were boys and relating to this thing called sex.
Part 2: God’s Corner, brings us into the room where prayers were sung and into the extremes of a teenage girl’s self-esteem.
Part 3: Soul’s Sung Clean will be posted this Friday.
Enjoy Part 2. And to the thousand of you clicking on this site per day, thanks for reading.
bhajans and boys: a three (3) part series
part 2: god’s corner
by roopa singh
god on the corner with hoes
god on the corner
shiv ling an exquisite sculpture
a dick rising/sun gliding/up
a yoni spread/moon crying/fuck
shiv ling an exquisite rupture
double toned/poured over
god on the corner with hoes
zoya and her sister soraya knew they were driving me to southeast san diego to meet a dude. but i hadn’t told em that I was going to lose my virginity that night. instead, I spent the long drive bragging from the backseat of their dope jetta about the three boys I had wrapped, and how they all lived on 47th street. .
there was michael, my burger bing blood, who’d quiz me on krs one hits on the drive from his cool hood to my boring hood. “the bridge is over, the bridge is over, brrrbappaah…know who that is?” only answer he got was an eye roll.
tony, the kind eyed one, so sincere about his freak. nzingha told him to come over, meet her new friend. tony came in sporting a chocolate brown leather and a serious intention to lay me down.
and then there was alton. a little slow but sweet. like most of the young men I got down with, his living situation was in flux. alton crashed at his producer’s studio. it was a small, carpeted house, no furniture, mad equipment, and occasionally a mile long pet boa constrictor. alton and I sat knee to knee on two chairs in his empty room and kissed, the boa a background dancer to our love space.
but I still hadn’t lost my virginity. I hadn’t given it up to anyone till I met montrel at the gas station on the four corners of death.
we followed him to a house around the way. I convinced zoya and soraya to leave. they left me. montrel and i entered a house, and went straight downstairs to a den type situation. a sofa, a coffee table. he kissed me back against the sofa. I kept all my clothes on, one shoe, and one pant leg. my underwear, we pushed aside.
he pushed in and I hurt briefly. then the good feeling of it surged. I said it was my first time, not that I cared or thought that it meant anything, I just told him on gp. he chuckled into my ear, disbelieving. montrel pumped and whispered, “you wanna to come don’t you?” I didn’t know what to say. “come where?” I wondered.
he came soon, and the feeling in me subsided, vacated. I was empty. it was done.
it was exactly what I wanted. it was all I could imagine. the most my self-esteem expected.
he left me down there to kick it upstairs with his friends. I stared at his watch on the table. figured it wasn’t worth the jack. made it home and headed to my room. I looked and looked in the mirror. id done it. I didn’t look any different, I mused, face monotone.
I never saw montrel again. his purpose in my life was just that, to help me catch up to Jeanette. now we’d both done it, I thought as we drove past her house on the familiar route to bhajan at prem uncle and sheila anti’s house.
we’d pull up the curb, squeezing a park between cars back to back up and down the quiet suburban street. walk up, add your size 10’s to the shoe swamp, gently push the unlocked front door, and step in eggshell to the slow, spacious beat of tablas.
“deepaks getting better and better.”
mom and I walked respectfully, quietly through the living room, dining room, kitchen area, and stepped down into the trekannand’s new annex.
the god corner was where we faced while we sang. where all the Hindu gods lived, and flowers lived too. prem uncle’s revered father poster sized in the middle, garlanded and framed by gods all around, ferocious and gentle, two dimensional and three, victorious and contemplative, woman and men, cascading from wall to wall. even jesus and sai baba had they spots, tucked like bees amidst the flowers on the altar.
gods corner. that’s where you make your offering of prashaad. you walk there first, socks padding softly on carpet, stepping in rare empty spaces between folded knees of seated devotees,
and as you get closer to the altar, closer to the trekannand’s singing prayers out high and clear, you see him. “theres that one uncle,” I think, “right up front and center as usual, back straight like a sergeant. who does he think he is, so important like that to sit so close to the gods?” even when that uncle came in late, he’d still march up to the front, and expect folks to move to make room for his bossy ass. and they always did.
secretly, I admired his self appointed station before bhagwan. plus, I pitied his wide and daughters, who he always sat in front of, obstructing with his ramrod tall back their view of the gods.
in hand a bowl of peaches and plums, dotted with water droplets, you set them down on the mat at the base of the altar. it was full of bowls like yours, overflowing with natural raw foods and warm cooked dishes to be sang over. prayed over. offered over to the gods, fed back to the devotees.
gods corner. where you give and get taken. where life is stirred and unshaken. I breathe in I am ok. I breathe out and I’ve done it. I am in control facing god in the corner, with hoes.
thanks again for tuning in. stay tuned for more from your favorite political poet.