Friday, 18 December 2009


cannanore, as was
an amiable amble round northern kerala
gorgeous descent in bus from mananthavady
back into the heat and the even lusher green
we got lost looking for a very big ocean
and woke to a pleasant stroll round fort st angelo,
first portuguese then taken by the dutch at gunpoint
then sold to a local ruler
then grabbed by the English
we're here for theyyam
the keralan possession dance
i used to fake possession on stage, during my crazed self-exorcism AWOL poem
so it will be good to see some pros in action
and now we've seen a theyyam
two in fact
one at the railway temple here
and one an hour away, on the river at sree mutthapam
quite the most ornate gentlemen i've ever laid eyes on
a figure of red
huge intensely intricate headdress
bangles bells bracelets
bodypaint of thin stripes of yellow brown
a strange white fuzzy mustache above and below lips
was he possessed?
i doubt it
was it the real thing?
killer drumming, from arhythmic into rhythm and back again and again and out and in, driving the time forward while he, the eyefixing he, moves slowly in ritual, with a muted self-involved mini-mania

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