The rhythmic tones of this Buddhist chant had stuck in my throat, the varying pitch of repetitious syllables jumping in a melodious intonation. The sluggish hours of daylight ripe with the stench of decaying flesh, the raven seeking the dried bloody trail of a dead vermin. Swinging back and forth on the wooden plank, my legs oscillating to the ticking of the pendulum stuck within the clock halt at the screeching of a black kite flapping towards a mealy blind pigeon cooped next to me. The hostility of the sparrows and the spring mynahs for nesting beneath the iron bars erupted in a wild frenzy knocking down couple birds. Such misfortune! Such cruel fate! The cloudy white eyeball of the pigeon resting on the wooden swing hark back the white albino finch drowned in its own blindness perched within the stoic pages of Nakagami’s tome indifferent to its fragility , praying for something. Calling the “gentle giant” to strangle its dainty neck, crushing the life out with the burly hands, a sort of euthanasia to liberate the bird from its desolation. “ Kill me! I wanna die!”, the pigeon screaming through its frequent cooing, the shiny raven now perched on my balcony , a call of an avian euthanasia. Was it all a dream? Or was it real? The teachings of Amida, the chants of Lotus Sutra humming in cavernous gullet reciting profound scriptures swirling within the saga of an disorderly Kumano man.
Why am I walking through these mountains without proper preparations and provisions ? What is it that drives me on? The mirage of his dead brother seeping through the festering wounds of arrows pierced in the legs of a worn-out man uncertain of the guilt hovering over twin parallels of life and death. The salvation of death and the burden of life interchanging places within human spirituality amid the transference of suffering and pain rapt with a tortuous past , the memory of the blind finch collapsing with the breathing injured chick nestled in an half open egg. The philosophy of Kamo no Chōmei echoing the lessons of Hossinshu through the passage of the wind and the light, a falconer crumbles down with remorse seeking deliverance for the immaculate life squirming within the torn womb. The message of a violent sin eluding the fulfilment of salvation. The mountain ascetic is swallowed by the enigmatic mountainous Nakagami reconciling with his misfortune and unmanageable delinquent past, tiresomely experiencing hallucinatory haunting.
Deformity and death were there, in those birdcages………Ignorance and idiocy were also there, in that simple, natural world in which the chicks lives and died. Hundred budgerigars released, hundred birds eerily skirmishing in the egg-filled nest boxes, cannibalistic overtures brooding the hatchlings, little girls with painted nails, the peachy petals of the makeup flowers crushed within the palms, the coloured lacquer staring in the shadow of abnormality. Makeup made woman do strange things. The Kumano man contemplated, twitching to the fact that make-up less faces cultivates the nastiest cruelty inside him.
Is she really a snake?”, he asked himself. The pent up rage ascending in his robust physicality, the decorum of the flower arrangement marred with the delusional fig tree, the envy of a mother stemming from the womb nurturing the cryptic deceit of marital abuse and adultery and the naked body of the delinquent son being devoured by the muffled snakelust flourished in the deafening voices of a unforgiving discomfiture of a ghetto. The absolute powerlessness of man kneeling before the vicious covetousness of female sexuality. The blood of the ladies-in-waiting surging beneath the raining leeches, the appendages of the noble cortege soaked in the vicious metallic fluid gushing through a soul brimming with sadness. The immense lust for the Princess piercing through the penis of a man beneath her rank ,his trepidations poised between brutality and the peacefulness of lingering silence. Who wants a new head dress? The bandit howls as he whirls a pair of white legs in the crimson waterfall. The idea of “happily ever after” a farce looming within the confines of a fairytale, the mêlée between love and lust wrecked like the neck of the Kannon statute. Is the passion of lust a dragon rising from the stagnant swamp of love, gobbling hideous reality threatening the beautification of an illusionary heroic bliss? Praise be to Kannon for her mercy……. tears of the Goddess of Mercy caught in the melancholic tale of a demon.
You, my bride vent your lust on me, who for so long pined for love in the cold back earth…. The fragility of human body hanging between shamanistic lust of the dead rotting within her body and the goading cruelty of breathing love, the overpowering sexual power, salvation echoing her obsessions. He fucked her again and again; she loved sex, the moans louder with every thrust buried in the blindness of love sweeping the purity of snow along with the silence of realism resounding in the chaotic parable in an erotically mystical Gravity’s Capital. The faceless ravishing lust reincarnated through a blindness of a mature realistic love.
The world of frail, restive souls fated to the tumultuous irrepressible circumstances of rape, domestic abuse, adultery, sadistic experiences, the ignominy endured by the working class populace, wounded personalities suspended in the chimerical happy endings slumbering through the ghettos, the burakumin, societal outcasts gaping through the contemporary window interconnecting mythical motifs with the absolution of spirituality culminating within the artistic canvass of Kenji Nakagami’s enthralling chronicled anthology. The raven patiently awaits the call of pigeon; the bird quietly perched on the swing, the vermin carcass now hanging from the tree top, I read to the delicate scent of the evening sun.
The sound of myriad cicadas swirls and echoes through the woods. You wonder. An image unfurls in your mind. A nameless monk lies dead in the hills- a heap of decaying bones and rotten flesh, his tongue still wriggling in his skull, repeating the holy scriptures. “Namu-myohorenge- kyo, namu-myohorenge- kyo…..”