Friday, August 05, 2005

On Birds Of A Feather; Or, Class on Rasa

Rasa: a Sanskrit word for "taste" — a certain crosscultural phenomena, a consensus, that salmon, for example, when prepared a certain way, is "sabrosura", besides being full of "chaya" (healthful) as opposed to, say, mackeral marinated in gin (hey, it's got juniper berries in it!") and ginger ("works for sushi") and who=needs=salt+or-soy ("After all, it's fish.") Assuming: You eat fish.

We're all flyfishing here. Some, like me, like fishermen, we like to walk around, don't mind being alone, and would prefer to go & risk bugging bears than hurt fish — a bit — along and amidst my fellow lions, although you hardly ever see them, as most, like me, would prefer the view from the solitude of a single rock (hey, this ain't no stadium, and a pitiful arena). But not all.

The term, Rasa, was first used by Sanskrit philosophers (priests, monks, people, x to y) to describe the effect (as opposed to "affect" in form & function) of certain "Passion Plays" — what I have always called, since my militant 14s (the months between "tween" & Twain of 15 in the barrio) — getting off. Or, as Emily Dee, politely and with class, put it — uh, you'll have to research that one yourself to come up with the exact words for it, what it (in this case: good poetry) does to your head. Or, as Carlos strums the strings of the signified within the confines (confinds, confounds) of the signifiers: "It rearranges your molecules on a sub-atomic level."


This morning I decide, or rather, it comes to me, that since I'm no longer teaching poetry workshops, and not by my choice, I'll teach a "Class on Rasa", a grad seminar, Indigenous Philosophy (axiology/aesthetics), under Womens Studies, course cross-listed with English (Creative Writing/Poetry Workshop), Ethnic Studies, Ethnomusicology, Cultural Criticism, Fine Arts . . . . I would like, and, more pertinent (as opposed to impertinent) prefer that, since it is within my academic field. ("Ab... D" in History of Consciousness.) I have always intended to begin work as a philosopher at 50. And, the lesson of Saturn, in the short & long haul, for me, has to do with paper. So, this morning, I worked on a course proposal. It goes with my first prose piece, ever, on Rasquache, Wabe Sabi & Rasa in Chicano Poets Lalo Delgado (25 Pieces of Abelardo), ronnie burk and José Antonio Burciaga. (not my dissertation topic) (at all)

(besides, listening to joni right now, something I wasn't even sure was the right one, a cd I slipped in the case, a song I had never really paid much attention to at all, not one I would have sought out as "the one" or "the latest" fresh out of the egg. Just a cd, not even her best, Misses, and the magic in the moment begins, for me, swept in the nostalgia for the sublime.

who you gonna run to/ when all the dirty work/ is over?

now you tell me"

'who you gonna get
to do the dirty work
when all the slave are free?"

"who in the world
can this heartdealer be . . .?
enter the multitudes"

"the walking wounded
they come to this diver
of the heart of the multitudes"

"enter the multitudes."

"they think his light is squandered"
. . . and I see how far I've wandered"

"enter the multitudes"

you tell me"

"who you gonna get?"

"enter the multitudes"

they think their light is squandered

now you tell me

why ya gonna get?
"Passion Play" by Joni Mitchell, copyright 1986, Reprise
This site protected by PETA: Poets for the Ethical Treatment of Artists
"We Pursue"


"a sinner of some position"


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3/3/06 08:43  
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3/3/06 21:10  
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7/3/06 21:58  

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