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EIGHT WAYS TO INFILTRATE DREAMS OF BATTLES FOR DANCER-VAMPIRES (poem) - Karthika Nair - India - Poetry International

 
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Eight Ways to Infiltrate Dreams of Battles for Dancer-Vampires
For Raghu Karnad
Belly flop to sleep, nose-dive through night till the Kingdom of Eight Dreams.
Summon the spirits of Stoker, Shelley, Pratchett and Rice, then await dreams.
 
Cull songs and myths from ancient cities — Uruk, Magadh, Troy, Gondor.
Stoke them with Simurgh feather, with dragon plaint: illuminate dreams.
 
Cross the Kalahari on the wings of a comet. Botswana
will rise before the sun, burnished by surreal, copperplate dreams.
 
Carry twenty shards of mirror for your tryst with dancer-vampires.
Mirrorless, they’d waltz and whirl into sleet, reduced to wraithe, late dreams.
 
Watch them dance and battle, torque and turn, coil, curve and spin. Undulate.
You would cross the multiverse to ensure they rejuvenate dreams.
 
Beware attacks from shape-shifter critics that feast on numbered words.
Those that love-hate whirling dancer-vampires seek to legislate dreams.
 
Stay and fight, with opium, with delirium, sometimes with rhyme.
Or choose flight, but remember — to keep them alive, celebrate dreams.
 
You will soon need to wake, retreat through a fanged, mutant galaxy.
New moon, eighth month, harvest of stars. Pick an orb to navigate dreams.