Somewhere between Paris Hilton and the Kardashians, Lakshmi swims in an uncanny river of Covergirl and Maybelline. Between the Western Station and O’Hare Airport, Laskshmi pulls eyeliner out of her vintage fanny pack and draws a unicorn between passengers who sleep between the nightmare of the American dream and Disneylandia. Between Lady Gaga and Lady Di, Lakshmi throws stones. Between acts of beauty and acts of courage, Lakshmi winks with her insanely big brown eyes. Between the Gilded Age and the Epic of Gilgamesh, Lakshmi unravels the mystery of junkies and junk food. Between Tablet I and Tablet XII, Lakshmi scribbles a mini epic staring her brothers Ganesha and Karthikeya as lovers reaching their hands out toward each other because they don’t want to waste the life Vishnu gave them. Lakshmi laughs like an idiot because she is not the carefree Jain Goddess of Beauty and Make Believe. Not a coward or schlep born out of frustration and chaos. Not a stone tablet or statue of art. Not a chance.
Between then and now, Lakshmi reasons with seals and pepper-sprays for peace and quiet beneath the aurora borealis and Aurora, Illinois. Between the two poles, Lakshmi raises her mighty magnet hands against the impenetrable night to attract the birth light concealed in the shapes of shadows. Between the Blood of Bashar al-Assad and the Panjwaii District, Lakshmi fails to distinguish saints from sinners. Devas from asuras. Machine gun from washing machine. Indian from Indian.
Lakshmi sings for women to spin their halos around and around and around. She challenges them to sing happy as rain as they pray for the ascension of fossils and fools. She challenges them to unfree themselves from the safety mat of yoga and farmers markets. Between the stun gun and the crowbar, Lakshmi weeps for Rama and Krishna. For quantum physics and quantum love. For the murdered civilians and the servicemen who killed them. For Santa Claus and his army of slaves. For light and for courage. For generosity and for providence. For consorts and avatars.
Between Monday and Friday, Lakshmi weeps for the atoms of sand that layer the desert and for Michael Jackson’s glove. Between the piano and bar, Lakshmi belly dances with a pink elephant and crotchety owl entourage. In her glamorous pink sari, Lakshmi hums oṃ śrīṃ hrīṃ klīṃ tribhuvana mahālakṣmyai asmākam dāridrya nāśaya pracura dhana dehi dehi klīṃ hrīṃ śrīṃ oṃ. Again and again and again. Until flight 1557 lands in a blue hammock.