From the last canto of Kamal, Book One…
I promise you, Kamal, that I will give
you all I have – and love – so you may live.
And that by telling your story (and telling it well)
I will against obscurity rebel.
For I’ve been desperate to be heard! I’ve feared
not that my dreamed-of epic would be jeered
at by the critics – no! But rather Kamal
would never have a listener!
(Then Sheela came, as you’ll recall,
and that is what I couldn’t resist in her:
Her audience – addressing all
those ears!). One thing it is to write,
to ﬁnish a great work, but quite
another to ensure the work is read
and understood before its author’s dead.
I’ve promised to tell you, reader, the story of Kamal, one of the great stories of modern American literature. I introduced the story the day before yesterday — with “Be Clear My Throat!”.
To my readers — “rebellion big in spine and mind”
…I must first acknowledge, before I go further
— not books from my college, Poe’s Raven, or Werther,
or mentors, or teachers, their kindly reviews,
or even (though O! How I’ll need her!) my Muse —
but readers! Dear readers! So faithful…and few!
You’ve given to me; now I give to you:
To Mary and Brian — exemplars of loyalty
(change “readers” to “leaders,” “loyal” to “royalty”);
Across the tumultuous Tasman, yonder,
there’s Lowe and Helen, Pearce and Ponder,
Penelope, Raymond, Claire and Bell;
there’s Harvey and Welsh, Janis, Michelle.
And here in Australia, Compton and Penny,
Marsha and David (I’ve missed some? Or many?),
oh yes, there’s Gemma — but why this insistence
on listing by regions, or countries, or distance?
There’s Claudia, Great Griff and Green,
antipodal Jones — from Tim to Kathleen,
and Becky Kilsby (from the UAE!)
Susan, Chazzy, a reader named Tree,
musicians and poets, and some who write prose,
Ms. Funster, Ms. Punster, and Karin’s large Nose;
Shawna, Rallentanda, Brendan, Glenn,
Aaron, Belinda, Ginny and Zen,
Marilyn, Venessa, Martin, Colette
— poetry, forsooth! — Sarah Barnett,
Mohana and Anna, and Garden Lily,
and Kling and King, and someone named Chili;
and Leary and Hedgewitch and Semaphore
and Zongrik and Orchid and several more
with lovely names, like “Daydream,” “Tashtoo.”
And if, my reader, I’ve left out you,
I’m surely to blame. An innocent lapse.
Or — you haven’t yet registered, perhaps?
To all of you, I thank you all!
My following — it may be small
but it is big in spine and mind.
We’re bound together, fates entwined,
and we must grow together, too!
Help spread Kamal to minds anew.
We don’t need Tinkerbell’s ovation,
but rather, a simple recommendation
to a friend — to stir my story’s heart.
Just three more followers before we start…
See the complete index of episodes from Kamal, Book One