Fearless in Lucknow is now available on Kindle, @
Fearless in Lucknow is the story of an intimate meeting with an esteemed guru, in the least personal reality one can imagine. It is also the story of a poet among seekers.
The first day I spent with Papaji, listening, I saw something I’d never seen before. I saw a man, not only speaking to others about the truth of their inherent nature, I saw being speaking to being, not merely someone speaking about being to others. I saw a man speaking to others in the big, open room of a suburban house, in a large urban city, on the other side of the world, sometimes speaking as one person to another, and I saw a new thing I hadn’t seen before, I saw love pouring out toward itself, and I heard the clearest, most direct expression of what is beyond the familiar forms of religion and philosophy – awareness of being itself, and speaking, in and from, that awareness.
“In reading Fearless in Lucknow, I realized that Steve Abhaya is one of the few people I have ever met who truly understands and tries to live the spiritual concepts which he talks about in this profound personal memoir. In fact, I don’t know anyone who has gone as far as he has (consciously) in this direction. He walks the walk. Maybe I just don’t get out enough, but the concepts and ideas/ideals in this memoir are important for people to read – if for no other reason than to at least get a glimpse of ‘the journey.’ Abhaya writes about his particular journey in an unthreatening and unpretentious way – which is also rare for such subject matter and spiritual books in my experience. I think that this little book could go a long way to becoming an American version of “An Autobiography of a Yogi” for this day and age. If nothing else, it will certainly add to the existing literature of the whole East/West canon.
-Thomas Rain Crowe
author/translator of Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved: 100 Poems of Hafiz (Shambhala)
The test is no longer available here.
Taking Care of Gladys was written in ’03-’04, when I was taking care of my mother, during the last year of her life. She was an imposing figure in my life and the lives of my two brothers.
Taking Care of Gladys
Zenwords is a Zenvigorating Zenpendium of Zenguistic Zenfinitions, entirely rewritten in 2008. “Years ago, I wrote 16 definitions that seemed to be true from within the awareness that is called Zen, and a friend said, ‘If you wrote 365, you could make a calendar.’ As someone susceptible to suggestion, after a moment of despairing apprehension, I did, and published the Zencalendar in 2001. Three more batches followed and became the Zenictionary. These koanclusions, or Zenwords, evolved from those earlier works.”
Dear Nadja is autobiographical writing, from 1982, a kind of journalese, that became Borderwalker, seven years later.
“Dear Nadja was written as letters to my sister, Nadja, who doesn’t exist and never did, but when I thought of killing her off, several demanded I not do that. She’s as real as the narrator, who lived another kind of life, a long time ago.”
SWIMMING is a coming of age novelization of autobiographical stories.
“These novels will give way, by and by, to diaries or autobiographies – captivating books, if only a man knew how to choose from among what he calls his experiences that which is really his experience, and how to record truth truly.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“Since my past is a familiar life story, like a novel, it seems more true to tell my story as a novelistic autobiography rather than an autobiographical novel. Nathan Axene and I share identical histories, but we are not the same. His life is in this book. Mine is in this moment. You could say that this is a personal true story, or you could say it’s fiction, and both are true. By telling my life story as if it’s about someone else, I can tell both kinds of truth, the literal and the literary, the true story of Nathan Axene, my friend, the predecessor of who I appear to be.”
Altered Egos is a collection of mostly or partly fictional stories of the famous and infamous in history, with an added section of stories about contemporary figures.
“After floating for two days on the open sea, kept afloat by parts of her own demolished airplane, Amelia Earhart washed up on an island, where she was rescued by island natives, who had never heard of her and took her to be a blessing from the gods. They thought she was a visitor from an unidentified flying object they’d seen, days before, when it flew low and fast over their heads like a winged canoe in the sky.
Amelia herself finally accepted the role she denied at first, and became the most famous aviator in the world, Amelia From the Heart of the Air, She Who Crossed The Sky in a Winged Canoe.”
Altered Egos Contents
I Spilled Coffee on the Buddha is a collection of poems written in ’91. Each poem is accompanied by a drawing related to the story line in the poem.
“I reached for my coffee, and in a broken moment, I spilled coffee on the Buddha. Without innocence and without guilt, my fingers knocked against the lip of the cup. I looked up, horrified, my devil of a heart was laughing, and the Buddha was gone. In his place, in the doorway, was a family of hungry patrons, entering the ordinary cafe.”
I Spilled Coffee on the Buddha (text)
These surreal transliterations, Let Me Burn are influenced by the poetry of Andre Breton, Arthur Rimbaud, and Federico Garcia Lorca. I’m not fluent in French or Spanish, so these transliterations are original, to a degree impossible to determine. Let Me Burn was written in the early 70s.
“The words of a poet who travelled the roots of the heart and captured the word, sometimes by force, and other times, it was given him by the hidden muse.” Ankido (Sami Farhat)
Let Me Burn
This collection of poems, The Dancer in the Heart, culled from the previous thirty years, with paintings, was published by Laura Beausoleil, under her imprint, Philos Press, in 2001.
“There is something remarkable in these poems. I especially liked The Eternal Ruse and Sweetheart.” Robert Bly
The Dancer in the Heart
Art from The Dancer in the Heart:
The Queen of the Rhumba is a collection of poems written in San Francisco in the late 70s.
“Still, she says she’s tired of poetry,
and wants, expects, more for me.
More? More than poetry?”
The Queen of the Rhumba