Sample poems from Vijay R. Nathan's writings.
FROM Celebrity Sadhana:
Or, How to Meditate with a HammeR
THE CELEBRITY SADHANA YOU JUST CAN'T MISS
Winona Ryder, aged 45, looks blissful in recently released photos of her engaged in sadhana, her daily spiritual practice, on the Stranger Things set. We wonder, does her all too real past struggle with drug addiction & kleptomania inform her riveting portrayal of the manic divorced mother Joyce Byers? Some say yes! Her glowing smile certainly recalls her 90s glory days, as we find her alongside her Black Swan costar Natalie Portman, at a dramatic reading of Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life as performed by Jeff Bridges, who our sources tell us, just left a secret rendezvous at a Mahayana empowerment with I am not famous anymore Shia Labeouf, who we gather seeks meditation tips from the very centered top celebrity Buddhist following a very publicized bender with Joaquin Phoenix, star of the faux documentary I’m still here. The two were first introduced by Keanu Reeves at a musical rendition of The 100K Songs of Milarepa on a synthesizer as performed by Moby. At their meeting, Bridges reportedly informed Labeouf enlightenment is possible. The Dalai Lama has no forthcoming comment on this developing story.
A WiNONA RYDER DREAM (dir. TIM Burton)
Winona compulsively steals itineraries. Her archives of confiscated time tables & incomplete to-do lists are walls encircling her. Cthulhu intrudes upon the scene. (Really, it's Johnny Depp in a motion capture suit). He wrestles a tangled web of fairy lights & gobbles paper towers leaving only crumbs to permit Winona’s return from disgrace. Keanu Reeves appears in the costume of a mahasiddha, a wildeyed bearded yogi wearing only a loincloth, proclaims himself to be a therapist ready to tackle Winona’s challenges. Winona tabulates her past actions transforming them into complex mathematical equations. She frantically scribbles formulas. In an inspired bit of double casting, Johnny Depp approaches as the Saks Fifth Avenue guard. He face punches Ryder. Winona falls towards the atmosphere. Keanu menacingly advances towards Depp. His body moves slowly, oh, so slowly. Keanu’s two hands bloom into a lotus flower mudra & he calls out Hadoken! The Saks guard regresses into Cthulhu, then reverts to Depp who laments crying & beating his chest. Meanwhile, Winona continues to rise higher & higher.
JOAQUIN PHOENIX DREAM (dir. DaviD Lynch)
Close up of a dung beetle as Joaquin’s face flashes on the screen. The dung beetle begins a pilgrimage to somewhere else. Its struggle for survival is to relentlessly push a large ball of shit, backasswards up an unforgiving dune. At the peak of midday, the dung beetle Joaquin bursts in flames. The ever changing Mojave dances an erratic rhumba. Winona Ryder appears as the Dakini Circe. She subdues the fire spirits, dispersing the smoke. She chants: White Rabbit! White Rabbit! White Rabbit! Her simple white dress billows around her. The scene fades. A poster for Irrational Man floats above the red eyed Joaquin. Joaquin recites 15 words, his cadence rapidly oscillating: I’m sorry, Can you repeat the question? because I don’t think I understood the question. A splice cut of an exposed h a r d e n e d n i p p l e i n t e r r u p t s a l a u g h t r a c k. An extreme c l o s e up o f J o a q u i n ’ s fa c e t r i g g e r s a n a u d i b l e g a s p. Silver ants swarm tunnels beneath his skin They dismembe r J o a q u i n , b r i n g i n g h i s fl e s h h o m e t o th e i r n e s t p i e c e b y b l o o d y p i e c e.
"With an audacious sense of humor, Vijay R. Nathan has created an uncanny world of spiritual enlightenment, where our 21st-century gods (Keanu Reaves and Winona Ryder et al.) seek meaning and awakening. These poems are wicked and dreamy." - Leigh Stein, author of Dispatch from the Future
"Part poetic meditation, part tabloid column, Vijay R. Nathan's new collection excavates themes of fandom, solitude and desire to create a record of modern life that is at once poignant, surreal and utterly enjoyable. 'Celebrity Sadhana or, How to Meditate with a Hammer' is one wild and illuminating ride." -- Jared Harél , author of 'Go Because I Love You'
"Celebrity Sadhana is hilarious, witty, and multi-dimensionally insightful! It features erotic illumination, satirical sadhana, and kaleidoscopic interactive spaces. A great journey. " -- Rick Jarow, religious studies scholar and author of Alchemy of Abundance: Aligning with the Energy of Desire to Manifest Your Highest Vision, Power, and Purpose.
THESE POEMS IMAGINE MEDITATIVE MOMENTS FROM THE SADHANA (SPIRITUAL PRACTICE) OF HOLLYWOOD'S ELITE. HIS WORK BUILDS ON THE WISDOM TRADITIONS OF THE EAST TO BRING THE HAMMER DOWN ON COMPLACENT NOTIONS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SPIRITUAL IN TODAY'S WORLD. FEATURED IN THE COLLECTION ARE UNAUTHORIZED APPEARANCES OF THE PERSONAS OF JOAQUIN PHOENIX, NATALIE PORTMAN, AND SHIA LABEOUF, AMONG OTHERS.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS WORK WAS MADE POSSIBLE, IN PART, BY THE QUEENS COUNCIL ON THE ARTS, WITH PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY COUNCIL.