Dathy Pahka and the Couscous Bauble

We sit in circles, crop circles, like silver-clad heroes at Arthur’s table, dark knights of the soul of verse, our words colliding in the jousts of wit and criticism. Is it the flame that draws us moths to it, and so we dance in the flickering candlelight, hoping to stay entranced and yet remain un-scorched? Like ashes on the forehead can remind us of our lone and bitter days, days when we thought “if I could only be accepted, if they would only listen” and so drank ourselves silly in the inconsequentiality of the moment, we titter, stumble, laugh and tumble against the cold, hard steel of our truths, our realities.

And in the end, we want of wealth, of fame, of power, of “don’t I know you from somewhere” and “weren’t you with…last seasons” and “oh, I thought your last…was simply marvelous” and so on and so forth and furthermore and insofar and even if it mattered, even just one smattering of an insignificant jot of ink that spilled on blotting paper or stained the index finger rather than died its immortal death on the crucifix of watermarks and typesetters’ thorns – yes, even if that could save our tortured souls from waking in a world we could not evade with our descriptions, make light of in our comedic stances, would we want to pass it by, relinquish our hold on that which makes us realize how much we need to simply create, to form, to place under our power that experience of living, of dying, of falling down drunk in an alley watching our world crumble in half empty tea cups?

Written, it seems so concrete, so decisive and bold – yet it is the journal of a hallucination, created in our minds and carried out on the gurney of the flesh into the streets we barely recognize, and the stones in the pavement do not glint or glitter as we remember them, nor so brightly as they can.

An in our drunken haze we drop our curtsies and highballs half-full of the contraband elixir we consider our inspiration – and we ask for it by name in the password prose of prayer: give me three or four rounds of Dark (and often cloudy and thick swirling dark it is), and then a couple of clear and crystal Brights for the road, the road I must trod down in inebriated, lucid celebration of my inhibited yearnings. I want, I announce to the “wicked and expedient stones,” the world of my choice, of my creation: a world where one can morally possess a mind and venture to speak it, a world where social conventions are gatherings of gregarious and yet not sheep-like folk who know not only which fork to use with the salad, but which one to take at the bend in the road that leads to funny or witty, separating dull chortles from mirthful laughter.

Laughter, yes, and tears that come from excess – these are the signs by which we will be known; and they shall sing our praises while they curse us, hound us for mementos while they scour the tabloids for our inadequacies, and read until the wee hours of morning each drop of saccharine and strychnine we draw from our veins with the prick of a vengeful pen.

1995

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