Wer aber sind sie, sag mir, die Fahrenden…
~Rainer Maria Rilke
Elaborated in speculative
Fury, pulses of fabricated light,
A little Arlecchino, mad for
Columbina, somersaults out of
Control through your synaptic conjunctions
To, Pantalone, though you crouch cat-
Like at her opening to clutch him,
Present imposture to gullibility.
Coemergent with the rise of the
Curtain the comedy expires. Or
So it seems to you. Ever grateful
For opacity of mind to prying
Eyes, nostalgia for what never was
Grapples with paucity of what is.
As though those who once wanted you, whose
Every moment was filled with you from
Waking to sleep & even in dreams but
Now rarely think of you & never
Confide could transcend the nature desire
Was born with to fade & diminish &
Die so tonight you wouldn’t feel so
Alone in the imagining
Of what has displaced you, though it was
Never even you in the chamber
To begin with but only a shell
Of herself that she’d lost unawares.
Aside from wanting to keep them as
they were, though you knew they had to change,
Are you any different from them in
Your remembrance of what never was?
Wasn’t all of that wanting a burden,
Yours to them and theirs to you almost
As much as the outward grasping
Prophylaxis of want, when the hand
Open to grip became shield to ward
Off advance? Does it really matter
Who blocks and who grasps? The roles can be
Exchanged, but the curve of engagement
will always go flat.
This is what comes
Of mixing concern for the other
With desire. Would you prefer in a
Future only pure lust without love
And love in that future undiminished
By wanting? But then wouldn’t naked
Attachment to pleasure and praise seem
Vulgar, even to you? What was the
Distillate you drank in the term “love” ?
What dropped shot glass, shattered, could mirror
Precisely the flaws you fear define
you, from which in a haze of another’s
Enchantment you sought refuge, junkie
And needle, free from unimpeded
Recognition of who you are?