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Fairytale Initiations


by Samuel Derrick Rosen


I

I'm sucking in the environment, aspiring in sweat
and dreams of flying through storms of wisdom
and love and nostalgia in the age of sweet potato
and asparagus and premonitions of the next revolution.

This is the way it is.  This is the way it has always been,

or so they say.  I've never been to Bangkok.
I've never been to Bombay.  A voice comes over the system,
"sorry for the delay but services will soon resume normally",
yes, right, I worry about nothingness,
nothingness is a thing with which you should not mess,
trust me, hear me try to define words like
"current" and "necessity" and "building" and "fall" and "fire",
hell, yes, give me a key to a door that can't be opened

and I'll give you the key to the kingdom.

II

Your pale blue mouth utters dark blue words
I offer you a Jack, you say you want an Ace,
I think you are a bitch,
that you work for some intelligence agency,

you say you are in love with amethyst
but I say you are an atheist, lord have mercy,
the death of the heart begins here
at the bottom of the cold grey hill

where lovers long for the long-after-midnight
and the diminished is nothing
but the petty heat of tears, beyond the
empires of grapes and plums and pears,

beyond fairytale initiations
and a thousand years of skeletons
and the pages of Aldous Huxley
and the power of shit/cunt/love.

III

Just a sec, I have to take my meds, or Uncle Vanya will disown me,
no more let me ride his Mustang, he says I should be living
in a monastery somewhere, that I should be doing some kind of pen
ance or else drowning pussycats in the sea of tranquility, fuck me,

what do I have to do?  Slash my wrists at the Northern Lights?
Milk a milkmaid at the stroke of dawn?  Pretend I am a messenger-bird
in a time where there are no messages?  Pretend I am an alpha-male
in the time of the revenge of the nerds?  But I refuse to be a leech,

I already have Lyme's disease, surely that's enough,
or must I display my clubfoot and turn it like a key, give out awards
to long-lost love-lorn mothers at the height of Communism, oh shit,
oh lord, spare me, have pity on me, let me play your darkest music

before the demise of Heaven, I am in need of some attention.

IV

Some guy sucks on a Chinese flute, says he doesn't need a
god to love him, says he loves himself, beyond rose and rhododendron,
the ultimately elusive chord, the dead weeping for the dead,
the mongrels of death are the virgins of breath, pray tell,
Mercury, Saturn, Venus and Mars.  I stand unshaven, I stand anonymous,
I stand forever in your delicateness, your incomprehensibility,

that which makes you sacred, impossibly alone,
opposite of flesh, antithesis of stone.  O give me the Venus De Milo!

V

I was at the harbour yesterday, watching the waves.
I was looking into the horizon and I saw
a lightning strike hit the water.  I have always liked thunderstorms,
especially when they're unexpected.  Now I'm staring
into a bottomless eye and a bankrupt heart
that's free of itself and of nothing,
almost on an Olympian god-like level.  I swear I've been dreaming
of sand as if it were snow and now I am irreligious,
cursing awake the impossibly warm weeds,
worshipping the blades of grass as they as always grow,

almost embracing the lovelessness, the rottenness, the ugliness
of the Mediterranean, the Greek and the hollow deceptions
of the night's protuberance at the crack of morning
and the evils that are necessary almost
to love and to be loved and to be heavenly and ignorant.
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