A story, a prose poem, a manifesto, a love letter. A prayer. An SOS to the collective heartbeat — we are the wild cards on the apocalyptic gambling table. We are the aces up our own sleeves.
I am collaged out of black holes from the now torn down Iron Curtain, and my dna comes from a once upon a time banished place.
Not born fully formed like Venus, I arrived in fragments, each bone wrapped in the scent of marigolds. I was born to wear pulsing, wet, shiny umblical cords around my neck the way some women wear pearls. I was born to see too much at once.
I subsist on the manna of my night vision. I am smoke rumpled under the covers as light approaches, and when the blanket is lifted, I rise like incense, in shapeshifting undulations. Sometimes, I wish you could hold me.
Like dew drops on spiderwebs, my perceptions sit lightly and readily evaporate when the light climbs too high to allow shadow. I was born to be a lover of the dazzling darkness and if I think I’m misunderstood, who’s to say I’m wrong ?
I’m a rogue creature. I live in a salty grotto whose floor’s criss-crossed by seaweed. The path is open only for a short time, at tide’s lowest ebb under certain lunar signs, and only if Venus is visible as an evening star, so often I can’t get home for a while. This is why I’ve grown so fond of wandering. This I why I drift with the current. This is why winter might find me communing with ravens in the bare branches of old oak trees.
Gravity keeps pressing me down to earth with its love power. If you don’t want to give something to gravity, you have to keep it in your pocket. This is why pockets were invented, you know: for humans to thwart gravity’s magnetic love. Ravens and other creatures didn’t make pockets. This makes them freer than humans, and good companions that way.
A human with empty pockets can be lured to set aggressive sail into forbidden waters for the wily promise of gold and jewels and treasure chests. When I return home, it’s inevitably underwater and strewn with the flotsam and jetsam of ransacked relics, debris of submerged and rotted plunder, consequences of seductive and dangerous adventures, in short: piracy of the mind.
Outside the grotto, the Clothesline of Life holds my garments, affixed with clothespins made of little bones, clinging pincers of psycho-spiritual necrophilia. I take the clothespins off one by one and watch my clothes sail away into the sky: blue jeans and corsets and green silk panties and motorcycle leathers, lover’s shirts I borrowed and wore as dresses with no underwear, tight clothes and loose clothes and “look at me” clothes, gowns and masks for special occasions, bloodstained clothes and poverty’s clothes, resignation’s clothes and rebellion’s clothes, multiple skirts to cover and twirl around my dancing legs, made for me clothes and borrowed clothes that never quite fit: all carried away by the same mischievous breeze that plays with the destiny of pirates and honest sailors alike.
Naked at last, I go out to meet the dawn. Ecstatic vultures tear apart roadkill as I come striding over the rise. They scatter and climb the air with dark wings. , I read the signs: the time has come to send an SOS to the collective heartbeat, to liberate that which has been buried alive.
We gather in the great city, the once upon a time metropolis, current cosmopolis, soon to be necropolis. I myself am the great city, the bride. There is a heaviness to my monuments, and the gargoyles skreech with suspicion, but the tree lined boulevards are wide, festive and welcoming. We are the tribe of strangers that inhabits the city and we are the wild cards on the apocalyptic gambling table: We are the aces up our own sleeves.
We’re on a mission, we’re restless and always on the move, but first we must serve rare tea to the blind, bleeding and amputated guests, yes, right here in the middle of the boulevard.
Of course it breaks our hearts
Our tears flavor the tea.
It is why some travel many miles to drink from the cups we offer.
We are honor bound to the practice of hospitality.
We are part of a necessary ceremony as we band together under this dove sky altar with cracked cups in our trembling hands, if we’re lucky enough to have hands.
We drink a toast to the contaminated icons, to the colors and symbols that do not represent us, to the words and rituals that do not invoke us. Snarling, we arrive when the moment chooses; our oracular breath bursts forth like sacred Molotovs through bared teeth.
We set the human heart on fire.
We are lovers of this world.
We cry out in the wilderness.
A man limps a jig in his old coat; his pockets jingle with souvenirs of his misadventures. He’s tough, chewed up and bitter, but he somehow kept his tenderness for this moment, when his crippled footwork becomes the sacred catalyst.
We drink from the wells of tenderness in each other because we all have a secret well of tenderness that, despite ourselves, was kept safely hidden within our mythogenetic code until this moment, when it pours forth of its own volition.
Freed from the burden of thinking we understand what it is to be human, we are dust — dancing.
We throw away our names.
Wild dogs howl at the frontier; we hear their message on the winds: “Wish you were here.”
Please, you come too. We are incomplete without you.