Right here, this act we all perform, is not the story of a true star.
It is not, either, the hyperspace of a new social ontology.
But is it, at least, greater than its usual themes and instruments?
In her poem, Media: the New
Sorceress, Diane Wakowski
explains performance as: “something
every Hollywood thane might tell you
is pretty obvious.” We become
roles and we play with them,
we become word-routines that speak
through all of us. And the roles and
their routines mutate, hover, and
wait, like a virus waits
for better leverage.
But this transaction between audience and performer, between supplicant and sacrifice: Is it that strict?
Is it that tightly wrapped?
Or is it more hesitant? Even virginal?
But with teeth, too, maybe?
Is it merely instrumental?
Does it defend or subvert the faith?
Does this act inhabit a skinned-place,
raw-wet and quivering? Waiting
like a wolf with golden fangs
and wide, spooky eyes?
Alone, in full view?
But again, is it ever even enough? Does mutual
use account for mute complicity, enough?
Or does it really hang and exhume and hang
again that old-old dead Ceausescu of a tongue
sleeping with its lies in the garden?
Non-matrixed body artists crawl like
questions through it. Drag the secret meaning of
night through it. Like documents of glass or
snails trails of glistening thread: of blood,
“cleaving and burning.” Bringing it through
public solitudes, tumbling out the other end
into private multiplicities.
But through what?
And is it ever through enough?
And, for whom could it ever be enough,
We could call it burrowing, or sounding, or following a wicked spoor, blind, by smell, alone, “when we don’t call it ghosting.”
But questions, questions, questions still kiss the ashram like bullets, back in the day.
Give memory even half a chance and it will try to forget that being is, being breathed. Yeah, like lost it all again, in the ghosting.
“And whose hand is this that has never died?”
© 2017, John Sullivan