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,

         and why?

 

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

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