The King’s Amnesia Lesson

So here I lurch outside and leave
the movie but this switch inside
stays on. And still it goes: a King
asks his private ballerina
for a “simple loss
of memory.”
Over and over his voice
drones on like a nagging
self-improvement tape
for people who regret
their own music.
Who regret their own sons.
Who shun their own daughters.

But nag’s not right, here,
no: nag is, too, a lie.
Even a King’s voice has a true
need to ignite its moment.
To burn for so to breathe.
To clench and unclench.
To talk to me, to stay
alive, a little more.

Believe me. King.
Inside me, or out the other
side of time, somewhere, I
would talk to you. But. You
just scat back at me like a nutty
cube of ouch, alone
in one gray lobe: “Hey, make a
holler to the next lobe, down
the block a’ways and still,
always, already relative.
But to what?”

…..And still I catch you croonin’:
“baby-baby.” And still
you make that same unkingly whine: “don’t
wanna’ know the old face.” Behind the
same face, newly burnished with jive
gravitas like yet another glass stone
in your tiara. So over and over, so very
by now: it’s our own common voice looping
back at us on the dream telephone.

But here, again, inside me, I still listen.
Like a synapse in the mouth of dream
body’s memory, barely breathing, through
mudras of pulse, space, motion, mask,
cadence, dark, gesture, resonance,
pressure, light, gathering and release,
right here, I listen, as ghosts
will have their due, o my King,
my vacant son, o my unbending
daughter, to you,
to your final riddle:

if thoughts are born with blood and lungs, and even grace refuses balance, if we all move room to room, unmoored, in our own tectonic currents …

if right here is not the hyperspace of a new social ontology, if this story is not the story of a true star, and terror not the oldest thing clanging inside our heads,
but, maybe, the loudest …

Would Zeami still call this version the Flower of Stillness?

Or just a skin of words, a book of buried shadows, dry husk of memory, a “walk on the roof of hell”?

“And whose hand is this that has never died?”

© 2017, John Sullivan

Author:

The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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