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For the Broken Clown

A local poet’s performances convinced me to stay alive back when I was in high school. She was older, born in the early sixties, and her words were the first time I heard someone openly talk about what everyone else was sweeping under the rug. Of breaking down, falling apart, letting yourself and others down, shame and awkwardness. And now thirty years later she ended up killing herself the other day.

And if we were our bodies, if we were our futures, if we were our defenses I’d be joining her.

Over the years I have, in turn, convinced a fair share of poor young fools to stay on the hot tin roof called life a li’l bit longer.

Not always easily since we all know how every breath drawn in this mixed up jumbled up old world where no-one gets it is just pure pain. And all the myths of the secular world are whispering “release”, “relief”, “let go” like a chorus of liars. The Nangilima of turning off the TV, of making something out of nothing, of the dream of a non-dream. In reality, the end is beyond the end and therefore forever out of my grasp. Like Zeno’s tortoise, I will never get to experience what it is to not have to experience this.

No matter how bad it is, I can’t change how it’s one life, it’s this life, and it’s beautiful, or if not beautiful then at least it is what it is. I’m gonna stick with it. I’m committed to keep on wrestling with that dumb old angel whether or not I get blessed.

I don’t blame her. The disease won. She didn’t let us down; the disease did. That gloomy old ghost.

There’s no improvement without acceptance. I’m wide awake and facing it head on. As best as I can. That’s all anyone can do.

Before enlightenment: writhing with pain, thrashing as every breeze stings like fire and every word tears me apart.
After enlightenment: writhing with purpose, meditating with my head on fire. Room by room through el castillo interior even as the outer walls are crumbling in the absurd mad piper world. Towards the clouded mirror, for one more sisyphean polish of that glass darkly.

Våren gryr i vinterns trakter, där jag frös. Jag vill möta livets makter vapenlös.


I’d better admit right away that this one was unusually plagiarism heavy; the “if we were our bodies, if we were our futures, if we were our defenses I’d be joining” line was plagiarized from an Alanis song and the “on a hot tin roof” metaphor (with “as best as she can”) is from a Tennessee Williams play and “it’s one life, it’s this life, and it’s beautiful” is from a First Aid Kit song. Polishing the mirror is an old buddhist metaphor and through a glass darkly is from one of the KJV epistles. “Meditating with my head on fire” is also from buddhism while el castelo interior is from St Teresa. The last line, in Swedish, is from Karin Boye.

Hypertext literature…?!