A Game of Self-Reflecting Mirrors


That’s not relevant to our interaction,
     yours is a question that will always
go unanswered, no matter how many times
     you keep asking it—sometimes a twist

in the plot, like that of a knife, is all you’ve
     got, when no one has your back, when no
supporters roll onto your reel and into
     its third act eager to erect or

wreck life’s vague dénouemonument, that touchstone
     monolith its thick-headed, auteur-
minded author set up for us, dropping off
     our destruction’s ticking time-bomb deep


inside a lightbulb, the obsolescence of
     an existence built into it, this
living’s glittering prison of such endless
     suffering relentless as first-love’s


insincere sin-offerings of doves fitted
     with mechanical wings, those flying
machines dying to work-over theatres
     of dumb audiences from atop

silver-toothed altars ego’s highest priesthood
     of self-believers bleeds, buying faith
with barbed-wire smiles death’s head shoots, shopping around
     all over town his promo-photos

without scruples, or any proof that our souls’
     syndication moves what we have done
into that realm where what we would like to do is
     greenlit before the options run-out,


and money no longer buys time or produces
     it, when doubt dims the project(or)’s fire,
when, down to the wire, some Fascist director
     or dictator cuts from every


disc, from every single festival and
     Academy screener that one scene
you consider, down to your heart’s hardest core,
     to be your very best performance,

no matter how explicit, no matter just
     how utterly worthless critics would
say its brazen portrayal of you is and
     you know you aren’t, until unearthed,

your worst work’s what you’ll have to pay with, fighting
     for freedom playing a fool’s part while
you journey bow-leggèd across fame’s come-stained
     floor, fagging-out and faking truest


love until you make it through porn’s trap-door, with
     the other whores waiting and writhing
under the crippled, and crippling, tin-foil hat-
     wearing horizon of this warped and


fried society’s falling sky, wasting no
     mind on the moaning of its weakened
proscenium arch, or the thrust of its stage
     grinding into nothing as it films,

in unforgiving silence, this crying of
     its lot’s bottommost oblivion,
slowing the moment gone before your fears don’t
     react, through fits of artificial

tears realizing it’s all been deception
     and near-miss, a sordid game of self-
reflecting mirrors, that what’s seen in a flash
     is more than enough to remind you


of what you lack and won’t ever have, the loud
     voice of loss preparing you always
to show the world your ass, since it’s easier
     than sharing your feelings with the crowd—


what I do now, why I do it, and how          I
     came to it, well, that’s my secret, and
I’m keeping it out-of-sight for now, hidden,
     since a provocateur without an

agent, without any representation,
     a sex symbol more than willing-and-
able to alienate people, to make
     freely available what makes him

volatile, is less explosive when he’s fired—
     a cannon with balls who never tires
of shattering walls, comes to know a star’s own
     tedium when he sees himself fall.