Between the Hammer and the Anvil

A Hand that speaks is a hand that writes.


And talent has always been a unit of measure, an • ancient and arbitrary marker by which we determine, in biblical • proportions, our worth over and above that of others, a • wondrous burden which burns within us as cigarettes do in • the raucous back-rooms of exclusive clubs, illumining those dim-lit theatres- • after-the-theatre where, behind the mists of their own myths’ merits • •


partitioning them off from the unwanted fawning of soft-hearted audiences, • fading intentions glow darker and darker, illustrious lives less brighter • as fame’s wittiest initiates chatter devious new chapters censured only • by uproarious laughter poured forth in envious corners where they • gather to pasture, chewing one another’s ears with fears that • its flames may no longer linger after the Green Fairy • •


has emptied the bottle of celebrity, mourning before morning the • loss of a wealth which was never theirs, a heritage • whose chroniclers never cared to cry over as their pens • wept tears of ink instead of empathy, emptying those shells • to craft headlines which sell, bulleting lists of accomplishments to • fill obits drafted for the living, whose lies buy them • •


no time, since death is nobody’s friend and even legends • have laws to abide, curses to contend with, acting through • the breath of poets to bring into existence proof of • the divine no one can deny is the crux of • this business, talent is turning fire into wine, success is • selling it to fools blinded by the spark of genius, • •


those idiots for whom being deceived is a form of • entertainment, the task of any actor is to throw off • the shadow cast by a past which is no longer • active within him, to portray in both body and psyche • the dictum, ‘I create my Self, I am my own • family,’ talent is an æsthetic, winsome and meddling, troubling itself • •


to ask no one for permission, if this affliction can • burrow in and carve from existence a home, to own • those it consumes, offering as a gift for its hosts • a handful of gold in answer to we who ask • for more than having to choose between the hammer and • the anvil, since Very Important Persons always demand the impossible.

1Carlo Suarès, “Ha-Qabala” in “Part One: Ha-Qabala” of The Cipher of Genesis: Using the Qabalistic Code to Interpret the First Book of the Bible and the Teachings of Jesus, published at Boston by Weiser Books in 2005; page 25.