Glyphing the Process

It is the addition of strangeness to beauty, that constitutes the romantic character in art[.]


Plastic petals of exertion sweat over the surface,
rubber with rhythmic routine the legs of this
charade’s aching structure, lay like purchased kisses hackneyed
corpses of tomorrow’s inevitable desertion, lips like punctured
life preservers unrivet from its chokehold this mask’s
morose marriage to what does not exist, this
fiction of which my loneliness has convinced itself
is the very image of ascetic solitude, that
this madness has a method if not a
use, perverting the purpose of making art, working
out these former versions, of whispering like a
lover into the æther of the world’s ear
why it is you have worked so hard
to be like no one else, to cultivate
and embrace being what you’ve made, your Self—
just one, no other—a heart’s hammer hurting
more when a soul’s adrift, torn between conforming
to what strangers have determined for him what
he is, or rowing toward his own definition
of god, no one deserves this weathering of
a confession’s candid moment with manufactured stormclouds of
marketable misfortune glyphing the process, vitiating the stillness,
the perfect contrition of being broken open before
no one but an audience of one eye
watching, the other squinting at the brilliance, or
absurdity of the suggestion, that this might be
providence, an eidolon hiding behind a triangular mirror
shattering under the weight of a symbol sexualizing
my redemtpion, going for broke purchasing a stake
of my reputation, plunging with it into oblivion,
a doubling-down of my troubles made more burdensome


the more dollars are piled atop my fortune,
none of this is worth overcoming days which
drip by, colourless as water, painting a predilection
for self-destruction that smote me then like a
lover, from which I’ll never recover, not in
private, anonymity washing off the way pleasure disappears
the morning after, yet this wilderness is not
forty years and you are not my desert
or my home, fame is only theoretically forever,
I am better for having endured early this
fracturing of my personality into splinters, handling publicly
this excision of a persona from my person,
for having encountered feathers before the wax of
these wings melted, for having gathered together into
a pattern of letters fragments of what I
beheld in the heavens before the father reconfigured
his relationship to humanity, relented to convention, and
relegated to the realm of the condemned this
depiction of a man, this ideogram of the prodigal
son, returning to earth scorched, burning with desire
enough to power perpetually every torch, I had
let myself become, every iteration of my suffering
masochistic as a flash of lightning too attracted
to its own snuffing out to fight off
vanity’s crashing thunderclap, too passionate about
being looked at that I couldn’t bolt, not
until those bulbs had thrown what blinded my
doubt, a blanket of blankness so severely white
that these faces had no other option than
to fill front pages with headlit pouts and
grimaces, over-the-top under headlines no one cared about,
no less press agents than sages or the


masses wondering, instead, if there is any significance
to the way I look, vacant as I
am, as an expurgated book, when my gaze
goes on as though for days, beyond horizons
of paper prisons whose four corners I mistook
for silver linings, finding in writing a diversion
from the world I despised for pilfering from
the notebook in my back pocket a thicket
of fallen wood between the acid-free leaves of
which I spilled the petrichor secrets of an
interior glimpse I thought my vitriol kept well-hid,
and so here it is, my best effort
at being honest, and even this my pen’s
hieroglyphic bent renders inscrutable to all but those
with a key to these miseries into which
the scrawl of my hand initiates the broken-hearted,
my brethren authors of their own obsolescence who,
despite every attempt against it, go on living
two sides of one divided mind, coining neologisms
off of which they make a mint, earning
no more than a nod from those who
get it, that this isn’t wit, art, or
entertainment, but talent misspent, so next time you
read something consider it one of us buying
you a drink of ink, think of it
as compensation for having been so patient with
this penchant of mine for elevating to the
baroque this feeling so low both within and
without that, not knowing it, consolation throws
its shape in the form of your interest
in what I’ve to say giving me hope.

1Walter Pater, “Postscript” in Appreciations: With an Essay on Style, published at London by Macmillan and Co. in 1889; page 248.