Silent Tragedian


A cruel theatre eating its audience, the chandeliers are
eyes of victims hanging in the rafters which are
its ribs, this whale of a vessel in whose
seats every Jonah sits, reluctant prophets rowing slowly toward
or from god, to Bedlam and part way back
again, awful and unapologetic, pathetic, knowing there is a
devastating precision in the violence of witness, a confidence
trick built into every testament, against its will this
is fatalism throwing off the shame of its oppressive
convenience, ekphrasis dominating submissive pages describing the fading into
nothingness that is the disappearance of light into darkness,
how a picture can go too far in capturing
a likeness, holding it captive like a cyclops on
an island in a myth, Odysseus just trying to
get home to tell of its epic, until globes
of sweat peel like the summer flesh of pressed
olives from the humid warp and weft of centuries-old


canvas fatigued from the passing breath and interest of
unimpressed strangers, my thief is an opportunistic gallerist making
a killing while making a mockery of me, the
way grief took my laugh when, on the edge
of twenty-three, murder took my father from me, a
necessity of perversity encourages me to say this, coaxes
into my memory with the immediacy of prophesied bloodshed
realized only after the fact, a splinter of curiosity
morbid in its industriousness, its prolificity too haughty to
be anonymous, as its grinning teeth needle into me
a grotesque epiphany as appalling as it is liberating,
equivocating and dangerous that experiencing loss, such as his,
is the easiest way of knowing you are alive,
that what we cannot forget replays for us a
performance so transformative as to warrant being relived, is
it any wonder, then, why I feel like Hamlet
soliloquizing every time I try to write something honest?