‘Illness of the Flowers’
Some people are parceled passengers;
some are merely speaking mouths,
but others are nearly only ears and earwigs:
the gaping lid of the inner man;
some are rattling and cheerfully bent boats,
some people are visages or only made of their vices,
and some people’s company is like a great voyage.
There are people who have wasted the most beautiful things
to make terrible tragedies.
Who was the most joyful girl,
who was the little girl who gave flowers funerals?
Is that not lovely also?
So many want a beautiful and deathly sweet sadness,
neglecting the lovelier thing, sincere happiness.
Oh, and did their pain truly hurt, just somewhere, in the heart?
O, Pretense! They dream of heartache.
Oh, the heart. O, Heart! O, Hearken!
Listen, O, sad things,
sorrowful stories will be smoothed over,
smoothed over like wrinkles in the bed sheets,
smoothed over like the old weeping shrouds, wet wrappings.
Storytellers will run their hands over these things,
holding their hands and inky pens like doves,
like little dear doves,
who will coo and feed
Never was there, truly, forever flames,
the honor existing only in their names.
Nothing can be found within the aching ashes,
not one thing is said aloud in the aching embers,
real sorrow is no leader,
leaves no room for making itself beautiful,
for making itself an epic,
a sad story another will cling to.
Bones of a dear one are not beautiful.
People who do not have true cause for grieving are like children,
who play pretend,
but one must then look in the eye of the new creature:
shattered shock, delight then disappointment,
bewilderment, baby-eyes are a blue well of disappointed emptiness
and shattered trust;
so, people fill themselves with another's pain.
Some people can imagine and find comfort in the hurt,
because if it is not their grief,
they feel it someplace faraway and pleasing;
it is not their life and love turned soiled and flooded and drunk,
they only get to taste a flavor,
not a poison.
It fills them,
a nectar devouring hearts and lives;
pretending it's better than nothing at all.
Until one is part of the show,
it is all entertainment,
no matter how sick or sickening.
Throbbing symphonies, sobbing orchestras,
all aloud and marching through,
parades of tears go breaking,
Adoring crowds of heartbeats,
Marching and stomping upon threads,
upon fractured feeling,
crashing down and pulling down
happy flags and cleaning rags upon funeral grounds;
seeping moss on marker stones.
O, people, think on it all so deeply,
weakly enjoy it, because it’s not your terrible own.
Grip and groan, and fall after and along,
running past the happiest of days,
seeking out weighty truth and sorrow,
which hurts less than your own;
the lusting heart happily goes on lusting:
for sadness, for fullness, for a mockery of life.
O, mortal heart, thrust into the throes,
gaudy lust for pain, for misery,
O, people, you knows not what the heart sincerely desires,
you mistake pain and misery for greatness,
the mendacious luster tripping an unhappy people all along.
O, sad people, who die inside to fill that emptiness,
the emptiness where life’s joy belongs.