A Dedication

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 30, 2018

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Submitted: September 30, 2018



A Dedication


To whom do we address our grand debut

Of this performance, played out in the view

Of no sure audience, many or few,

Perhaps, among them? Comrades, tell me true

If anyone here present can see whom

Beyond the blinding lights, darkness entombing

Their visages, shrouded as the myths—

Both indiscernible if true—there sits.


Our song and play no melody nor scripts

Employs, nor single tune nor tone.  But since

It is the common practice of artists

To dedicate the craft of their soul’s bliss,

It seems only fitting that our designs

Should have a greater purpose.  All our lines

And antics carefully contrived, divine

And diabolical entwined, to rise

Lofty beyond the plane of mortal sighs

In drama.  Thus is tragedy proscribed.

Or else, another opportunity

We seize, to take the watchers’ scrutiny

And screw their spirits to that most droll space

Where the absurd threads of fate, on their faces

Elicit the curling of the lips

Into most mirthful contortions, eclipsing

Any worldly worries, and dispelling

In the farce all fear, and later quelling

All sorrows in such comedic spellcraft

As such gleeful yarns they spin and tell.


From one would dedication come to those

Who, filled with mourning, pouring out some prose

Ejaculations of their unrequited

Love, will embrace with their waking sight

The tragedy of life; or those whose God

Abandoned them with neither wealth nor laud

Within the earthly realm.  Our aim is mourning

With them until new purpose is born.

From the other our dedication goes

To happy lovers.  Those who have no foes

To fear—or else do but would make amends—

Need only watch and find themselves new friends.


And yet to neither pole do we adhere

In the performance, and furthermore clearly

No place between these two ends—although

Encompassing within the spectrum, so

Completely, every passion, high and low

Emotion, every kiss, or wrathful, violent blow—

Defines our conduct better than to say

That from one pole to the other the play

Is undefined, or else defined by all

The spectrum.  Thus our antics fall

In all things that can be played.  It includes

Pain and mirth and all the mortal moods.

And from this now emerges no small task—

To once again consider what we ask:


“To whom do we address this frantic scene?”

Is yet a thing undetermined.  Obscene

It seems to consider the only pleasing

Aim is for the actors at our sleeves—

Our fellow improvisers in the act—

And that beyond the darkness there in fact

Are no other eyes there, nor hands to clap

Where there are none to amuse or distract—

Nothing but a lit stage within the black,

Where players play to players playing back.


Such conclusions leave much to be desired,

For who, even among those that are mired

In the most grotesque of dances or dire,

Doomed romances, and darkly do conspire

Treachery with loathsome intentions, truthfully

Can claim he does not—like the youthful

Pride of haughty children does produce

When minds are weak and feelings yet run loose—

Have within him some wild, desperate hope

That his secret action (as when eloping

In marriage the clandestine betrothed

Might regret that none will see the bride clothed

In white, or when the deepest caverns probed

In love arouses the thought that, disrobed

As they now are, perhaps they could be caught

By curious eyes; and these ideas—not

Polite, yet common—so lingering covertly

In every mind—A tempting grove

Of sweet nectar and sap—to some degree,

Though many would protest dishonestly,

Do excite many nervous tendencies

But tendencies yet thrilling to the parties

So involved in the voyeuristic

Indulgences of humanity) quickly

May be marked by something validating;

Some empathy justifying hate,

Or commiserating with his sorrow,

Or at least with him hoping tomorrow

May yet elaborate upon the story

He so hopes will not be a mere bore.

Indeed, we all should wish that every page

Of text we write should read from age to age

And make someone think something then of us,

As we to their invisible minds trust

The narratives, which more importance bone

Cannot claim.  For what is it to be grown

In body or mind—even in wealth enthroned—

If when we depart, we remain unknown?


The lights, blinding, make it laborious

To look out, and no shouts of “play for us!”

Ring in our ears.  Thus we cannot perceive

Any audience, so perhaps deceiving

Ourselves we are in assuming such

Eyes linger on our movements.  Indeed much

Ego do we require to entertain

The possibility that our refrain

Should reach the ears of those, masked in the dark

shadows, whose being we still cannot mark.

And yet, since each performer holds such longing

For gratification, perhaps wrong

It is not to assume from this apparent

Fact that, if such desire is bred there

Within each bosom, it must have a source

From some external, celestial force,

And though we may not perceive it’s meaning,

Purpose can we derive from the gleaning

Merely of its (or their) knowing presence

As observers of our flesh and essence.


If then such watchers do indeed exist,

Perhaps we should not think ourselves remiss

In all the methods of the plotted twists

And turns our drama treads.  That we persist

Might fix upon their faces such a mixed

And perplexed expression, and within kiss

The quiet lips of conscience, that no course

Remains but for them to stand.  No remorse

Would they feel nor vexation when their hands

Meet before their eyes as a tear then lands

Upon the ground below, and moved such, passionately,

By our slow return to ash,

Perhaps they would greet us on our demise

With praise from their mouths and rain in their eyes.


And yet, of this response no certainty

Is there.  Perhaps unimpressive seem we

Despite our most passionate efforts.  Small

And irrelevant may seem our most solemn

Exertions, and so when curtains fall,

And we, in death, prepare the curtain call,

Met are we not with glee or approval,

But only with calls for our removal.

Will they insist we misplayed our parts?

Will they deign to deride the sincere arts

We employed in the pursuit of our hearts’

Desires, of Passion’s fires?  All of our smart

Devices, all our most doleful follies,

May seem to them but a joke most jolly,

And to justify their scorn, perhaps taking

The stage themselves they begin to make

A new performance, like to our own, mending

The holes in plot and writing, and sending

Us in shame to sit and view their own

Interpretation, proving what was shown

By us was but a shallow, rough attempt

To perform the act the way it was meant.

And embarrassment hot rises in cheeks

That sought to impress, but now, reduced meekly,

Watch routines we never thought to enact.

We must feel like our life’s effort ransacked

And reduced now lies like regret before

Our eyes—a failure we cannot ignore.


But if they could do us so much better,

Why then to us the script leave to letter

While, by our improvisations fettered

And bound we, they must know, could just weather

Our own devices, and had not time nor

Patience nor foresight to try and author

A perfect narrative for their pleasure?

Is our failure not of theirs a measure?

Did they not set our practice in motion?

Was the act’s own crafting not devotion

To their own direction and attention?

All plays are audiences’ inventions.


Perhaps we need not wait so long and now,

In this very moment, we can somehow

Rise up and see all the lights extinguished

And, our eyes adjusted to those dark mists,

We can see the forms of the audience

Who thought to pass the time in watchful bliss,

Delighting in the throes we mortals wish

Not to suffer, and laughing at our situations—

Callous, or at least removed—

Not intervening until we can prove

Ourselves worthy of their action, though asked

Not we to be born onto the stage, captured

Animals trained to amaze enraptured

Children, receiving praise or censure

Without desiring either.  What answer

Can they give as to their silence and stillness

When they could have come up to end killing

And grief on our modest dais, elsewise

At least to grant purpose to our demise?


We do now see our prayers met with indifference,

And reflect upon how easy deliverance

Would have been to provide—instead this small pittance

Of feverish, unscripted fervor (Good Riddance!)

Is all that was provided by those who direct

And execute the necessity of the exercise—

If kinder minds ruled there above their necks.

Should we now exact from them the toll of their complacence

And run into the aisles, striking numb

With fear (if indeed they can feel) those whose limbs lithe

And voices dulcet could have improved, with their writhing

Dances and piercing cries, the whole of the pageant,

If they had not instead resolved to be absent?

Now we may need no longer play the jesting fool

Capering about on stage to serve as some tool

For the amusement of these silent, viewing things.

If indeed they disdain the last of our musings

And rise not in appreciation, but choosing

Instead to scorn us, perhaps the actors, losing

Our hope and our fear, feeling only resentment,

Turn out into the theater.  We, calm and silent,

Perhaps give out scripts, and out there involve

Our detractors, our pining now turned to resolve,

Claiming our fate, putting hands where our hearts have been,

Taking ourselves mastery, and those artisans,

Dissatisfied by our last performative breaths,

Now, at our own direction, meet with crueler deaths.

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