Friday, April 8, 2011

Mad Improbability

We call them delusional
whose thundering monsters,
internalized chimeras,
defy the laws of physics,
but we're all just as haunted
by our own compulsive dreams
of the near impossible.

We don't believe our voices
are any less real because
they're so damned improbable.
As long as they don't command
us to consider ourselves
gods, ghosts, or Napoleon,
we find them agreeable.

We win every argument,
every challenge, every duel
in the moot court theatres
of our Shakespearean minds,
staged with the same worn-out props
of tattered recollection
we call imagination,

whether the current billing
is "Alternate Histories,"
"Conceivable Near Futures!"
"Courts of Public Opinion,"
"Disasters Will Prove Me Right!"
"My Tragic Heroic Fate?"
or "Plain Old I Told You So."

Most of the time we never
even stage the whole drama.
We put on our memories,
mourn, sigh, strut around in them,
take them off, put on others,
pick out the shiniest ones,
conjure futures out of those,

glance at the darkest costumes
and shudder before putting
them where we can't forget them
but don't have to look at them
too directly too often.
We're so lost we don't realize
that we're playing all the parts.

What we most want to believe
is that we command the roles,
the stories are possible,
and the direction is ours.
In truth the actors are ghosts,
the director is the dark.
We're just the stage, and we're mad.

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