When you finally sober up a little,
stumbling back to this perpetual table
called the world, you find that the banquet
has not abated — everything’s still feeding on
everything else, and there seems to be no exemption.
Your hair is a halo of chaos reflecting your thoughts,
your breath as hard as turpentine from your last life’s wine
that you kept swilling until you saw not one but two
and couldn’t decide which one was you.
You had the right to remain silent,
to let delusion watch delusion,
but you simply could not
relax and shut up.
Now your face sports a stubble of chronology
barely masking the blotchy creases and tracks of tears
that document the slap-stick games of those twin jesters –
faith and despair, the ambivalent children of hope and fear.
All around the tables in this enormous hall
the hapless diners are trading curses and toasts,
though all you hear are the echoing sad refrains
of thwarted desires and dogmatic claims.
Recognizing that you’re crazy
doesn’t render you suddenly sane.
It merely means you’re beginning to see
how deranged you became by pretending to be
what you never have been, and certainly never will be.
You crumple backward in a chair reserved for hungry ghosts,
though by now you’ve lost all interest in extended menus
that catalogue the lifeless litanies of inedible beliefs.
Today you’re just parched for a cool flask of pure spirit water
to wash down the partially digested bits of fixation and stress,
all wry self-images resistant to the superficial mouthwash
of ersatz redemption and feigned forgiveness.
Indeed, all you really want right now
is for it all to please just go away.
As you stagger and swoon
through this dizzy fogged morning,
at the edge of your seat, at the edge of your life,
still groping for napkins to soak up your sweat,
pause for a moment and try to remember:
you aren’t a victim, so blame nobody.
You accepted your own invitation —
this party’s just for you!