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Aug 2013
A prima donna dips into candied violets;
a poison which brings an understudy to center stage.
With the anonymous delivery of the Donna's death done,
Jasper stands in the freezing, pouring rain
buying a ticket to see the 'new girl' sing.
In his way, Jasper loves her.

Fantasies feed on the very seed of Jasper's personality.
They are torments' larvae wriggling worm-like
through his thoughts
boring browning holes in a ripe reality
his desperate tongue can't taste,
and they feed in numbers that would disgust the core
of the most rotten apple.
His love is left mealy, blackened, and soft;
it's a love she wouldn't bite into if offered,
or even paid to.
It's a truth; Jasper can't have her.
Sopping, he enters the hall and falls into his seat.

With the Prima Donna's unexpected death,
the understudy, on this night, turns Diva
and unknowingly into Jasper's private show.
Her voice spins sound as a spider does silk,
deftly and delicately.
Beautiful patterns unseen by this theater of flies
capture hitherto buzzing ears calming them into submission.
It's an ****** comfort they wouldn't fly from if they could;
slumped in his chair like a pile of fresh dung among the swarm,
Jasper sits unmoved
as no beauty touches such messes.

He doesn't hear one note from her.
He listens instead from within.
To dejected oboes and off tune cellos
pulling long bow afflictions across his heart's chamber,
as his eyes scrape away scraps of her image
lacking all but the lust of love,
he pieces together masterful artworks of delusion;
a failing attempt to satisfy a sick mind's eye.

The show finished to unbridled acclaim.
And as the front of the house dispersed,
Jasper made his way into the rafters backstage.
He moved over the wood beams in the slow manner
of growing black mold
all the while uncomfortable with the dagger's handle
pressing hard into his hip.
This discomfort tickled away by the sound of her butterfly laugh
fluttering up to join him;
a dead limb clinging to felled Sweet Birch.

He chased the winged notes down
and found himself lost in the chaos of aftershow clamor,
and confused by streaks of rosey-faced gaiety mingling freely
with the furious movements of stage breakdown work.
Jasper stood for some time overwhelmed, numb, and totally unnoticed.
A kind of prop no one knew what to do with or why it was there.

A pop of a bottle's cork marshaled his attention
to a corner where, for a shimmering moment,
champagne mimicked the very rain outside.
The scene was Jasper's nightmare come real.

There stood the new Diva decorated in diamonds
and a fancy, fur coat.
If she wasn't sipping life's golden bubbles out of a clear
crystal flute, she was laughing promiscuously
with a throng of wish-to-be lovers
all praising their way to the pink center of universal desire.
Jasper can't have her
for he is a cur.
And it is only in the flowering bouquet of his lust and shame
that the rose red hue of her face would ever compliment
the white fear of his.
But he was set to tie this bouquet
with a grey blade bow bespeckled with both their magenta blood.

Amidst the frenzied bacchus,
he drew near her with all the finality of a heavy curtain
ending a scene.
The closing act, a quick stab to her throat,
releasing her final note - a gurgle in G.
Jasper loved her, in his way.

A swath of flies swooped in to the **** they saw
landing too late to stop the tying of the bouquet.
As second act of steel in flesh played on the stage of Jasper's heart.
He collapsed into his love seeing her frightened face rushing towards his.
This view he would take to eternity,
escaping his ugliness and that of others to be ******.
Here though, through the creation of her end
and in the clash of their bodies,
he finally possessed all the world's unbearable beauty.
Only the acting moment of existence matters
and Jasper...was with her
in her last.
This poem is inspired by and drawn from Edward Gorey's beautiful book 'Blue Aspic'.
Michael Holderreed
Written by
Michael Holderreed  Portland, OR
(Portland, OR)   
   Lior Gavra
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