Though I have readily abandoned the hollow pleasures of this empty stage
And walked behind the tattered brilliance of that trailing curtain
I am still a helpless servant to this mounting rage
Whose crippling dominance is absolutely certain,
To pervert the awkward contours of that genial façade
Which I casually present to kindly friends and parasitic strangers
Who cannot help but feel extremely odd
When they somehow sense the swirling panoply of hidden dangers,
Which lurk beneath the silent beauty of this frail disguise
Whose rotten lineaments are obviously decaying
Right before the twitching orbits of their nervous eyes
In an eerie way that some might find impossibly dismaying,
For I have with violent trepidation borne
The colossal weight of this excruciating visor
That in times of creeping desperation is politely worn
To keep those prying seekers none the wiser,
For when I feel the restless hunger of that primal craving
Set my unhinged mind to furiously raving
I become a willing minion of that rabid beast
Who in his frightening madness loves to lewdly feast
Upon the tender bones of weaker prey
As I watch their flailing spirit slowly slip away
Beneath these sable waves of homicidal thought
Within whose paralyzing currents I am forever caught.

And amidst the gray seclusion of this lonely room
I redefine my crude dimensions
As I the gilded outlines of my higher self entomb
With the tired rules of deadening conventions,
Which claim that all shall proudly wear
Their own peculiar kind of enigmatic mask
As they into the glinting rondure of their lying mirror stare
And go about the mundane task
Of pretending that their tortured lives are going well
Though they often wake up in the tangled fury of a desperate sweat
For these vast dissemblers would that midnight terror quell
If their quaking hearts were not by such a strange insanity beset,
And with a poet’s lengthy elegance will I brazenly disclose
The obvious solution to their devastating ills
For I’ll boldly speak of arcane truths which no one knows
And a soothing antidote whose secret magic stills
The convulsive throbbing of your vibrant rage
Which no chemical distraction can entirely assuage
For I know that you were made to sadly grovel
As if to whine and beg were something novel
That no one else had ever in their fleeting lifetime tried
Though it sorely hurt their badly wounded pride
To daily toss the scattered remnants of their ultimate desires
Into the greedy flames of someone else’s lustful fires.

And when I with nothingness convene
I engage in sudden acts of expeditious violence
For I despise the queer monotony of a bland routine
And take greater comfort in the droning silence
That echoes through the shattered mansions of my chambered soul
With all the sullen anger of a ruined widow’s piercing wail
For I have grown exhausted with this hackneyed role
And that insidious director who always urges me to fail
In every sort of vile endeavor
At which I try my timid hands
For I know he feels immensely clever
When upon my broken neck he stands
To say that I must now erase
The faded rudiments of this malleable veneer
Whose slow corrosion marks my aging face
With the furrowed lines of everlasting fear,
But if I could intelligently surmise
The naked truth within that madman’s lies
I would expose the dismal nature of his heinous tale
And to my dazzled audience explain the monumental scale
Behind the curious loquacity of that mesmerizing fraud
Whose cunning stunts we still openly applaud
When in feeble droves we quietly assemble
Just to let that daunting sadist make us marvel, quake, and tremble.

And when I transform into a more enlightened being
Whose bearded mouth is crammed with brilliant phrases
I feel that such a metamorphosis should be immensely freeing
For then it will be I alone who raises
The question of what behind this ornate mask is hiding
When all possible pretenses are stripped bare
And I alone am now involved in carefully deciding
On the hallowed words to my own egocentric prayer
For if ever I were to unconsciously amend
These frantic lines which I have halfway penned
I would change their morbid connotation
Into a blissful verse of infinite duration
Whose haunting melodies would span the bleak divide
That keeps us from the dark, eternal wonder of our celestial guide
Who also dances to the timeless measures of this galactic masquerade
Where even he will live to hear the sacred chorus of our solemn music fade.