WATER DRAGON

1.
Her choice of lovers
is deplorable, the therapist says.
I could have helped.
So the heart, after all,
could be mapped out,
if it made a terrible decision
to choose a wayward or upright
direction toward
the deep, dark side.
But can Romeo & Juliet
be rational?
Being prodded toward
the true route of happiness, joy?
Words of certainty & truth
sagely fashioned,
as in sirens’ call?
O It is precisely the art
of not-knowing
its final path,
that quicksilver plunge into the abyss,
that makes lovers
thrill & exult
to the fantasy of having each other,
as if the act itself
is an angel’s craft
to make all things fantastic,
real.

2.

A.
The litigants argue over the text,
the hermeneutics thereof,
that would spell out
the configuration
of the truth,
the deepest layer of
Dostoyevsky’s onion
that reveals the essence
of the core,
the incandescent singular,
the nadir of the absolute,
Holy Grail of the pursuit…
Yet a total farce, after all,
shrugs the cynic,
for in the pyramidal space
they claim to speak
on behalf of the people
who flock outside the hall,
wired in cyberworld,
yawning & gritting their teeth
at the ballgame
being playued by the well-heeled,
the hoodlums in robes.
Who is inside the cage
like a flock of monkeys
watching the grim spectacle?

B.
O He is a man of integrity,
volunteers a colleague
in the court.
Years ago,
he remembers
he signed dutifully,
according to the law,
arrest warrants
for “hooligans”
who objected to the iron rule.
O He couldn’t believe his ears
how time has shifted
its paradigm:
snake then,
chameleon now,
an angel hiding its tail…
O everyone must have
a second chance,
the faithful aver.
But he, the witness,
is not inclined to listen:
There were so many tortured,
so many dead…

3.
The floozies
at the end of the apartment row
are practicing their gig
for the evening show:
no one complains,
throws shoes at the noisemakers –
like a rabid Iraqui journalist –
at the neighbors
who think their métier
is above the common din
of cats in heat
on a hot tin roof:
it is not for the civilized
that they sing,
but for drunken thugs
who will slip their hands
into their thighs…
Should he curse the working class
for their merry act?
O Ever true-blue communists
won’t allow their wanton disregard
for peace
at night when there is nary
a carnival…
Utopia is not a praxiological
free-for-all.

4.
The two lovers,
living underground,
will have their
ceremonial feast
for the sake
of family & tradition:
They, who live at the edge,
won’t dare displease
the elders who guard
against sin
& biblical error.
They must flourish
according to a moral wish.
But this is New Age
when love
trespasses all rituals,
for passage into the future…
Staying together,
through thick & thin,
is proof absolute
they’re meant for each
other –
the rest is empty gesture.

5.
He just can’t help it –
K’s eyes
are fixed on him
moving about the room
where its presence,
though spectral,
is most solid, palpable.
A year almost,
but he is in mourning
for the little guy
who playfully pounces on the rat
of his imagination…
If he doesn’t chill out,
he’ll go mad,
like the widows
who silent squirm
in remembrance
of those who vanished
in the night
of the generals…
The grief is not
for humanity alone,
but also for lowly creatures
who roam the planet
as if they’re
the truly beloved.

6.
Like worms
they come out of the woodwork –
oriental astrologers
who read tarot cards
& animal symbols
to foretell if the year
of this coming life
will be fruitful, or bare.
The faithful seek them out,
assured they’re
never liars nor angels,
will not utter
any contrary omen
to disprove the heavens.
What necromancy holds
dominion over
our hearts
wracked by tempests & hurts?
Yet we persist
to accept the blessings
& warnings of the divine,
even if they turn profane,
an idiot savant’s muttering.

7.
But the Water Dragon
augurs prosperity
& calm after the Rabbit’s
tempestous reign,
he says,
as if to comfort
the teary-eyed orphans
living at the margins
of collective psyche…
As if the universe
has cut mankind
some slack,
making sure
that God’s children
could have this breathing spell
in-between
disasters & pestilence.
He was, of course,
ever the unbeliever,
clutching at his heart
that wouldn’t settle down –
O He has not heard of her…
& ever like a fool
he sits waiting on the hill.
O If only the Water Dragon
were real,
cradling him on his belly,
spewing fire –
love this time must stay…

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