ThE Madcap MirROR

By Paul Fiore


Part I. The Riders I wake up. He’s telling me something. I can’t figure it out. I think he’s saying that this is not my house. But it is, I think. What did my home look like? Let me think…I can’t think. I can barely remember. All I see is swirls of colors, and pieces off a half remembered dream. I feel an incredible emptiness. I think I’ll take a smoke, and try to remember that dream. Is he from the dream? If he was then why is he still talking to me? Maybe he’s always talked to me like this…….Yes, that’s it. This is normal isn’t it?  Oh wait, he’s saying something. What is it? I can’t make it out, the sound of the drones are droning out his voice. I think that he telling me something about my half remembered dream. He said the word, “remember.” Maybe i should get away from these drones. What are they doing? Oh where’s my toothbrush. I think they’re searching for their dreams, like me. Where did that cat come from? “Hello Cheshire Puss.” “Hello yourself, and see how you like it.” And now he’s disappearing into his smile which is drooling milk onto the floor. Good heavens, I can’t swim. What will I do if this continues? Ok good, he’s stopping, I succeeded in keeping my feet dry, but my knees are soaked. I wonder why milk is clear. Hold on. He’s still trying to tell me something. But the drones are still too loud.Why is someone shaking me so violently? Where did the cat‘s grin go? Why is the milk white now?  I’ll ask the milk’s jug later. I don’t like being dragged like this. I don’t like being touched so hard. I must be in danger. My clothes are burning. Why is this man trying to hurt me? If I reach inside my pocket, i could reach my knife, then I could defend myself. I just can’t reach it. The man in the white coat (is he a doctor?)  is gripping me to hard. His hands are burning through my arms and into my soul. What will he find? Burning, burning like fire, the lights swivel like a crazy carnival carousel off its rails. All I hear is the drones revolving about my head like an unholy halo. We begin sinking through the floor clinging to one another. The doctor tries to pull me with him down the hall the whatever death he envisions for me, only to be sucked back down through the floor. I can’t reach my knife, because my hands are mushrooms. The world is going round and round, and the lights are bouncing in every direction. The sound of drones. The sound of feet. I feel them pounding. I feel the beat. His yells thumping. Pierce my soul. His eyes through mine. Burning me cold. Holding me down. With molten lead. Is he the devil? I think, he said. How did I end Where I started – Why do I end up not where I want. How come all my soul can do is shout. He’s telling me something – But I can’t hear, cause the doctors is trying, to wheel me out. I finally can reach my knife it’s cool steel ripe for death. It plunges through The warm blue sun. In. one. single. breath. it. burns. and. drips. Life. is. taken. away. life. is. given. Pain. is. ridden. to. heaven. or. hell. a. weary. soul. flies. For. all. that. lives. is. born. to. die. Riders fly him away on the swiftest of steeds. The Cat’s flying with death on his broom, and repeating with a sullen gloom: “Riders on the storm. Into this house we’re born. Into this world we’re thrown. Like a dog without a bone. An actor out on loan. Riders on the storm- “ Down! Down! Down! They fly! The Doctor laughing while quaffing milk from the sun- To and fro they go- Down Down! To the vixens town- The doctor’s a queen – And the cat’s a clown – the blade’s in his chest–=——-where I’ve driven it down. Evidence of my crime. Comes to he beat of the time. tock. tick. tick. tock. never stopping yells that clock. “the time has come” The doctor says. He  laughs “and more will come, or steeds like these.” The dogs the dogs the drones the drones. It’s too loud. His laughter is piling on the ground. In a mound. It ‘s ceaseless. It’s merciless. It talks. It mocks. The lights turn from green to red. My heart is pounding. Through these walls I will burst. For out of this cage I thirst. I am racing down this hallway like a dog.  Through the wall I burst and fall down, down, down to the vixen’s town. The unintelligible voice in my head is screaming to be let out. I still can’t understand it. All around me scores of cats fly on their green steeds like witches on brooms. Why don’t they leave me? They are hunting me. They’re just a shout away now. “A storm is threatening my very life today. If I don’t get some shelter I’m going to fade away.”  Down we go from the clouds on our steeds. Eagles ripping through the wind, soaring on broken rhymes and rhythms that bleed. LET THEM BLEED! Let It run all over me. Let these winds lay passenger’s souls to waste. They’re all drunk and insane anyway… The hooves of the dogs beating the wind to the rhythm of my heart. The sun throbs my name and claims that I am the one who caused and sealed his fate to eternal fire Strung up on the sky like a man on death row, he’s swinging from the gallows pole, howling with laughter in unison with the doctor and the Riders on the storm. Purple and yellow gas pouring from their mouths, leaving a trail of un-human happiness as they plummet down for me. The sun is orbiting around them in large circles. Gaining speed with every revolution, it becomes day, and then Night, then day, and then night, before I can blink. Like a strobe light it’s alternating between heaven and hell, between sane and insane, and between good and evil. On the sun is the Cat’s grin, drooling milk onto the world which falls into the winds current, creating a rushing river under the doctor’s feet. My heart throbs. The hooves beat. The drones and sirens are sounding out, and the sun brightens this world like a strobe light only creating harrowing confusion. I look up at the hearth of my room far above my where I started, and the walls are closing in on my brothers. Burying the cold, burying the lonely, burying the naked sitting against the wall cold and alone lifting their hands to the stars in order to hold all the emptiness. My mind grows crooked in order to understand the charade. they lower their eyes from on high. From the  lights in the sky. And see only the purple elephants on parade. Trying to bind my soul to theirs. With all hell to their at the disposal. United we stood. Divided we fall.    I hit the water. And deep I sink into my own soul with my wide staring eyes. The Deeper I go the dryer I get. I feel the bottom of the sea. Close behind me I feel the gnarled hand of the doctor reach for my neck as I hit the wall at the bottom of this milk sea. I search with all my might. The world is closing in on me. The Doctor is silent. The cat laughing his laugh, laughing his curses at me, as the drones explode, deafening me.  The riders almost reaching for me with the Prince of Darkness at their lead with shackles ready, and eyes that stare through me, ceaselessly  pounding into my deepest secrets which even I don’t know, as sun swings around the world, half illuminating and half darkening the hades brought to my feet. With the wall in my face, I reach for the handle and open it. I will shut them out of my mind, as I get behind the wall, and away from the world.  Part II. The Wall He’s trying to talk to me. I guess I had not heard him before. But I still can’t understand what he’s trying to say. He’s getting quieter every minute. Have I been here up against this wall, with my long hair hanging about my naked body, shutting out the world all my life? Maybe I should I should ask somebody. There is the ocean, and I’m at its shore. It stretches as far as I can see, and then it joins hands with the deep grey sky.  All is quiet. The only sounds are the whispers of a baby quietly crying being carried by Wind’s weather beaten gentle hands to my bleeding ears as tiny purple and green  ripples hit the soft sand, and then retreat into the love of the deep, where a prolonged wail is protruding the water’s garment filling my pipeline with old times. When I gave the wall a try, all dark memory died  And Sweet memory died with it.   Past is blind to tame or wild, Sweet or dark, as all memories are sent to their watery graves. My mind is like the water: Resting for a moment, only to be drawn back ceaselessly into the past, who leaves you with your memories only to take them away as soon as you start to make sense of them .I wonder if Past has ever been asked for it’s memories? “Have I always been here?” No answer from the dark. And now there is light. Out from the shelter of the cloud’s mantle, the sun comes out wearing a black blanket. He shines through it, but looks white and grey now.  I guess the cat hasn’t gotten back his grin. For it’s still there, unchanged, and smack in the middle of the Sun. Or is it the moon? And there is the Cheshire cat: Slowly appearing from grin to tail in front of the moon. He’s mumbling something as he floats from the moon to me with his paws and claws hanging limp from his body. His whole face is dead, and his eyes are half closed. But his grin is still unchanged. Here he comes. And here he stops. Above the water, and above my head. He’s telling me about myself. I can’t understand half of what he’s saying. It’s terrifying. It’s all about riders, hell and being dazed and confused. Why is he telling me about life before The Wall? “B-because you asked me.” ” I didn’t ask you.” “Yes you d-did.” “I was trying to talk to him, not you.” “Wh-h-ho is he???” “……” “Now he launches himself out of the blue, and into the black. You are the king. And the king is gone. Out for a fling and back to a locked door. Left on the cold floor. Ringing the doorbell without an answer, and without a complaint. What has the world come to.When every policeman is a criminal and  all the sinners saints. For you the sun is blue and for me the sun is black. Let’s join hands and travel into the arms of the depths of the deep. In her peace, we’ll forever sleep. And once you’re gone, you can’t come back, when you’re out of the blue and into the black. The king is gone but he’s not forgotten, Is this the story of Johnny rotten? It’s better to burn out than to fade away. The king is gone but he’s not forgotten. The Rider on the storm are gone and forgottenBut they haven’t forgotten you. Their coming back on steeds of iron and Lions made of lead with heads of dragons that will tread over your body and take it back to the hell they came from. Heads will roll. Not from rock. But from deaths toll. It’s better to burn outthan to fade away, for they’re coming for you regardless of what you want or say. I saw them riding on boats of Horis and Oris. And they’ll be here in far less Time than you’d think. Come with me out of the blue to a deathfest. Take my hand and leave this land. Take the knife you drove into the doctor’s chest, and drive it deep into what’s left of you” Part III. The Deep Into the Deep I go. Wading into the waters of the deep, walking side by side with with death, as the Cheshire cat marks my every step. I know he’s right. They’re coming regardless of what I think and do. There’s only one way out of here: Down, down, down on the homeward bound train. And that’s where I’ll go, with the Cheshire at my side. I feel my life slipping away. With this knife my soul is turning to and fro in stationary motion. Moving to the only place there is to go on this side of the wall: The Deep. All is quiet. Even the sound of the silent screaming has stopped. My body is at peace, but my memories and my mind are ready to die. “Death is a natural part of life.” The cat is saying. “But in your case, you’re already dead. You’re just finishing off the job that was started many years ago.” Yes. That makes sense. But What’s that? Part II. The Madcap mirror For The first time on this side of the wall, I can hear music. The words are clear and unmistakable “Southern man, better keep your head, Don’t forget, what your good book said. Southern change gonna come at last, Now your crosses are burning fast” Where is it coming from? There, it’s coming from the moon. I can see somebody in the moon. It’s him! But it’s not. Oh my….Oh my goodness…what have I been doing? Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. It’s me. He’s me. It’s been me trying to talk to me the whole time. There he is. Their I am, on the moon. But he’s younger. It was life before The Wall. I can see that I was a hotel room. There’s a sweaty tuxedo and a wedding dress, hung up in the closet. There on a bed he is under the covers, talking as he runs his hands through the hair of our bride lying next to him. “I love you.” “I love you too Paul.”              

Works Cited

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“NEIL YOUNG LYRICS – Southern Man.” A-Z Lyrics Universe. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.