Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jake Cosmos Aller writes


One early winter morning 
A man went to the mirror 
To do his morning shave 
Just another shave 
Like a thousand, million shaves before

As he looked into the mirror 
He did not see his face 
Instead he saw a stranger 
Staring out at him

An old, beat up old man 
With intense sad eyes 
Stared out at him

The man looked hard 
At the man who had taken 
Over his mirror

And wondered who he was 
And how and why 
He had taken over his mirror

The man was perturbed, disturbed 
And a bit angry at the turn of events 
All he wanted to do 
Was shave in peace and quiet

The man continued to stare 
At the face in the mirror 
And finally could not stand it anymore

He looked at the mirror 
And said, 
Man in the mirror 
Who or what are you 
And what do you want 
And why have you taken over 
My god damned mirror 
So early in the morn

The old man 
Merely laughed and resumed staring 
At the man 
The man getting more and more angry 
Demanded an answer 
From the fiend in the mirror

Who are you, you mocking fiend 
And what do you want from me 
The man screamed

The old man in the mirror 
Looked at him and said 
Don't you know who I am 
I am you and you are me

The man looked at the old man 
And said no, no, no 
I am not you, never will be you 
I am not an old, washed up old man 
I am me – full of life, youth and vitality

And yet the man knew the truth 
Did not want to admit the truth 
Could not handle the truth 
The old man in the mirror 
Was what he had become

The man was very angry 
And screamed 
At the old man in the mirror

The man said you may look like me 
You may sound like me 
You may even smell like me

But I am not you 
Never have been 
Never will be 
Not going to happen 
Not in a million years

The man yelled at the old man 
Old man, mocking fiend from hell 
Go to hell old man 
And never darken my mirror again

And the man stormed out of the house 
And wandered about here and there 
Finally late at night 
He wandered into a bar 
And began drinking the night away

The man went up to some pretty young things 
And tried to pick them up 
They laughed at him 
Called him a dirty old man 
And told him to go home

The man went home 
To bed alone 
And drank some more beer 
And dreamt of all of his past loves 
And failed dreams

Of what he had done 
And failed to do 
And wondered whether his time 
Had come

The next morning 
He walked into the bathroom 
Determined to confront the old man 
Tell truth to power

He said, listen up, old man 
You may have won the war 
But not the battle 
I am not you 
And never will be you

And screaming like an escaped banshee 
Newly freed from the mental institution
The man shot the old man in the mirror 
Shot him over and over 
Screaming die mocking fiend from hell

The man woke in the hospital 
An old black doctor came over 
Said sadly 
This white boy ain't right in the head

The man laughed insanely 
And saw down the hall 
The old man in the mirror 
Smiling and beckoning to him 
Walking out the window 
And into the dawning sun

The man got up and walked 
And joined the old man in the mirror 
And smiled as he died

                     The Picture of Dorian Gray -- Stanislav Plutenko

1 comment:

  1. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" was a controversial novel by Oscar Wilde. The deeply moral artist Basil Hallward, infatuated by Dorian Gray's beauty, painted his full-length portrait and introduced him to Lord Henry Wotton, an aristocratic hedonist who taught him that beauty and sensual fulfillment are the only things worth pursuing. Wotton presented him with an unnamed Frech novel. (At his trial for sodomy, Wilde said that the book was "À Rebours" [Against Nature] by Joris-Karl Huysmans.) Over the following 18 years, while he remained young and handsome though he experimented with every vice, including murder, his portrait aged and reflected every soul-corrupting sin. Wilde claimed that all three of these characters were versions of himself: "Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry is what the world thinks of me: Dorian is what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps."

    A banshee (from the Irish "bean sí," woman of the barrows) was a spirit whose keening wail heralded death; in some parts of Leinster, the "bean chaointe" (keening woman) had a wail so piercing that it could shatter glass.


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