THE EGOTISTIC LUNATIC IN THREE ACTS
With his sorrow scattered;
and his jigsaw broken;
The Egotistic Lunatic collects pieces off the ground…
His back breaks under expense
Which cannot be outweighed by peace,
Or (tragically) repentance…
(The Carnival Barker gives a speech)
(The Children gather ‘round his feet)
—”Don’t laugh at this weakness! Please!
His breath is shallow and frail
and due to inability he follows an unkind treatise
with a skin tone of silverypale.
The Egotistic Lunatic has experienced profound revelation…
(So pledge your ear)
(He yells with a voice all can hear)
—“I RYHME TENDERNESS WITH CONVERSATION
WHILE SPEAKING PROUD AND WITH JUBILATION!
AND I AM DEAF AND CONFUSED
AND KNOW NOTHING (FOR MY HEART IS BRUISED)!
SO TEACH ME A SONG,
SING AS I EXPERIENCE REST,
AND COLLAPSE IF YOU MUST,
BUT NEVER REGRESS!
ONLY A FOOL CRIES WITH NEITHER PURPOSE NOR JEST
THIS, MY OCEAN VAST, I MUST CONFESS!”
He sleeps under moonlight that never wavers
While he drinks rum and favours
The uncouth women of the seaside who feed him
Fruits of flavours bountiful and honeyed,
Miraculous and not costing any money.
Sleeping at the foot of her dress
The Egotistic Lunatic fears the universal consents;
Dry cheeks ungifted bless
While timeless trees burn from bourgeoises excess.
But now, he sees a vision and begins crying:
Because the hearts are trying
While stomachs are insincere
And hopeful guerilla soldiers are dying…
This is what, upon birth, he was taught to fear.
These are the planets within his cosmos (To an end that no one knows),
From here to there and free of foes The Egotistic Lunatic shall live with broken bones,
Tongue raw and bleeding from his soles He nevertheless thinks himself bold.
—“But here is the truth, I promise and plea!”
He is no more than an illustration
Set upon a landscape of yesteryear and its forgotten
A painting of the prodigal son!
His face an impression and a fable,
A story told thrice over by the elder who has won,
Who now focuses his eyes and who, with elation,
Weeps for the missing miracles of love and tradition
That haunted the Egotistic Lunatic until he was none.
Guy Mizrahi is a second-year student at the University of Toronto studying Philosophy and English.