There is a very bad actor, duplicitous and shallow. He cannot understand the stage directions, or choose to disregard them. Gripped at the throat by fear and indifference, trembling before the persistent (absence) of self.

There is a very bad mechanic who does not understand the machine, yet hammers at it ceaselessly and tries to mend those of others. What price does he charge? Only that he be cloaked in the noise of living and in modern garb.

There is a very bad musician who cannot play his instruments but still attempts a symphony and is convinced the cacophony is genius. A lack of talent and an inability to comprehend passed off as primitivist play.

There is a very bad husband but he knows the gestures and the epithets and can sigh in disbelief. He is a very bad believer but nevertheless knows just how to preach.

There is a distance between the saying and the doing, the thinking and the feeling, the curtain and the world. Nothing can be said of them that isn’t said of many and yet trapped inside their skull they pretend at being something. They speak of ‘we’ when meaning ‘I’ and cannot but speak that singular imprisonment that they cherish in its decay. Trying and failing and awaiting a beating. Surrendering at every turn while uttering platitudes of faith.

They are beneath a single skin and muttering. Living meagrely and learning nothing except how to disappear.

Tighten, deeper, empty things. A death-rattle. Upturned hands. And


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