A Season in Hell with Bat* 

by Mordantia Bat

nce, if I remember well, my life was a feast where all hearts opened and all wines flowed. One evening I seated Beauty on my knees. And I found her bitter. And I cursed her.

Forced into poignancy by a reflex, I think I am beautiful in sorrow, but Laszlo says no. So, I can't win that either. We share lipstick. I would die if you caught my feelings again - death, she whispers wistfully. No, it's the broken refrigerator of my dreams, and I can soar above it.

At least, I am not a medieval monk.

Sometimes, things don't gel, and how many times have I turned over that tarot card? My lips turn blue. I look into boxes and revel in their emptiness. Beer helps. I raise the shade and frown into the sun and desire coffee. Desire is fun. It's a parlor game, a thing to gloat over on long winter nights. Neverending. Torment is its friend. They dance together, naked, in replicas of Stonehenge and stick their tongues out at me. Gosh, I love life.

People in torment write mysterious things on the wall.

Just an aside.

I live in a bad novel. I knew it when I got into the cab, and the cab driver was French, and he was playing a tape that sounded like Edith Piaf. But it wasn't. It was someone I didn't know. And the cab driver said, "It is a love song." What bloody hell else would it be? Especially at that time of night when my mind reeled with my displeasure.

Congenital disassociation.

They say they want nice, but they don't. Threatening is more fun. What makes the blood pump best is never the healthy option.

I would surrender but my white flag is soiled.

Health becomes a defense mechanism, a cause to take up because everything else is done. People have fallen, their lips still wanting a touch, their touch still wanting a reason. There are no reasons in the netherworld, only questions, and the cruelest demon is the one who answers "Because" every time you ask why. I would travel with that demon. I would pretend the answer "Because" was Zen, or Tao, or something else that is meaningfully passive, but passivity is a tree bending, a knee bending, a head bending over the executioner's block. True action comes harder. Most movement comes from desperation when movement is a reflex and an euthanasia.

Let's talk about euthanasia. Let's talk about television. Let's talk about slow euthanasias where nothing is kind about it, where the maggots feed before the corpse is even dead. Those hungers are nothing new, but I see them twisted into new Leggo sculptures that tower into the sky. They pretend to be about progress. But no. Movement isn't linear. For every step forward, the same trees appear.

The World is My Oyster. I shall not want.

But I do. Yearning catches the sides of my eyes and radiates out over the world. I catch my breath and dignity and sit down again. Unconsummated mysteries haunt me.


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*Phrases in italics at the beginning and end of this poem were borrowed shamelessly from Rimbaud's "A Season in Hell."