Panther

How long can this girl hold out? forgive any errors. no sleep. Watch as i bash my head on the keyboard.

I’d like to start with my most favoritest poem by Mark Z Danielewski. It has been so near to my heart for years, but last night as I lay on a cold floor under bright lights, trying to recite it but for the first time, forgetting the words, it found yet another seat in my soul.

The Panther

the panther paces.
waiting reminds him that clarity is painful,
but his pain is unreadable,
obscure, chiaroscuro to their human senses.

in time they will misread his gait
his moon mad eyes
the almost gentle way his tail carresses against the bars.

in time they will mistake him for something else
without history
without the shadow of being
a creature without the penance of living.

they will read only his name.
they will be unable to perceive
what strangeness
lies beneath his patience.

patience is the darkest side of power.

he is dark
he is black
he is exquisitely powerful

he has made pain his lover
and hidden her completely.

now he will never forget.

she will give birth to memories
they believe he has been broken of.

he smells the new rain
tastes its change.
his claws skate along
the cold floor.

love curled up and died on such a floor.

he blinks.
clarity improves.
he hears other creatures scream and fade
but silence is his.

he knows.

in time the gates will open
in time his heart will open.

then the shadows will bleed
and the locks will break.

 


every time i go over this poem, on the page, in my head, in sharpie on the wall next to where i lay my head. i cry. i cry because I have to. because to hold it in would be injustice to the empathy i have been granted, and my own hardships that reflect and allow me to feel the words fully.

my only want before i fade away, is to write something half as true, half as beautiful, half as painful.i always fall short. hail to the greats!

and also, i believe this poem was even inspired by a very similar one by rainer maria, which is also quite true and awesome and heartbreaking.

His tired gaze -from passing endless bars-
has turned into a vacant stare which nothing holds.
To him there seem to be a thousand bars,
and out beyond these bars exists no world.

His supple gait, the smoothness of strong strides
that gently turn in ever smaller circles
perform a dance of strength, centered deep within
a will, stunned, but untamed, indomitable.

But sometimes the curtains of his eyelids part,
the pupils of his eyes dilate as images
of past encounters enter while through his limbs
a tension strains in silence
only to cease to be, to die within his heart.


 

if these wrods i have shamelessly plagiarized do not touch you somewhere deep within, you do not know the depth of pain this life piles on some, and spares others. if literally you cannot translate empathy for such a powerful majestic creature, forever broken, you probably enjoy zoos and believe that animals belong on this earth for our exploitation. nay i say. Nay! you must learn. i am not trying to criticize, i suppose a part of me is very jealous of those who cannot comprehend, for their lives have not squeezed them and their feelings and their hearts within cold bars, and ignored and shamed in the eyes of others. perhaps you have more wisdom than i do. i am simply sick and only getting worse.

i will tell of my last night adventure later.

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