The Darkest Night


Once a year honeyed madness descends
from the onset of the vernal equinox,
when Bacchante prevails over great minds,
when generative bodies become spirit-full.
Beauty and danger—living death—overpower
open, receptive souls with kairotic moments
that spill—above embankments, thresholds,
horizons girding what is appropriate, what is moral.
Maenads appear behind mortal faces.
Naked and dancing, ecstacy and wine flow
through the blood of those boiled by outpouring
urges that are revealed only in sparagmos—
fiery bodies overwrought become Dionysian;
the god of rebirth stirs, comes alive within them.

Weak, mousy creatures who sneak scatter
like cockroaches when hot lights come on;
they fear the heels of rapture-full dancers—
those who close their eyes, fall into their forms,
who do not look down in knowledge and shame,
those who release memory, let the façade fade.

Those enslaved by the delusions of the day
arch and stand still—show themselves lame
like a single-faceted god of guilt, penitence, pain;
those small things never know liberation
from their pathetic state; they deny the place
of their rejecting the great
under the weight of their worthless arrogance.

Great souls give up their many personae,
accept that each moment is artistic trade
upon which self-overcoming can be raised.
They become reflective sacrifices on display
in their homage to human groundlessness,
an acceptance of the chaos, the void inside.
Beneath the meat, the veins, the fluids and guts,
beneath the sense of certain existence
there is but a fragmented image
of some nothing, a shadow-thing called I.
They become stars that break the night.

The celebration of the wild Bacchae
reveals what is most human—the reviled,
forgives the animal for its lack of design,
drawing darkness up in to their stride
to stamp it out in a frenzied delight.
The revelers are possessed by the divine
in the outpouring of their vulgar side,
making room for new selves to arise.
No one is one in anything but name,
even if the mean souls celebrate the lie—
only the dancer, the spectacle, realizes
how to throw the darkness outside.

Only those who are willing to fail,
not cautious who seek masks to hide behind,
make meaningful fools of themselves;
they become the ground of all that is alive
by throwing themselves down before the crowd.
It is their reckless performance that empties
out the ugly, the judgments, the snide
shit that collects within and putrefies—
the certain, stupid, and too careful mind;
that is what suffocates freedom and insight—
the willingness to be wrong, raw, bright.
Torches come alive with a frictive strike
and it is fire that is most needed in the dark.
It is the Bacchanalia that frees the will
by killing whatever will not die to survive.
This is the night that madness purges
the soul of what is hard, base, without life.

About thepoetsglass

Professor, poet, philosophical dilettante, plus some other impressively heady alliterations. Instructional designer and copywriter. Cognitive neuroscientist by night. Self-diagnosed coffee addict, sometime dancer, brooding bibliophile, and an always salty sailor.
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