Rewrite: Tragedy to Comedy

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From where I stand, a tragedy is an unfinished story.

No matter how long, no matter how many pages . . . if the happy ending has not been reached, it is an unfinished story. It requires editing. Rewriting.

I realize how offensive this may sound to those thoroughly addicted to a miserable life validated by their favorite literary pessimists. But, lest you forget . . . a pearl is made through an offense embraced by its hosting oyster. And so, I wish you many, many pearls in the days to come!

To end a story prematurely is much like ending life in the womb, killing a caterpillar in its cocoon, or interrupting Easter mid-tomb. It simply ought not be done. It’s a disgrace!

On the other hand, pain is given so much more worth and value when one does not seek to cut it off early. Don’t be so ridiculous as to off yourself in the midst of the doctor resetting your broken bone; I do assure you: there’s good to come! Some things—after being broken—actually grow back stronger.

 

 

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Clary & Watts

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This poem was inspired by a video I recently watched featuring an interview with Johnny Lee Clary. He recalls some of his most hilarious and memorable interactions with one Reverend Wade Watts. The then KKK leader didn’t know how to handle this bold man— full of love and a great sense of humor! I write this in tribute to their story. 

I—

I can’t keep up

with this drama;

someone is dissing

my mama,

and what did you

just call

my llama?

I

—haha—

I take it

so seriously

every time

you get all up

in my face

—haha, oh, man!!!—

and hate on me

because of my race!

(Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, boo!)

Yo!

This is high-comedy;

what do you

want to be?

I see you staring

in the mirror,

but you looking

at me!

And I ain’t

quite insulted

as you’d like

me to be,

but wait—

would you

really

like me to be?

I can put on

that front; yeah,

I can go on

the hunt, yeah!

But I ain’t diggin’

for dirt, man;

I’m looking for gold.

You see the pan?

Look,

I know you’ve been

cast down;

I see them chains

and them rats around,

but that don’t conceal

to me your crown;

I see it hiding

behind that frown.

Now,

don’t you go sayin’

“I’m too lost to be found”!

I love ya, bro.

See you ’round.

 

 

A Goat at the Masquerade

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I would like to invite you all now to join me at a very peculiar party. All the other guests in attendance are wearing masks. You get the sense that such a thing is expected at this party. You feel the pressure to fit it in—to stand out. And yet . . . to not stand out at the same time. The desire to feel normally unique just like everyone else.

There are all manner of masks, and many have gathered about into groups—according to color, according to theme, according to size, etc.  You sense a rivalry between these groups. You notice how rarely they exchange dance partners with each other.

Other. Because there are others here. They fail to notice that all alike wear masks. All alike play false rolls in the silence of the shadows.

*Cue creepy music*

They are staring at you like you are naked. You do not have on a mask. Different groups quickly offer you one of their own in an attempt to “save your dignity.”

As if your bare face were something to be ashamed of. 

They call it a “covering.”

It is at that point that something rather curious happens.

A goat. 

*Cue party music with balloons*

With a loud, bleating “baaaaahh!,” the goat runs into the room with a pack of little goat friends, knocking people over. Masks fall off, and people freak—scrambling for their beloved face-covers.

It is at this point that you recognize a couple of your old friends—people quite dear to your heart. They are scattered across separate groups. You know that these people belong together. They are not meant to be as they are.

Everyone is suddenly united in one cause: catching the goat & company—and getting them under control. They must not be allowed to run about like that. It is too dangerous, too disruptive.

You decide you rather like the goat. It is a bit annoying and obnoxious to the ones who want to maintain the order and status quo, but it is cute and fuzzy and helping you see people as they truly are. It also nuzzles you affectionately and looks adoringly at your bare face.

And amidst all the “chaos,” people are starting to see each other’s again . . . despite their best efforts.

*Cue overly dramatic music*

To be continued . . .