Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Thin Duke's Testament

A channelling of the existential dandy, with apologies to Messrs. Mann, Marinetti, Nietzsche, and Bowie.


Do not presume to know whence I came, nor what I expect.

My sickness began early. From man I expected divine virtue or hair-raising wickedness; from life either ravishing loveliness or else consummate horror; and I was full of avidity for all that and of a profound, tormented yearning for a larger reality, for experience no matter what kind, let it be glorious and intoxicating bliss or unspeakable, undreamed-for anguish.

Do not fear lest I go on to recount my disappointments in detail. Enough to tell you that I learned to hate the poets for what they made me crave.
What is the mark of decadence? The whole no longer resides in the part.  The whole no longer lives at all: it is composite, calculated, artificial, and artifact. We are those calculations, we are the artifacts, because it is the only honest occupation left.
It is my favorite activity to gaze at the starry heavens by night, standing quite alone, like lighthouses or the sentinels in an outpost, facing the army of enemy stars encamped against us. Perhaps it may be pardoned in me that I still cling to my distant hopes, waiting for the divine invasion to unchain all horizons and give me something to feel. We are the Fifth Column for the ecstatic.
We are chameleons, shape-shifters, immaculate travelers between worlds. We walk, we stroll, we amble, we leap, we drag vicious beasts on leashes, all with the grace of effortless effort. Everything we do is art.

We are of the present, the eternal Now. When we have turned decrepit, let those younger and stronger souls cast us aside like useless manuscripts. They will crowd around us, exasperated by our proud indefatigable courage. They will hurl themselves forward to destroy us, with all the more hatred as their hearts will be drunk with love and admiration for us.

I have no reason to die unless it is the desire to be rid of the too great weight of my courage.

Let us don white and stroll through the darkness that roars, seeing and being seen.
Let us feed the unknown, not from despair, but simply to enrich the unfathomable reservoirs of the Absurd.
Let us now praise the senses – the only true proofs of existence.

Here I am, flashing no colour, tall in this room overlooking the ocean
Every mask I wear becomes a shield, a weapon, a horse, a home.
Here I am again, a vision in blank, throwing darts in lovers' eyes.
Take refuge in the mirror. Bind your reflections with that well-knotted necktie, 
(Silk, to be sure. Nothing less, and nothing more.)
Come live with me in the mirror; there we might better share our echoes.
Here we are again, donning velvet armor and striding forth to seek, to strive, to find, and not to yield
Here we are.
One moment to spin dreams and shout forth an insolent challenge to the stars.
One moment, this moment. 
Here we are again.
Take it while you have it.

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