The Spectacle

Grief and costume.

sad clown doll in basket

Sometimes when my words are hiding in some corner refusing to come out when called, I wonder what is really going on, and then have to admit that I can’t blame them for being fed up with me. So much of the use of syllables in daily life involves costuming their original forms in these ridiculous get-ups, the sort we raged against as children, the sort I would never dream of inflicting on the cat.  

To even mention the appropriateness of abandoning sentences for a full-throated scream at a time like this is cliché by now, inviting memories of scolds: only dullards state the obvious, and with these, cringing recollections of times when I did not consider what was and was not obvious when speaking with––as the tired saying went, a full heart––because the whole point was to know what was new and raw, thrilling at the cut of it, the constant overflow, I could not keep my fingers from a scab and if someone had pressed me to define what this was, exactly, I might have gushed Everything!––and of course it was. 

It’s not like I didn’t know of death, not that I didn’t see it, dream it, smell it under the porch, only that I had yet to discover how I carried it in such devastating abundance, or why people costumed and embalmed it to such great lengths for ceremonial viewing. I had yet to understand why the truly devastated, those who have wept long enough to feel irritated by the uselessness of solemnity, will sometimes scream in wild laughter at a wake.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

6 thoughts on “The Spectacle”

  1. I love the idea of a primal scream, the skipping of syllables entirely, ripping out out heart to cast it to the dirt in front of us and saying: “There!” to anyone who might be around to see. Unfortunately, I fear most people will fail to see the display, with their eyes glued to the opiate screen in their hand. And the sacrifice will have been in vain.

    Thanks for the great read.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: