We are not so pink, after all, as purple:
Transmorphing to a mind more Bithynian --
And, despite the glass pool forever
In our mind's eye glinting just off-screen --
Not so typically Narcissustickily changed
As might at first blush flippantly appear.
No, no. There is a violet vision here;
A Tyrean mission; a patient will;
And the fragments of a cinematic map
Denoting a remote area of the world
Once by Anonymous Bidgoods peopled!
Gods! The massive audacity of it!
To stage a velvet storybook of poems...
And stage them (if I might speak so bold), Well.
Admirably, astonishingly well!
So artfully, in fact, to stage them that
They learn to nourish nightly thirsty roots,
Sprout into glistening, episodic shoots,
And thicken, soon enough, to dappled woods of wisdom.
Yet if the gaze of a Pink Narcissus
To the cup of a Purple Ganymede
Is poured, (and, what's more, if it's to be deemed
Paradise found on the second attempt)
We must move beyond the Bidgoodian
Penchant for the hoarding of footage filmed.
Enough of this waiting for the Grand Release!
Enough of the endless revisions that
Douse the fire of spontaneous impulse!
Just grab a little scrap of words, shoot it,
Shuttle it into a sketchbook timeline,
And send it perfectly, proudly unpolished
Into the wide and forgiving world. Like this:
Lo, when grand release is the only aim,
A host of possible pleasures be lost.
Guard, therefore, thy touch from destination,
And find in the journey extended joys.
Granted - there are some minor preparations:
Final decisions on first iterations
Of narrative bling and linguistic confections;
Budget-line pings and fiscal projections;
Aligning the Vision to filmable shots;
Deploying a tangle of Internet knots;
Procuring actors by pitching factors
Set to deflect the mud of detractors;
The dressing of sets; the placing of props;
The monomaniacal pulling all stops;
Rehearsals, reversals, technical gaffes;
A dearth of on-set and supporting staffs;
Emergency eleventh hour fixes;
Noise-obfuscating audio mixes;
Post-edit addenda, re-shoots, and pick-ups;
Occasional continuity hiccups;
Periods of waxing paranoia;
Commas of waning euphoria;
Em-dashed gasps and semi-colon'd runs --
But it's all part of the impetuous fun!
Some call it, "The Low Budget Aesthetic",
And, to be sure, I make no objection:
Such be the hard constraints of the present.
But they shall not stop us from dreaming big,
Or planning incrementally bigger.
Key, of course, is to avoid excessive debt,
Which demands some bold means of financing.
I avow Captain Video's correct:
It WILL take two men to complete this job,
Tho' Baskin may speak no further due to
His obvious aversion to Risk.
Two men: One, a magistrate of the town
Played by a genial fellow named Fred.
He's the eponymous hero of our text,
Oblivious to the future he unleashes.
The second, an official in Hadrian's court,
To be played, O loyal reader, by You.
Fear not! -- for there be no lines to learn,
And there's no obligation to climax.
Your task is merely: To circle and soar;
To train your eagle eye on my tale's broad terrain;
To guard against injury from your own talons;
And be challenged by the wingspan of your role.
Thou art not a villain, nor cast as one.
Put simply, thou art bloated on the candied
Crisps of pornoglyphic puffs and,
As usual, accustomed to thoughtless consumption.
Courage, my friend, for a joyous fool awaits --
Eager, as ever, to entertain you --
Beyond the challenges of this chapter.
Come then! Let's imagine an ancient land!
Province of Bithynia - HadriAnnum VI.
(Don't forget: the Romans counted inclusive.)
We'll conjure the talk and gossip of men
Far from our present condition removed.
There is news between them - a discovery!
It alerts at long last into landing
The Olympian eagle of destiny,
And the engine of Antinous begins.
'Tis a tale set at Claudiopolis,
In a bath-house among politic chums.
'Tis a modest verse; unceremonious...
Title: The Gospel of Epolonius...
The earth moves; Poseidon rages offshore,
And the shock of his anger -- the rumbling
Blast of it -- the wave of liquid boulders
Knocking and knuckling in search of live bone --
Passes beneath my feet and crumples me.
There, a man is swallowed up by the soil;
There, a woman is crushed beneath her home.
And there, a moment later, am I, alive,
The ground upon which I climb to daylight
Suddenly stable and silent again.
So whispers to me in my ear the One,
"Thou art summoned now and boldly to lead,
To speak the voice of sympathetic Rome
And act in the service of Hadrian."
Hadrian. How shall I jump to please him?
How shall my conduct best honour his rule?
Some the think the wolf has a tail twixt her legs,
But I see solid sense in Hadrian.
I see a king who lusts not for glory,
And swift to end fruitless hostilities.
True, I chuckled, sneered, disdained: I disdained him --
That day the story touched me of his row
With Trajan for the favour of a boy,
But only because such scandals are brooked
Among cousins too smart to forget themselves.
Yet his coronation, the army's nod,
And a slow, glorious westward parade
Through that very square -- whereupon he touched
My shoulder, the hearts about it, and smiled,
And said to my face, "Epolonius,
Be good to the people and thus to me."
We must feed and shelter the homeless!
Commi(n)t the purse of Claudiopolis
And reassure the stricken multitudes!
This we did; this I proudly directed.
Hadrian arrived -- a breathless gesture --
To see for himself the devastation,
(And, no doubt, to be seen surveying it)
Yet genuine, nonetheless, in his grief.
And I, by a good grace, thrust into high favour
For acting by Hadrian's heart's command.
Strange how the Fates our story spins to us:
Trajan, I trow, nursed for me a reticence,
And now his heir rewards me with esteem!
I like Hadrian. I choose to honour him.
I envy your sacred office, Gryllus,
And the mission to which it be tethered:
To scout for future athletes of the court;
For boys of imminent worth and design.
Mark -- I have a pair of good candidates.
There, a man is crushed beneath a temple.
There, a mother drowns in decadent mud.
And there, a fortnight from Hadrian's leave,
Am I, dazzled! For there presents at council
That very man and mother's orphaned boy,
Besotted by the son of Niraemius,
In whose house he now has found a new home.
Antinous and Lysicles in love;
The glow of Arkamedes between them!
O Gryllus! O, my most fortunate friend!
Go and seek for glorious Lysicles,
And find upon his arm Antinous,
And trot them proudly into Hadrian's court
To serve and sanctify his warm desire!
The marble, a moment in mythic time,
Makes a bold and deliberate contour
Of idyllic calm in the lusty storm.
Methinks I'll reframe it as a widescreen dream,
Paint it with pieces of silicon colour, and,
By legs, its cupbearing function affirm.
Such changes, of course, new customs bestow:
Kindly use coasters on Thorvaldsen's Tableau.
Five thousand dollars? Don't you think that's a little ridiculous, Dick?
Ahem. Sorry - let me rephrase that, so you'll be sure to understand. Paradise found on the second attempt, right?
When ON comes after the Zeroes,
'Tis a Post-OFF Power the One re-takes.
The Shawn pops out from His Heiroz,
And mighty OLYMPUS as 1 awakes.
I'm no star of interior design,
But I know a bargain as Ganymede doth wine.
Coffee tables come and coffee tables goad,
But this one comes with its own... webisode.
To the Chronicles!