Percy the Pianist: Canto 1, stanzas 70-75


One final vision before the “Begin-
Ning.” A vast chambre-rouge was where he hight-
Ed in the lower-deep — there was no sin
Here, no sound, no voice of past and spite-
Full present (the future still untold). Light
Did not penetrate into this abyss
Of darkness, brownness and peace. Is it right
To call the dark the light? Is it amiss
To claim respite in sleep? It is a bliss

As rare as a pure ruby, or a sapphire,
Silver, adamantine gold or bronze. Pick
And cleave your sacred stone: We then admire
Ourselves and the Other all the more. Stick
With yourselfs, ourselfs — the elfs who trick
Even the leprechaun into revealing
The four-leaves clover. No more, or a prick
Will become a thorn, a rose [Kiss on Ealing
Broadway]. It is a very concealing

Ness still slumbering in northern loch, one
Titan of the seas — a kraken? Sink, sink
Deep down, sink, sink, sink like a Morrison
Or a Jimmy experience. The brink
Is nigh, rise and fall like an empire, drink
From the red fount of life or blue font of
Mana that Ganymede serves, w/o a blink
To the gods {or get out and play}. A cough
Escaped, a belch followed — muscles for Hoff!

Percival awakes — but horror, horror
He is stiffly frozen except the eye-
Lids and the balls which quiver, begging for
Limbs to move. The nightmare of fusilli,
Spag-monster’s rival for supremacy
In the pasta pantheon, haunted him.
Seven seconds passed. At last, finally
He could move a toe, his vision was dim
And blurred like a cartoonish secret. NIMH:

The National Institute of Mental
Health, was long obsolete, with addictive
Medicaments designed to prolong the Fall
Without touching trauma. Obviously, hive
Minds kept the pharma-corporates alive
And kicking guinea pigs to submission
Or dependence (or both) rather than strive
For self-mastery, they created fission
Of patient free-will, without contrition.

Assorted medicaments

Poor Percy blinked, his legs swung, pendulum-
Like; the light flickered, the tap dripped. It took
Monumental effort to cast off dumb
Chains — his entire corpus christi shook
Like Caesar, until he was released: Hook
Line, but not sinker, for he knew this would
Come again, night and day, day and night. Look
Around, young traveller, you are free, should
You but start fighting against Hollyrood.

End of Canto 1

Dedicated to Patrick Wu (1968-2020), friend, teacher, master chef, guitarist and zen-wit. Inspired much of this scrawl which does him scant justice. Missed greatly.

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