In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Social Anxiety

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At the people’s fair, the poets and priests applauded,

amid moon beams, day flowers and drifting bubbles,

they chanted om-ish dreams in wiling away the hours.

For days on days, the fleet of foot and spare of change

smoked sense into surreal, eating praise and crackers

like Jamesian daisies and a Dapper dangling a cheroot.

There were criers, circus barkers among lap dogs afoot

staring down cookie crumbs, brie chunks on sooty floor.

Festive and feast-ive, the colors and chaos crept edgily,

spun the words from the loudspeaker on love, language,

power, God, emptiness, blunting, alienation and forgive

me if I recollect badly for such forceful good cheer stung

my fear-filled hidden face, feted, feeling the drafty ales

culled by court jesters and juggling clowns reciting lines,

preached poetry and rhyming prayers to a cloying crowd.

And the arms reached me, slung their shawl-like shroud

over me who did not remember how she came here to be

fair of people, puppets, poets, perfume, priests and pot

when then I recalled a choice collected as entry gate fee:

Lithely spin inside the tales of others’ telling or turn tail.  

So, in a booted click-thud pivot, I chanced the lone trail

beyond fenced cloudy star-lit trees blinking cheer-ishly

and down the hill atop which the cacaphony decrescendo

subsided wide for miles stretched into the nomadic night. 

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