Author: E Rathke

Have you heard?
Have you heard!
There’s a new one in town, a new body to play, a new song to flay, and, for only today, all is for free, all given away! Oh, yes, the fate phantastique!
We run, now, much work to be done, much singing to be sung, much dancing yet begun. Ah, yes, here we are all gathered round the socializing sacrifice, the morning light revealing the hunger, the damage done and the artist’s hand. The maudlin poets fester through, drinking already, whispering, gossips and charlatans ready to immortalize our bountiful feast. Ah, here the butchers then, the cutlery priests and the atavistic acolytes.
The children run back and forth, tramping the muck and mire, laughing their childish laughs, singing our harrowing songs of mutilations for the common good. Oh, to be young as we once were, when the gleam of a knife was enough to get the blood to boil, the lust to mount until we panted and ravaged and snorted like bulls on parade.
A knife like a sword, oh, yes, we’ll do well today. Our god given right, our light in the dark, our civil commemoration. A young one today, too. No older than twenty five.
We rub our hands and grind our teeth, watching, rapt, waiting, impatient, but the band plays on, the songs and the dances. Oh! festival of flesh! The macabre masquerade!
Out with her eye, out with her eye, how the blade does fly with such ease, his smile our tease. And then with the fingers tossed to the youth, the toes for the pregnant mothers, the ears for the atavist’s necklaces, hands for the poets, tongue for the singers, feet for the runners, and so on. Only the torso goes to all, the organs shredded and shared. All but the heart, the essence of our giver whose body feeds us and keeps our world together. The heart is for the earth, taken back from whence it came, a show of peace, a deistic offering to the only god that matters. The god who feeds but does not need.
Her bones to garden, we plant magnolia’s in her eyesockets so every spring she will once more open her eyes. Beautiful in death, beautiful in life. A way to offer thanks for our consummation, for giving without question back to those who reared us. Lilacs in her mouth so her voice remains sweet and a weeping willow where once rest her heart, to show our sorrow over her transcendent departure, leave the living behind. We the living who take her with us one mouthful at a time.
The garlands spread from tree to tree, lining every window and terrace. Her blood washes like wine over us, streaking hands and lips. The masks come out, the flowers in our hair, as night replaces day and the pyre casts our frenzied shadow, the evanescent projection of our hearts and minds. Oh! out come the poets, the harlots, and flesh dealers. For every day to feel this way! Here the poets speak their new words, their poesy for the consumed, gracious and benevolent. Ah, yes, the wit and the folly of the young and old, the keepers of words, diviners of signification. The singers sing bawdy songs of bygone days when the mortal cabaret really swung and heads rolled with lolling tongues. The musicians play their boneharps and skindrums, their guitars and pianokeys, and all link arms dancing through the bedlam.
We sing and we dance, this heartless romance!