In a room packed and fraught with history complete with books,
knick-knacks, furniture and little altars everywhere
which payed homage to seemingly everything;
The Hermit sat in his throne-like chair.
His eyes burned and his mind grew troubled.
Misshaped monsters flew past him in herds
and all went round in his head in a dizzying swirl.
His imagination was getting the better of him again.
Still, it wasn’t enough and he hurriedly scattered about him
exotic perfumes, exhausted his vaporizers,
concentrated his strongest essences, gave rein to all his balms.
Lo! the stifling closeness of the room was filled with an atmosphere,
maddening and sublime, breathing powerful influences
which soothed briefly the pressing weight of accumulated History,
his needy searches of long lapsed times for a purpose vague:
a reason to see again the beauty of the moment Present.
The vapors reminded him of his youthful travels
when he was freer of mind to see the world with his own eyes
and a body that had done what he had asked of it, not like this
when with every day came yet another kind of pain.
Now, his world was reduced to only these rabid imaginings
which Age had bequeathed him as he sat in this chair,
self-sequestered king of detritus and dust within these four sets
of walls which were only his solidified dreams.
---Purple Mark, 05/12/12
- “His eyes burned: his mind grew troubled.... Misshaped monsters flew past him in herds.... All went round in his head,” (from St. John’s Eve). Nikolai Gogol. The Penguin Book Of Witches And Warlocks. (Penguin Classics, 1989) Page 102.
- “When he had sufficiently savored the sight, he hurriedly scattered about exotic perfumes, exhausted his vaporizers, concentrated his strongest essences, gave the rein to all his balms and Lo! the stifling closeness of the room was filled with an atmosphere, maddening and sublime, breathing powerful influences....” J.K. Huysmans. Against The Grain: (A Rebours). (Dover Books, 1969) Page 112.