Stage two

To my soul, my conscience, how fantastic you’re not here.

You talk loudly, pompous and condescending. You tell me what I already know, you ride your privilege into the halls of inequality and pontificate. You are passion, vogue profundity and unrelenting principle. You are freedom, wanderlust, formula and function. You dance confident and calculating in the underground.

Katara Cultural Village, Doha

This place is not for you, but please stay.

This place is lips kept politely, decorously closed. It belongs to those who bathe comfortably in rationalization and relativism, who find themselves in folds of fabric, shaded from constancy and rebellion. I swim in strokes of black ink, trace, retrace and bind myself to the simplicity of beauty. I swallow my superego and keep lips politely, decorously closed.

I want to keep you here. Afraid I’ll lose myself I cling to vintage Steinbeck, dead teeth, stale, stolen pastries, $6 eggs. Here, there’s no climbing, no rotten salt-soaked beams. I fight to hold you with nothing to tempt you. There’s no maenadic sagacity in a Philosopher Infanta borne on the back of an embarrassment of riches. She’s tower-tethered, ivory hewn.

Qatar National Library and Georgetown University in Qatar, Education City, Doha

You who stay in the right; stay radical, stay angry. Stay on your yacht and ride out the waves.

I fall among the grey, losing bits of me in ambiguity, in contradiction, in The Greater Good. Ballbusting idealist dreamer, stay inside me.

My soul, my conscience, I want your tunnel vision your muleishness your confidence your grandstanding. I want the world through your polarized anarchist lenses but they’ve bought me and I’ve not your blind spots, just self doubt and cynicism. 

I’ve sweat on my hands, from all the perfumes of Arabia.

Stay sweet, stay rad.