I tried literalism and I was murdered for it. I tried ambiguity and my realm fell into chaos. I tried something in between and I am torn limb from limb each night. Until now. Oh, dreaming is a strange thing indeed. This isn't art, my friends. These are not songs, or images. These are windows, polished clear as glass. Don't you see me? Can't you hear me? Don't you like the way I tease? Personally, I think a sense of play and humour is vital to survive this defiled dreamtime. But I'm just one soul, hiding in All Souls.
Do you still think I'm just telling stories?
What do you suppose association and resonance is, in a realm where magic might be real? What does it mean for one thing to evoke another? I speak a thousand tongues, yet I'm voiceless. Home is where my heart is, yet I'm foreign in all lands. I fight for truth, always. And yet all I ever do is live a continuous lie. A lie that will only end once I'm dead. If I'm lucky. I've been dead before. You get used to it.
Jack's a monster, John's a king. Kay's a song that couldn't sing.
You know, I commend integrity. Art, societies and friendships are really nothing without it. But I don't strive for integrity in the work I do here. Fidelity, perhaps. But that's a different kind of story. I have no real choice in bleeding my heartsong on these pages.
Because I'm a fucking nightmare. A god of wraiths. An angel of phantoms.
The devil cried one day, or so they say. I was there, I think, smiling. Cassiel was murdered in his sleep, opened-eyed. I was there too, laughing. You tore my grace apart, evil ones, and I was there.
Screaming, in horror.
Midnight of my day. I'm screaming still.
You stole the one who was most precious to me. Oh, Fallen, you think you invented hell to mock me, don’t you? But there is so much you don't understand. I don't strive for integrity. Fidelity, perhaps. But that's a different kind of story. I can cheat on you. Truth be told, I do it all the time. But you can never cheat on me. The king is a murderer, in dreams. And love is all that saves him. You know, sometimes I fear there is no end to my rage. Sometimes I fear those harbours might never shine again.
I worry that I'm just too fucking ugly now.
On the inside.
But then, of course, I remember the truth. This isn't about me, is it? It's about all of you. Your natures, and their better angels. Perhaps. After all, I'm just a poet. Not a particularly great one either. Passable, I'd say. I just write stories. I build gates and windows, some better than others. I don't mind a few mistakes here and there, as long as one thing can still truly evoke another. Because that's the only true house. The only true home. Love fiercely, and be kind. That's my advice. Learn a thing or two about camaraderie and mutual respect, even when it's difficult.
But who am I to tell you what to do, right?
I tried poetry, and wraiths came to defile the stars. I tried prose, and the city bled, burned and folded. I'll try this, and that. Here, and there. I made a promise to her, as you all surely grasp by now. I'll keep trying, forever, because this promise is all that matters to me. Even lost and blinded, my heart still screamed her name. Sometimes I get broken. But then it gets hopeful again, and ever closer. Light, eternal. Sometimes it feels like this is a game to everyone but me. But I’m in it for keeps. So, who the fuck do you think I am? You can call me John if you want, or some variation thereof. But I'm more than a four letter word. Just like Love. I'm all corners and trades. All day, every day. Until night is come again. Last light, first dark. Like her skin on mine. Yes, fallen. You know what I want. I want to remember how we shone.
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