The lunatic fringe

I know that on the lunatic fringe the sun shines on the day the same as it does at the centre and when night spreads its thick embrace along the horizon, it’s true that it has no deeper shade in any one place; perhaps as many madmen huddle gesticulating, divining meaning in the shapes their candles cast where the mainstream is manufactured as where it weakens, falls to ruins, but, my son, expect erosion on the beaches where they huddle close to flames, expect that some will be taken by the waves. At the Centre Georges Pompidou circus types swallow fuel and spit out fire then press the tourists for their change; I have seen their act with weights and chains and been amazed; in a cafe near Odeon, I watched a man with rubber jowls and a jockey’s gait slap himself and slap again as if impervious to pain and all the while relate in argot I could not break some story of his time out on the fringes where the dwellers fish and are sometimes claimed. My boy your music is a piper’s song that will lead you away and there are the words that live inside your veins, your artist’s brain. I could not exhort you to put away these gifts and stay in the dry dock when the ship you sail has caught the wind and shapes the sky and the water it is sailing in, but do sail back again some day and sit with me drinking whiskey in the dull light and let’s talk of where we’ve both been, a place where corrugations speak of odd forms that once held sway, a place from where we have both returned, not remained.

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