Art and poetry on page and stage



Gary Indiana

Fifth Canto

Here is a picture of a diagram inside which we see
the bandaged oval of a mutilated face.
Thus superimposed, they become inseparable
from our idea of facelessness:
to be no one in a crowded theater where some japing
druid’s just screamed “Fire!” in earnest
and knowing while
we’re trampled by larger, stronger persons
that tomorrow’s headline will read
something like:
“Gloria Vanderbilt, 5,000 others killed in conflagration.”
If we cherished anonymity
and gave the proper name
its proper due, we would feel ourselves
being trampled
rather than anticipating no column inches
in tomorrow’s Times.
Yet those who often claim
they’re here to be anonymous
believe themselves, deludedly,
quite otherwise:
large in a world
no bigger than a Petrie dish
Gulliverian tiny and reckless
in warning the others
to clear a path for their gigantic passing.

(from "Fados Poems")