Keeping silent for too long creates a po...

The Ghost Sonata

The Student (Arkenholz)

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Text

Keeping silent for too long creates a pool of stagnant water, which rots. There’s something very rotten here. And yet, when I first saw you come in, I thought it was paradise...That Sunday morning when I stood out there gazing in I saw a Colonel who was not a Colonel, I had a noble benefactor who was a crook and had to hang himself, I saw a mummy who wasn’t one, and a virgin who--speaking of which, where is virginity to be found? And beauty? In nature and in my mind when it’s in its Sunday best. Where are faith and honour? In fairy tales and children’s plays. Where does anything fulfil its promise?...In my imagination! Now your flowers have poisoned me, and I’ve poisoned you in return--I begged you to be my wife and share my home, we wrote poetry and sang and played music together and then the Cook appeared…Sursum Corda! Try once more to strike fire and purple out of the golden harp...try, I beg you, I implore you, on my knees...Come, I’ll do it myself!

[He takes the harp, but no sound comes from the strings.]

It is dumb and deaf. To think that the most beautiful flowers are so poisonous, are the most poisonous; all creation, all of life is cursed...Why wouldn’t you be my bride? Because the very source of life in you is sick… That vampire in the kitchen, I can feel it now, beginning to suck my blood, it’s like a .Lamia, giving suck to children. The kitchen, that’s where children’s hearts are nipped in the bud, unless it’s the bedroom, of course...There are poisons that blind and poisons that open the eyes. I must have been born with the latter, for I can’t see the ugly as beautiful, or call what’s evil good, I just can’t! Christ descended into hell, that was his pilgrimage on this earth--to this madhouse, this prison, this charnel-house the earth; and the madmen killed him when he wanted to set them free; and let the robber go, the robber who always gets out sympathy!--Alas for us all, alas! .Saviour of the World, save us, or we perish!

[For full text, please see The Ghost Sonata]

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