The Burial of the Lizard


          “Is everyone in? The ceremony is about to begin.”
                    — Jim Morrison, The Celebration of the Lizard


Five a.m.
We wake dimly hushed.
Blue-black echoes stumble
through the wasted dawn. I feel
the resonance points in my words
as my fingers touch the keys, as if
they chorded your fretting temples,
moist with sweat and pulsing with blood.

Seven horses seem to be upon me.

Waves of black leather feather my mind,
erotic cling of whiskied heroin glides the glades.
Soft thunder summons from across the years,
the young lion struts the Sunset Strip,
the angels of night swarm his mane.

You crowned yourself The Lizard King.
Cruel master of ceremonies, son of Artaud,
bitch of Blake and beau of Rimbaud,
glinting new colors of vowels
as you coiled in the bowels
of the sick rose sun bleaching
the blear of the American dawn.

Your dark star flowered as myth,
the superstar hawked on t-shirts
and then smoked by Oliver Stoner.
Your shaman conjure of upheave
Cain-marked you visionary,
master of persona and theatre,
student of sociopathic sociology,
sphinx who died with smile intact.

Of course, it was never only you.
It was the chemical swirl of your dark orchestra,
the heavy smoke chords of Krieger’s songs,
the red-light neon of Manzarek’s electric keys,
the nervous skitter of Densmore’s drums.

But yet it was you,
born to the endless night,
whose Pleiades eyes spelled our mirror.
Your southron languor draped in whiskey rage,
your tonguing of an azure phrase,
your dusk-doomed croon,
your black dahlia bloom,
your high pirate raids
on the horse lattitudes of learning –
How could we not drink your snarl
like the wickedest kiss
of a decadent
burgundy?

Who shall be the next loaned actor
ready to write your wounded sanctuary
across the drooling lips of a failed empire,
a spree of criminal lightning
to slash the rust-red deserts
of the slave mills of the Midwest,
the flaked wastrels of the idiot coasts,
the sagging braggarts of Sunbelt condominiums,
the Indians scattered bleeding on dawn’s highway?
You see, we are quite willing to blow them all away,
if it would clear the slate for so much as one new dream.
Yet for reasons mysterious, self-inscrutable,
the world has turned away and sought shelter
from your spinning black hurricane.

We buried the lizard in the backyard
and walked the other way down the hall.
And by that, I’m here today to report on you
sailing your bathtub off to oblivion
on the hush of the velvet black sea.

But on still autumn evenings
when the moon hangs low,
the fishermen on the promontory
say a dark fog steals into the harbor,
an apparition of horror and hard-on,
the residue of our dirty past,
nocturnal emotions that unleash
an arc of melismas, that peak
in the scorched throat
of midnight storms.

Seven horses paw the fall,
snort in phrases, almost words,
as we dig another door in the dirt.

We will bury you again, wild child,
wondering how long until your sinuous,
singing wraith claws its way out again,
which it will, until the day we look
more closely at that shroud
and recognize
our own
faces.



* * * * *

Mark Sebastian Jordan has been an active presence on the Ohio arts scene for thirty years as an actor, director, playwright, and improv comedian. His Mansfield Trilogy of historical dramas was featured in sell-out performances for a decade at Malabar Farm State Park. As a living history performer, Jordan has portrayed Orson Welles, George Frideric Handel, Dan De Quille, and Clement Vallandigham. He has also been featured in television programs such as Ghost Hunters, My Ghost Story, and House of the Unknown, and appeared as an extra in the classic film The Shawshank Redemption.

Jordan is also a poet with numerous publication credits. He was awarded 2nd place in the 2013 Jesse Stuart Memorial Award by the National Association of State Poetry Societies, and has also received awards from the Ohio Poetry Association, the Ohio Arts Council, The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, The Associated Press, The Rupp Foundation, The Ohio Theater Alliance, the Ohio Community Theatre Association, the Ohio Eta Chapter of the Theta Alpha Phi drama honor fraternity, and the Mansfield/Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Jordan has worked as a freelance journalist for publications all over Ohio as well as ones based in New York City and London, England. He currently reviews concerts of the Cleveland Orchestra for Seen & Heard International.

He lives at Malabar Farm State Park in Lucas, where he runs the Hostelling International hostel, which provides affordable accomodations to travelers of all ages.

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