After Laocoön and His Sons and Barnett Newman’s Who’s Afraid of Red Yellow and Blue III, 1967
look at him go! he could be dancing, that could be
gear in his veins if it weren’t for the snake in his leg,
if it weren’t for the fact that it’s venom. turn the
bass up, put on your doof goggles, blind your eyes to
the horror! now. believe in the gift. ignore
his screaming: fear the world when the going is good
fear the horse for the flag’s only white until it’s wiping
colour from your back. can’t put the red back inside
can’t pull the knife out, can’t put the snakes back
into the sea! my boys! don’t listen to him, he just
took bathroom drugs. don’t think it hollow. don’t look in
its swinging jaw. don’t mind the smoke. those aren’t war cries
it’s just the crowd. look, Laöcoon is dancing forever!
the city won’t burn down overnight. those two are
not his sons. they bear no curse. they’re dancing too,
forever, too, it’s basically a troye sivan video – no, that’s
not fear on their faces, they’re just feeling the rush. and no,
they’re not screaming – what did I tell you about looking?
stop being so fucking mortal, so fucking morbid, you’re
killing the party. they’ve got everything here, drugs, music,
a piñata horse! they’ve even got fucking snakes!
it’s the party of the year and all your prophesising is
literally murdering the vibe. stop saying he was good.
stop putting his name in past tense. grab a bat and bash
open that horse. the not-snakes will drag him to the
not-sea where he can keep dancing while the lights
go up around us and we come down. let’s not fight.
let’s not think. let’s let him stay there, writhing, lithe,
warning of a thing he’ll never see from underwater
he’s busy. he’s dancing, forever. let him be.
Featured photo originally taken by Marie-Lan Nguyen and held in the public domain via Wikimedia.