Sister Baffy ~ Part 1 of 3

493px-5850_-_Milano_-_San_Nazaro_-_Dipinto_-_Foto_Giovanni_Dall'Orto_-_7-Feb-2008(Action beings on a simple, bare stage. Sister Baffy enters ceremoniously, wearing a Halloween costume version of a nun’s habit, complete with a crucifix constructed from Popsicle sticks. A white gauze bandage is taped over one of her eyes, held loosely in place with several thickly applied layers of tape. Sister Baffy pushes a shopping cart to the center of the stage, removes a suitcase and opens it to remove an empty margarine container. Circling slowly around the perimeter of the playing area, she drums lightly on the bottom of the container with a chopstick. Once full radius, she returns her drum to the case and after a  brief moment of silent prayer, addresses a woman in the audience, speaking directly to her in a British – something brogue.)
 
Sister Baffy: You must share the weight of your cross, dear lady. Christ had to bear the strain alone but we are blessed with the help of others. Know when to reach out.
 
(Sister Baffy suddenly puts her hands over her ears and ‘lalalas’)
 
Oh — But I am an imp! My dear, you must forgive my dropping in and out of private conversations like that, but the sensitivity that has coursed through the bloodlines of my family, for centuries you must know — this inherited gene has created a psychic awareness towards the thoughts of others. Often I am simply carried away on the messages drifting by in the ethers. ‘Head like a short wave radio,’ Mother Superior always said and I will share that it can be an overwhelming experience but not tonight. In here this evening, with all of you right now? I feel the love and so swoon in response to all of this unbridled joy! 
 
(Sister Baffy suddenly appears dizzy but corrects herself gracefully.)
 
Not to worry — the antidote to these harmless little spells of mine is to close my eyes, lift these hands towards the Heavenly Fathers and ask them to transport me to the land of Spirit. There my soul soars in bliss, the virtue streaming from my fingertips, caressing the lands below with a healing touch.
 
(Sister Baffy wraps her arms around herself, praying deeply)
 
As sworn enemies to the pain and suffering which cloud the reality of Divine imagination, God has placed me above the moral and physical codes. Please do not worry, for it is our time in history. Thank you to all the angels and especially to you, the Heavenly Fathers. My heart is signed lovingly, as always yours — Sister Baffy.
 
(She opens her eyes, smiling broadly.)
 
I do so love a good spiriting, for it makes a body want to laugh and sing and dance, all at the same time. Yet the soul is a curious thing. It can rejoice in the raptures, to be sure but it can sink into anguish, as quick as that. It’s always best to approach the enemy from the position of a convert, you see. I was once a ‘them and us’ kind of person, same as you. As someone who wanted to draw lines, point a finger and cry for justice — the deep, black part of my being wanted all the bastards to pay! My head, like cloudy tap water recalled time in layers, screen after screen came the visions of vengeance and I yearned to loose that terrible anxiety that wore against my soul like a pair of uncomfortable shoes. With so much pain and hatred, where was the palace of love? This is why I would lie with strangers — hard, desperate strangers who tempered the anguish but only for an instant and oh! — waking to find myself in the strangest places. Even though my heart was truly connected to Jesus, I allowed myself to burn on the altars of lust. Why did I do that? To make myself available, just as Christ instructed. I suffered as one of His devoted apostles and those memories today feel disconnected, yet somehow part of the whole. Do you see? I did. I saw the light and it revealed how I was wasting all that precious love and staining my sacred soul but the Saviour was always there to wipe it clean, re-setting my course. The lone feeder of the fire, lighting the beacon for the righteous, Jesus is the man!
 
(Sister Baffy removes a bible from the suitcase and searches for something in the well-worn pages.)
 
Remember people: an unhinged mind is forced to latch onto something to slow itself and the church does so love to give answers to Life’s difficult considerations. Mind you, time spent inside the Holy Fugue can be quite exhilarating but that is completely beside the point.
 
(Sister Baffy laughs and nervously scans the audience, suddenly pointing to a particular audience member.)
 
You there. Yes — you, the one looking like you recognize me from somewhere else. I have been struggling all this while to place your face. Do I know you? No? But I am positive I’ve seen you before. Are you perhaps a historian visiting us from the Vatican? You aren’t here to take notes? That’s a little disappointing to hear. Me? Am I a historian? Dear me, no child, I can barely read. No, no, no — my lack of formal education aside, it is worth asking if we are able to act independently of Fate, once it has been activated. Free will is an off-shoot of Divine will we are taught in our catechisms. It is not entirely ours and all I wanted to know was if there is wiggle room for error. That’s all I asked and this woman sitting here tonight, who may or may not be a spy sent by the Pope hisself — this woman is saying to her charming companion, yes hello, how do you do? She’s asking her dear friend what I’m on about.
 
(Sister Baffy sighs deeply.)
 
All I can say to these two —  sweet, complicated women is that there is no greater impulse than the desire for harmony. It is what all souls crave and sometimes that golden peace is achieved. All suddenly, the bottom of your tank opens, plunging you into power, beauty and authority. What a blend! 
 
(Sister Baffy whoops in celebration.)
 
{Artwork by Giovanni Dall’Orto}

Fresh Poetry ~ “Serpentine”

Edward SharpThis memory begins
with decoupage, with
an absolute clarity
of behaviour,
of symbolic manipulation
a context of freedom.
 
Justify exploitation as humans,
as excellent companions — hard workers, patient
at times but ever-present,
even if at the periphery;
media disguised as hallucination,
developed in tight community
where space is proffered to reveal 
hidden truths.
 
Know them by the oaths concealed
dark times, friends &
detrimental to a more constructive force,
often severely misused 
icons with forgotten significance
compete within abnormally active
channels of imagination:
This is empty language
possession of spades & shovels
in light of scripture; 
criss-crossed with magnetic filaments & plasma clouds,
more saturated colors
to escape pain
which only appears at the end
of the world.
History catches glimpses,
fin de siecle decadence,
this tense sequence,
more complex
classification
a cocoon of smoke. 
 
Here’s the motive, the Big Picture
in a colloquial manner
but with heart,
forever and anon,
Stalinized, so to speak:
Cassandra stands at a crossroads,
those twin barrels
smell like they are talking to a deeper truth
a baphomet goat 
when it stinks to high heaven,
historical versus legendary, such
a narrative of compounded secrets, 
of
twisted people blindly serving 
the hate 
laid upon addicting children,
in a Machiavellian sense
Serpent seed!
 
If one wants to know? 
Paraphrases:
“Too sad.”
 
What will become of the prophets?
 
Bingo.
 
{Photograph by Edward Sharp}