Oh Vincent — Oh Vincent — inhaling green smoke in Amsterdam and staring at your pictures — you had a good run — ten years as you deconstructed thought and vision — pain too — pain I know (or maybe don’t) — Mad Mad World — whose madder, the Hatter or the Hare? Rats in a maze. Wingless Angels. Perfect Beings without Care or Concern, surrounded by True and Inevitable Suffering, the Endless Unceasing Suffering of Others — I am a Malingerer, a Faker, a Fraud, I have nothing to cry about, nothing to worry about, I am a Child of the Beautiful Universe and Gifted by the Strength and Power of My Parents Who Gave Me All Things — I dance fantastic, I love and am much loved — I have what I want — I am learned and halfway wise when the wind blows southerly — I ape Great Princes as I, Former Slave, walk free through this Kingless World — everyday I get a little older — everyday, enact my part of the worm’s dance, aerating the soil if you will — the Great Dance of Worms and Quarks and Gluons — Light bouncing, the Devil hopping on a light-beam, trying to capture the View.
In the wake of Death, I cried out a challenge to the Universe and asked someone to face me — and in my dreams, the figure of a wrestler grew, and I went forth to the battle, hoping to either fail or triumph, either way restoring my betrayed faith and honor — for many long years, I held on tightly to the wrestler, never letting go, neither in summer nor in winter, holding fast its ankle, even as it held fast to mine, eight long years, in city and country, in beds next to women, in sun and in storm.
And then one morning (a morning past, this morning, or a morning yet to come) I let go of the wrestler, allowed it to slip away and made my obeisance to my opponent, the Cruel and Total Universe. Kneeling in its Light, I asked it for a blessing.
Israel, it named me. Wrestler.