The Sweeper: A Teardown Epilogue

Notes: Basically I visualize a grey stage with a grey man–the Soloist– and a broom. He is sweeping away a pile of bodies: some monstrous, some beautiful, or alien. I can also see him sweeping up flowers, gemstones, coins, bones, computers and various other strange things.

It’s a thankless job

though I couldn’t give less a damn about being thanked.

Some call me the Sweeper:

like it’s something special

like I do something sacred.

But I’ll tell you, now, since you are here

that every good foundation is judged by its plumbing.

Cleaning the bodies of monsters and fairies,

lost memories clogging the arteries of the brain:

the backlog of  secrets crammed up to make someone

topple over.

A dreamer is a hazard

an accident waiting to happen

if you don’t clean them out.

It’s easy to get caught up in their garbage

in their filth

and no matter much you do

how many fairy-tales you wash away

or props you take apart,

they always leave you stained:

in some way.

That’s why I can’t stand them.

I’m a glorified janitor of the unconscious

and people pay me no mind

which lets me see all of their

mysteries and secrets

all day and every night.

Yes, that’s right.

Unicorns are a hazard

try surprising one sometime.

Zombies are a mess

to get out of the cracks in the mind.

Vampires wear out their welcomes fast

and gods really don’t know when to die.

I won’t even go into the sex dreams,

but I’ve seen worse.

Whether dream or nightmare, neither smells like roses when the dreamers are done,

when they throw them away.

It’s the lucids that make it annoying:

always getting in your way,

trying to change the scenes you’re already cleaning

and they think they’ve got so much to say.

I don’t care if they can fly or how many wishes they’d like.

But the strangest thing I’d ever seen:

was from a man with a Kaiser mustache

who dreamed of a World-Tree and a ladder:

of flying women in armor and wings,

of blond-haired, blue-eyed heroes with swords and rings

all wearing Swastikas and killing dwarves with yellow stars

on faded coats.

Add the women drinking and ripping men apart

and a dark spirit chasing the white-robed Kaiser-man and you see what I mean.

You see?

He called himself Zarathustra: though I know that wasn’t his name.

He claimed he separated good and evil and then united them again.

I bet he regretted what he called when they all came.

What a mess.

He even asked me to clean it all up for him,

that it wasn’t what he dreamed for

I could have just said nothing, but instead reminded him that he didn’t want my help

that, “God is dead.”

Then I left up the ladder.

because I don’t get paid nearly enough to kill overgrown weeds, Nazi gods

and drunken cannibals.

In fact, I don’t get paid at all.

I don’t even remember how I got this tattoo–

this dragon-tattoo like from some book in a drugstore–

though I hope it was from something fun.

The truth is

I do not remember much

except for one thing.

Because I know

that for all the sweeping I do here

all the time I spend in your daydreams

and your sleep,

I never dream.


And I … never will.

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