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Plate XII: "The Sideshow Freaks"



ACT XII: Decendre (The Hanged Man)



- In which the boy joins the house of mirrors to become a permanent actor in the ancient play


He whispered softly to himself, half in horror, half in exultation:


"They have inherited the earth,

These misshapen heroes.

The fat lady, the thin man,

The tattooed lady, the strong man:

Eating glass, playing with deadly snakes,

Swallowing fish, throwing knives blindfolded.

They live on the outside looking in;

They are the damned and blessed at once:

Cast away, yet finding truth

On the borders of the world of the normal.

Theirs is a city of the twisted made beautiful.

In what is taken as the normal world

All is secretly reverse,

A mirrored fabrication:

The beautiful is ugly,

The truth is lies,

The desired is repulsive,

The happy is sad.


These ugly outsiders

Are the beauty

Of truth and harmony.

Here the outside is in,

The lost, the strange,

The fools,

Hold the wisdom of forever."

"Now I too am a partner in this fractured house of glass. A patriot of the weird, I walk between the walls of the normal day. I am you in your dreams. My friends are the outcast, the lost and the insane. I live in the twilight of reality. All is revealed and concealed in the House of Mirrors. For here life in your fragile sphere is pulled apart: both for its transient beauty and its ephemeral folly. Dance with me, dance with me my friend into these strange paths. Where all is not what it seems, and what is, becomes what is not.


"In this dream of dreams dreaming, I am free to find freed freedom. For in a modern world where what is, is its opposite - where love is pain, where happiness is emptiness, where kindness is selfishness, where freedom is oppression, where peace is a guise for war, where fulfillment is seductive enslavement, where lies become truth - only the freaks, the loners, the lost are found in the realization of their own isolation. So fly with me on silvered glass to that which is not, so that you may become that which is.


"The path of the lost is the path of the found. The fool is the wise one. Those outside are really within. The flowing away returns to the source of the stream: to again drink, and again drink fully of the fountains of truth. Fly away, fly away, fly away now, and so return to that source, the Arcadian stream: the Outsider land of Self and the kingdom of Truth."