Moving About, Humming,
Still Our Flowers are Blooming,
Under the Old Portcullis

essay no. 2
Dan Plonsey
Summer, 2001

Keywords: royal processional

The music from the Introduction of Portcullis is a royal processional: chancellors and farmers and their families, and their elephants too. Amongst these, the elephant shit-shovelers dart in and out to the appreciation of the children and adults alike: the cheer which is raised upon their behalf is at least as loud and prolonged as for any other participants, partly because there is an overlap between these persons and the clowns, musicians and dancers.

It is an impressive and inspiring show in a world in which parades are fairly common: it demonstrates a good-hearted attempt at faith by the populace for the particular secular hierarchy at hand. Walking along at the very end of the procession is the overtly human Raja or Shah or Emperor or whatever storybook title is chosen for this ruler over a territory of no apparent size which could in fact be nothing, or equally likely, comprises half the earth and sky.

The organization of this little kingdom is perhaps a bit personality-driven, whimsically administered, adhering only to precedent when lethargy hits, or on days in which imagination and generosity are both in short supply. You could almost make an unnoticed transition to an opposite, shadow kingdom, from which demons of destruction would emerge to terrify the populace. Simply by switching from the romantic to the practical. For although practicality may be a stand-in for truth, and romanticism for fiction, fiction may yet prove the stronger and more reliable framework from which to organize one's own life and the collective kingdom.

Fact and Fiction: they sound alike, and may be imagined as two girls in a package, looking like a pair of identical 9-volt batteries, under plastic bubbles afixed to cardboard with a curiously effective glue, which causes the attached leaves to betray the system and give way, parting, tearing. The girls rest facedown against the cardboard, two sleeping beauties, revealing only a bit of leg between high socks and plushly plaidly clad private school bottoms. We could just as easily choose one or the other, it doesn't seem to matter to them or to us...

...Meanwhile, the processional of self-important self-identified subservient folk continues. They are fictional for the common good, and each is of one mind or another about the coming revolution in which fact and fiction and all of one's roles are to be precisely reversed.

Once upon a time, an attempt was made to assassinate the Queen or the Empress or whatever she was calling herself at the time. A particular public building was targeted, and a meticulous campaign instigated in which one would shoot a single bullet through each of that building's ten panes of glass, aiming for a spot just above the sill, where it would strike any person who happened to be sitting, reading. And all the townspeople were reminded by this sudden vulnerability of those who happened to be in this building, that as children they had been quite sensitive to the high levels of distress among adults waiting in airports, train stations, bus terminals, and other public spaces too, including within the walls of the great stadium where baseball was played, in the stadium bathrooms, or even in a bathroom at home, even more at a friend's home, or at the home of a seldom-visited relative. They thought too of visits to the hospital, of the sight of pasty moonlit nurses' uniforms in the corridors or at windowless stations during quiet hours of the night, even the light there was sickly, and the place had the tone of thin mud. And the men, worrying over their wives and children, alone in the dimness of the present said only, ``We can't help here!''

But we're getting ahead of ourselves: such thoughts foreshadow events beyond the dances, parties and dream-world marches which occur in Sections A through M, finally reaching a fever-pitch in Section N, before passage (by Our Hero Orpheus) into the Underworld, at the beginning of Section O.

All of this dampened mess represents a futile attempt to flavor the response to the work construct itself, however, instead, it is no less than a second, complimentary work, and a third as well, though I have not had a glimpse as of yet of this third... The response to which by those depicted therein in this second-constructed publication is meant to influence not only those with a vested interest in preserving the ideal of everlasting heaven, but those whose interest is in creating a minimal heaven on earth...
--A. Fishio