Decadent Creatures Wrecked by Mounting Ambition: Cassandra Kulay

It was easy to start out ambitious,
to believe all that mattered was fame and wealth,
for those blessed enough to observe the cycles turning,
gradually as the seasons,
into love beyond measure,
a religion of narcissism and cult innuendo.
Blinded by recognition as a good in itself,
the dramatic rivalries played out with operatic precision,
for the chosen, life was golden,
awash with an ordinary light.
Bright or tarnished,
they climbed to an altitude we could only dream of
and we could not believe what grieved them.

 The background was a smashed
champagne glass set to music,
a masterpiece of unrealism,
we puzzled for infinities over the right purpose
and way to speak of it, how to commute
paradise through zealous memoirs and fresh metaphors,
to hunt with foxhounds later.
We were in search of the perfect story
to demonstrate disappearing image,
a decadence that haunted us once we were exposed to it,
dropping fathoms below consciousness before we can analyse it,
knowing with religiosity that it exemplified the way we wanted to live.
The suicidal and forlorn heroes,
the reticent yet eager heroines,
emoting beautifully for all that ended before life was finished.
When newer miseries motivated them to accept conventionality,
witnesses felt left out of the continuous exoticism of the conundrum
of what to do with ourselves when we are tested and found wanting.

Our innocence has paid for naked ambition,
our sufferings for their fortune,
our transformed lives for their hardened hearts
to love a little and think of it as life itself.
And it is, as we exert our imaginations watching
them circumnavigate endless labyrinths of reflecting mirrors,
searching for themselves.
We can barely face the penned up frustration of not being like this,
too alive to kill and too superior to just survive.
We want to be fully living and gloriously dying,
incoherently drunk and conservatively sober,
mastering the tightrope of training and faith,
moving in time to contradictions,
naturally attuned to performance,
intricately weaving perspectives into actualized coherence.
Spying on them crafting reality,
monopoly money seems to move across the board,
exchanging the currency of our lives,


From the self-published book of poetry and prose, “Desperate Measures” (2012).