Confessions of ‘The Man Who Sold the World’

I outlaid Escher’s layers. But mounted tales
plot stairs that well within. God’s a sideways
apparition. You can't bank clouds. My sales
were ground-floor importunities. It pays
to sell thyself out. Jesus flogged that score.
I shook hands with his absence. Felt a cool
departure. Then arrived. That wanking whore,
winged escalation, lies. Today’s sale—who’ll
lose me to better invest themselves. Fans
delegate rough passage, rough trade, supply
rich altitude ‘til one day we all buy
it. Exhausted, I stepped back from contraband
to amplify my own sagged firmament,
deaf to match-lit encores, making the rent.

NORMAN BALL is a poet, playwright, essayist and musician residing in Virginia. A featured poet on Prairie Home Companion, his poems and essays have appeared in Light Quarterly, The Raintown Review, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Epicenter, Oxford Magazine, The Cumberland Poetry Review, 14 by 14, Rattle, Liberty, The Hypertexts, Main Street Rag, The New Renaissance, The Scotsman, The London Times among dozens of others. His essay collections, How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable? (2010) and The Frantic Force (2011), both widely available on the web, are published by Del Sol Press and Petroglyph Books, respectively. His recent play SIDES: A Civil War Musical (Inspired by The Red Badge of Courage) is currently being produced for TV by Last Tango Productions, LLC.