Triple-stranded Fairytale Triptych
1. The scorched jukebox in the corner plays the same old prophecies
over and over. Everyone who comes to the cantina, listens closely,
hoping to distil a few meaningful droplets.

2. The name of the cantina is Moth and the Maiden. Its location,
undisclosed even on Google Earth, is at the intersection of nine ley lines.
Only a very limited range of movement is possible.

3. We dress in rags and disguises. Masked, we haunt our way through
town after town. We assign new names to everyone and everything.
At every crossroads we leave a message.

1. Someone has attempted to torch the jukebox. It happens regularly.
An old man is kneeling, wiping it gently with his handkerchief.
His grubby, soot-stained coat. His melancholy hands.

2. The cantina is called Song of the Trout. Its front windows overlook
a snow-covered plain, a mythical featureless expanse. The view
is subject to change at any time. The coffee is good.

3. Still on the move, we hand out gifts to everyone: glass beads, glass
bowls, brass bowls, little rag dolls stitched with our own hands.
We are learning the real value of patience.

1. There is no law that says a fact must be believed to be true.
The prophetic jukebox withstands fire as well as interpretation.
Its chromium-plated veneer. Its catfish barbels.

2. For every attempt on the jukebox, the cantina is renamed. Now it's
Calliope. A little girl is leaning over the table, drawing an enormous
steam organ inhabited by misty-eyed reptiles.

3.  Our last handout doll goes to a dog, who trots off with it. Out of sight,
a voice (dog or doll) is heard, exultant laughter. We strike 'believability'
off our list. The story moves into somethingness.

Jane Røken

If you have any comments on this poem, Jane Røken would be pleased to hear them.