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Neverland/Neuschwanstein


One can only wonder what they might have said to one another. 

Would Ludwig assume an avuncular role, become a good listener, 
assure Michael he too was acquainted with the mismatch of idea and execution,
the loftiest aspiration against those philistine bankers and predation of the masses? 

Were not Disneyworld’s castles modeled on the singular spire of Neuschwanstein? 

Should such a meeting happen, might there not have been a throb of recognition? 

How alike barbarian/Bavarian, shackled to flesh they would have liked to crawl from 
as a butterfly from cocoon or snake from skin, all transparent, collapsed, and crinkled.

Ludwig, however, was no performer, nor did he love the circus, nor get the chance 
to watch that Melies film about the moon, or Fritz Lang’s Nibelungenlied, 
or for that matter, even Steamboat Willie. 

The oceanic feeling of Wagner’s music could not compare to Disney's metamorphoses. 
A hint of self-deprecation when calling his daily bottle of pricey French wine his Jesus juice. 

Could wine be called back to water, might not the King of Pop rise with Lazarus
to moon-walk, re-animated with electric charges?

Ludwig couldn’t have heard the first Library of Congress field recordings, 
wouldn’t know what to make of those lamentations from the swamps. 

More likely he studied some hale and hearty Harz mountaineers slap lederhosen in unison 
as they performed in some rustic tavern. Deep in the night he might have been spirited 
to that rough-hewn door by landau.

Michael would’ve remained unmoved by Parsifal had they watched this gesamptskunstwerk together, would’ve pined for his Disney movies in his chateau, alone with his joy-juice, his boy-guests, 
and his whole pharmacopeia, which had Ludwig partaken, might have opened the doors of perception very wide indeed.

Might not the King of Bavaria marveled at the King of Pop’s silver glove and cast-off marching-band waistcoat? 

Might not the king of Neverland have marveled at Ludwig’s Turkish baths, his swan-shaped boats, sailing artificial streams? 

Just as Ludwig might have been puzzled then astonished by Neverland, 
moved to shed a tear for the albino tiger sulking in its golden cage.


Scott Penney lives in Bradford Vermont. Recent publications have been in basalt, Faultline, Blazevox, Fugue, and Futures Trading.  In 2014, he was a resident of the MacDowell Colony. 



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