'Dreaming of Narwhals' by Dan Holloway
You are dreaming of narwhals again.
Yesterday you woke at 2.56 am and scribbled “John of Patmos, your eschatology lacks narwhals” on a post-it. In the morning you were so pleased by the line you wrote it into a poem and e-mailed it to John Cooper Clarke.
You are at the edge of the swimming pool from that scene in the Joan Collins film The Bitch. The pool is filled with the writhing bodies of copulating narwhals crying out as they orgasm, “You are a metaphor for our dying way of life. Just look at the fin de siècle decadence you’ve brought upon us. We’re Cetacean Dirk Digglers and the 80s are coming!!”
At an existential level the thought of these once innocent creatures’ descent into orgiastic drug abuse, shoulder pads, Reaganomics and a Paul Thomas Anderson film that isn’t Magnolia horrifies you. Waking with night sweats you scratch into your bedside table with a coffee spoon: THE NARWHALS ARE NOT A METAPHOR.
Later you mutter through a performance of Rhinoceros, “Fuck you, Ionesco, if the narwhals had been metaphors mine would have been a far better play than yours because mine would have had paddling pools.”
On the way home, you are mugged by John Cooper Clarke who is screaming “Where’s your humanity? THE NARWHALS ARE NOT A FUCKING METAPHOR!” over and over. As you take your last breath the pain stops and you see the most wonderful sight.
Dipping your toe in the water, you cry, “John of Patmos, your eschatology lacks narwhals!”