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Masks

Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2008 in Verse

Ah, they must be seen–the masks people wear under our great opalescent skies. And when they walk and move, daubed with cruel colors, wretched and pitiful under the rain, bowing and fawning…terrified figures at once insolent and timid, growling or yapping, with shrill falsetto voices or loud metallic voices, with the heads of macabre beasts and the unexpected, unsubdued gestures of irritated animals.

Repulsive humanity ever on the move…in cast off clothes, shimmering with spangles torn  from the mask of the moon. Then I saw things in a big way, and my heartbeat  quickened and my bones trembled, and I divined the enormity of these distortions and anticipated the modern spirit. A new world loomed up before me.

— James Ensor

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