Boyce Boswell was as numb as Novocain. He could feel no hurt. Neither physical wounds nor emotional tumult pained his spirit or flesh. As with most government workers he subsisted spiritually in a state of automated somnambulism.
"Hit me. Hit me," he would beg of strangers, his giant white teeth frozen in an idiot smile.
A power punch, a right hook, a series of jabs rendered him bruised. Sometimes his bones broke and his ligaments tore, but he'd always say: "I feel no pain. Hit me, I feel no pain."
One day his idiot smile zeroed in on a club of circus performers in three ring regalia. "Hit me. Hit me," he demanded of them.
But they were like a crack medical team. No panic. Coldly efficient. Life saving in action and purpose.
The mustached strongman held him steady in a full nelson. The bearded lady rubbed her well cleavaged chest along his nose and gaping mouth. The dwarfish jugglers in jester suits bubbled his flesh with flaming torches.
For the first time he felt real pain. His nerve endings knew a hellish burn with his mind filled with anxiety and grief. But this was good. For out of this bloody womb a new Boyce Boswell was born.
He grew a full Ginsberg beard, combed his hair back like Kerouac, spoke in verse as did Corso and Lucien Carr. He freed himself,his idiot smile now gone.
The new bounce to his step was hurried. There were the strongmen and bearded ladies and elves in funny hats he had to catch up to.
"Hear ye...Hear ye...in tent three is the flying poet on trapeze, Boyce Boswell."
LIFE OF A POET - JOHN BUCHANAN
6 hours ago