Confessions of a Poker Writer: What is Burning Man?

TAGs: Burning Man, Confessions of a Poker Writer

Lee Davy continues his Confessions series by trying to answer that aged old question: What is Burning Man?

Confessions of a Poker Writer: What is Burning Man?I am inches from his face. I could poke my tongue out and lick the dust right off those lips. There are cloudy dust-coated goo balls in the corner of each eye; two blue planets, deep black cores, a stubble, a peaceful serenity.

I take a step back.

I dance.

I dance for Brian.

A man I’ve never met, together in love, a man who by the end of my offering has tears cleansing his pores.

What is Burning Man?

I open my eyes. The man who stole my crocodile has narcolepsy. He’s gone. I pull it from him and cover her white teddy bear coat. She is gone. The music chills. The blackness has ascended. A strange orange glow covers the sky.

I rise, surrounded by an orgy of men, women and teddy bears. There are body parts everywhere. A breast is squeezed hard; a nipple explosion, I avert my glance. Tongues clash with tongues: sleepiness and sexiness. I try to leave without breaking bones. I step from bear to bear, avoiding the dreamlike stare. This is life in a cuddle puddle.

I miss the sunrise.

I giant of a man strides past me. He wears a pristine grey suit and a grizzly bear style beard. He is pushing a pink bike. He is holding the hand of his lover. She is a tutu-wearing dwarf. I put my foot on the pedal, Action Man and Sindy stare. I don’t care. It all seems normal to me.

They greet you. They hug you. They dance around you. The virgins roll around in the dust. I don’t know whom to trust. They double-dare. I strip to my underwear. I create an angel in the earth. The dust and I, we are one.

I stand on the Playa. I look into her eyes. The care of her soul is about to become mine. We are dressed like bees. I kiss her. I taste her honey. The swarm lies at our feet; the rest stand, arms linked together like a daisy chain. Married by her ex, DJ’s spinning tunes from the decks, we exchange cock ring wedding rings and kiss each other’s necks.

I spy with my little eye: my first clitoral ring and a naked girl swinging on a swing. A black man striding down the street, dust hanging on the end of his ding-a-ling. Nakedness is unusual, and then it’s not. There is liberation without clothes, a sense of freedom when the snapping of the bra releases the girls. There’s no need for choice. In nakedness we can rejoice.


What can I say about the dust?

In dust we trust. It cleans, it sheens; it becomes part of my genes. I shower once in 10-days, baby wipes become my new best friend. I haven’t felt this clean in decades. It also creates rock star hair. It feels as if there is not one speck on me, and if there were I wouldn’t care.

A bird is downed. Three chicks are alone. Over time the weakest is eaten. Pecked to death. All that remains are the bones. The bass makes them jangle. We are never that hungry. Cannibalism remains subdued. We take back enough food to feed the 5,000, enough water to break a dam and enough stories to bring tears to the eyes of a clam.

The first time on the Playa at night, and it’s bright. It’s one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, up there with the first time I saw Venice, and waded deep in the Grand Canyon. It’s the eighth wonder of the world. I want my son to see through me. I want him to feel what I feel. It’s a beautiful scene. Men, women and children coated in tubes, lit up like Christmas trees…what a sight.

I can’t see my hand. Has it been stolen? Goggles protect my eyes; an Asian flu style mask protects my lungs. I can’t pedal. The wind is forcing me back. I should be distraught. I have never been happier. I walk through the storm. I feel like a man. They call it a whiteout. I want to let it all out.

I am sat in a circle of men. They are all shapes and sizes. All ages. A few of them have crushed skulls – I can sense it. We share vulnerability like a bag of popcorn at a movie theatre. The Bridges of Madison County must be showing. We are all crying. It’s beautiful. I never knew there were so many men who bottled up their pain and stowed it away in a crate in the deepest darkest part of their cellar.

You face your fears – every single one of them. It challenges you. It dares you. It’s tough, it’s liberating and it’s abundance. Everyone is there for a reason. They are all different. The people that I attracted were there to heal. They had wounds. They were infected. They came to the desert hoping the dust would cauterize.

What is Burning Man?

It’s a place to find Self. It’s a place that allows you to stop enduring life and to embrace it. There is an enchantment that screams fairies and pixie dust. A few inhale it; I coat my heart with it. It was a place of magnificence. A place where community picked you off the floor and hugged you until you melted as one. It made me feel incandescent. It stripped away my flesh and revealed my power.

It’s beating.

It’s beating.

Like the bass.

It’s beating.

Now, let’s make sure that it doesn’t stop.


views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of