"Fermentation is one of the oldest symbols for human transformation," he points out. "When grapes combine their juice and are closed up together for a time in a dark place, the results are spectacular. This is what lets two drunks meet so that they don't know who is who. Pronouns no longer apply in the tavern's mind-world of excited confusion and half-articulated wantings."
How many times did they say,
"Drink just a little, only two or three at most?"
In this city no one I see is conscious;
Dear one, come to the tavern of ruin
and experience the pleasures of the soul.
What happiness can there be apart
from this intimate conversation
with the Beloved, the Soul of souls?
while the Server pours the wine
from a royal decanter to every particle of being.
You belong to the tavern: your income is wine,
Don't give even a second away
O lute player, are you more drunk, or am I?
In the presence of one as drunk as you, my magic is a myth.
some drunk approached me,
Like a ship without an anchor,
Hundreds of intellectuals and wise men
could die from a taste of this yearning.
I asked, "Where are you from?"
He laughed and said, "O soul,
Half of me is water and mud, half heart and half soul;
"I know the difference between family and outsiders."
I've neither a heart nor a turban,
And yet no slap of pain could disturb
a drunkenness like this.
Shams al-Haqq of Tabriz, where are you now,
(Translation by K. Helminski, A, Godlas, and L. Saedin)