Certainly Heroes Must Exist

 

CERTAINLY HEROES MUST EXIST

who do their utmost,

even in a state of quiet desperation,

to search out and destroy

the monstrous deceits

that mislead hapless clods

along the well-beaten paths

to the graveyard.

Surely a strenuous effort

must always be made

by some fervent revolutionary to,

somehow, for the time being,

conquer the illusory world

that confronts the Task

with insidious deceptions.

And this even believing the Task

is futile, hence absurd,

and paradoxically,suicidal,

because the self is of the illusion

to be dispelled,

a witch to be cremated

on the stake erected for vanity.

If only I too might be a hero,

and put aside the flask

with its bewitching potion

of non-alcoholic self-delusion.

If only I might recover

from self-intoxicated drunkenness

in time to bloom belatedly.

If only I might be the Joker

or Hamlet in the Deck,

rolled over at the last moment

to fulfill the heroic examples

of the illustrious noble lords and ladies

who were from birth fully committed

to the Task.   If only this fond wish might serve

as my successful entreaty to my Muse

to bestow upon my genius enough madness

to faithfully embark

on the most fantastic adventure of all,

and to relish the Grand Project of my life

no matter how futile, unrealistic,

and impossible the Task may seem. For here I am yet again

under the crushing weight

of my insignificance,

the unutterable heaviness of being

that affirms everything I am not.

The preponderance of the evidence against me

magnifies my worthlessness

to the degree that I am truly astonished

by the grandeur of my insignificance.

Yet I fear falling back asleep;

for this almost unbearable weighty feeling

is just a shade of the terror

from which I awoke.

Surely there can be no greater horror on Earth

than a ride on that pallid Nightmare

stepping out slowly but surely

along the black bridleless paths to nowhere.

Nevertheless, if Sleep,

Death’s twin,seizes me again,

I shall try to bring my Nightmare to a halt,

in Catatonia if need be,

to forestall the impending doom.

I would linger statuesquely

in Lunar Limbo as long as I can,

lest I come under the full influence of Night.

Although she hides the innocent,

shields loversand conceals fortunes from thieves,

I have an instinctive fear of her other wing,

which hides the guilty.

Most of all I fear her third,

most fateful daughter,

Atropos,

who would fain sever

the unraveling string

of my kite with her shears –

my atrophying body

provides me with due cause

to suspect she lurks

in the shadows.

somewhere,

perhaps near Dreams.

But why do I want to keep this

often-miserable log rolling?

Why do I fear the final blessing,

of Death,

during sleep,

a quiet departure,

into the Night?

Tertullian’s argument ,

“No death is so easy as

not to be in some sense violent,”

is unconvincing.

I must clutch at this straw

because of the prejudicial predilection

that I entertain:

that I must have some

magnificent purpose here

given the stupendous odds

against my ever being here

in the first place.  Wherefore I heave my waterlogged body

out of its Procrustean bed of discontent,

and light another candle, this candle,

for what may be my final lucubration

on the fundamental question,

supposing that it is

the fundamental question.

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