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,
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,
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.
perhaps near Dreams.
But why do I want to keep this
often-miserable log rolling?
Why do I fear the final blessing,
a quiet departure,
into the Night?
Tertullian’s argument ,
“No death is so easy as
not to be in some sense violent,”
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.