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Death Calls

Updated on April 27, 2019

Advisory:

This is a long, long poem. If you are up for reading a long poem, I do hope you will find this one to be well worth the read. If you'd rather read some of my shorter poetry, click here

death calls
every heartbeat by name
making each one the same

this is your life
this is your life
this is your life
this is your life

the metronome, calling me home, ticking away, fading the day
life can be so melodramatic
like watching static
with the volume on mute
and your mind on mute, numbed by the gentle static hiss of your own personal hell
and the waves that swell
the remains of life-forms onto endless beaches of time

all time is mine
all time is mind

i look out by night
at the vast ocean of Being
and the sand, as it slips in my hands
is not made for my counting
infinity is not comforting

i smell salt
sitting on the naked earth, i draw from a vast reservoir
a deep well
hoping that maybe if i bury my head
under the beachy sand
i will escape the tide by becoming one with the earth and the stars

i try to write perfect words
with the absurd feeling that if i get them right
they will work like a spell
that shatters reality itself
and places me somewhere else
where things were right the first time

after all, we cast reality with words
and all of our pictures come to life
and all of life is our pictures
and words are our entire reality
so we must not be saying the right words, thinking the right words
no one taught us the right words, we don't have the faculty for those kinds of words

silence and sleep
thoughts of the deep
give no rest for me
they reek of the sleep i dread to sleep
i make noise so that the universe must keep listening
i banish sleep because a white gangrene is glistening
where the worm never dies
and the smokes always rise, blotting the skies

are we the children of Cain? cursed from the face of the earth
is it because of murder in my heart
that i am marked to die?

we stand shivering outside, in chains and shackles, all in a line
with brothers and sisters in front and behind
and every so often (we never know when)
our captors pluck one of us out of the line
and none of us can stop it
and we are forced to watch it
while they stand our mothers and fathers against the wall
and open fire, but not at heart or head
on stomachs and bowels instead
so our loved ones expire slowly, writhing on the cold dirt
pleading eyes upturned
begging our love to save them
but we can only wait our own turn

it seems that no Mind would dream up such a dream
and gives it as Life
to its very offspring

i tremble to blaspheme
but i am questioning
doubting

whether Love has ever tread these tangled paths at all
whether Life ever begot life
whether we are not in fact just the spectacular fireworks
of passion and sorrow
that the universe has cooked up with
its chemical sorceries

which paint once the sky
for an instant in time

Father! Father!
do you even remember the name that you gave me?
do you remember the night you pulled me violently from my resting place
where it was dark and warm and secure?
and you cast me into a cold, hollow womb that continually miscarries
and i was born in a tomb
too soon?

it was winter
do you remember?

the dying of embers
O, wanton December!
Who pierced me with sorrows
and gave me tommorows
but stole all my todays


*


i inquire into the science
of infinite gaps
of gaping synapse

i investigate the substance of Being
poking at it from every angle
demanding that it yeild fruits fit for our consumption
that it justify itself

must i remind you
that i never asked to be here
and i never consented
to this form or this figure
riddled with cancers

i am the eternal thought
thinking itself
watching with terrified attatchment
these bodies which i inhabit

my haunts, my accostomed places
my ethos, my habits
my character, a socially constructed facade
my self, ever putting itself
into the eyes of others, looking on itself
imagining itself playing the roles
of each of the other children in the schoolyard


*


but at last, the primitive state of nature overtakes me
i'm going to sleep now, do not awaken me
and when i awake, Love will wake again with me
and all the smoldering, dying wreckage of this day will forsake me

ah, i remember now, the sound of Love, walking in the cool of the garden
when each day seemed to stretch on forever
and the night was full of magic
the infinite gaps can only be scaled
in the space of one instant, no more and no less

working its way back through every other instant
time, since it is a function of mind, is also subject to language
i stand back from the bodies of the dead i inhabit
i am the universal singularity, the one thought
throbbing and pulsing in the erotic heights before explosive creation
i
howl
the body electric
and rise, orgasmic over Moloch
whose mind is pure machinery
and whose children drown in their insanity

with a cold and broken hallelujah
i hymn the blessed race immortal
and rend the fabric of reality from top to bottom
entering in the place most holy
and die, writhing on the warm, welcoming earth
the place of my birth
the place of my hearth, where the embers glow and spark

December has now heard a lark
Hades, required to return to her mother
the goddess he has stolen for a season
and the Bird rises wreathed
in flame from the ashes
baptizing the Forms of our collective unconscious
with the blessed and holy power of life

and coming to life, all of our pictures bring us to life with them!


*


one can not blaspheme what is not
for one can not think of it
look again at what Love gave us
in the space of an instant, which extends on forever
since time and space alike are a construct of our symbolic processes

i pull out my tabula rasa
i am written on the tabula rasa
all is white on the tabula rasa
all is white
all is white

the waves now are dragging me in
to the ocean without beginning or end
and the depths are alive with the wind
of warm currents and of births and of sand
and death would appear now a friend
leading me in by the hand
calling me into the land

Love is life
Love's alive
Love is death

Death calls

Comments

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    • profile image

      Bo 

      7 years ago

      Wow. This is really bad poetry.

      I don't say that to be mean, I only want to help you and make sure you use your time for something that will actually be beneficial to you and others as well....You are wasting precious time!!!!! This poem has no substance, character, voice, movement, imagery, or purpose. Instead of giving you suggestions and feedback, I'd say scrap the whole thing and start knitting or something.

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thank you very much, pennyofheaven. Having read some of your work in the past, I consider that an honor.

    • pennyofheaven profile image

      pennyofheaven 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Very very deep. So much so I am speechless. Words fail to describe what I feel about your poem. So Ill leave it there and just say beautiful, awesome and Thanks so much!

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Abhitheprince!

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      8 years ago from United States

      Yeah, slig, not a bad idea at all to get ol' dad to sign up for Hubpages.... hmmm. What do you say, dad?

    • BenWritings profile image

      BenWritings 

      8 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      lol, sligo...

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 

      8 years ago from east of the equator

      Dad-of-japtaker-and-benwritings sounds like the dad of sligobay with sons revolving around the SUN. Stay in the orbit but look to your own radiance. I'd like to read more than a comment from 'ME' the 'real genius'. You guys should sign him up at Hubpages. Maybe you can make a buck or two off his 'genius'. LOL

    • BenWritings profile image

      BenWritings 

      8 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      lol. oh boyy

    • profile image

      Dad-of-japtaker-and-benwritings 

      8 years ago

      Actually, it is ME who is the real genius, but you guys are not too shabby, either.

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 

      8 years ago from east of the equator

      j- I did rehab in '85 and relapsed and relapsed and relapsed until 2000 when I had my last run- no fun.

      Send me a note by hitting contact sligobay on my profile and we will correspond by email. Be sure to include your email address. There is life after death.

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      8 years ago from United States

      Sligobay, we also are both recovering alcoholics, if I read your profile correctly, although it seems you have a great deal more sobriety than I do. I got out of a two-month rehab program in November of last year. Glad to say that I've not had a drink in about five months now. But I shudder to think of what happens if I do.

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      8 years ago from United States

      You are the real genius, I suspect

    • BenWritings profile image

      BenWritings 

      8 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      this here is my genius brother, sligo/epi

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 

      8 years ago from east of the equator

      My pleasure to follow. We have much in common in love of Latin and Greek classical literature and Christian thought.

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      8 years ago from United States

      Sligobay, excellent point about the false promises of my profile page :-) As it turns out, this poem is over ten times as long as most of my other poems, so it is a glaring exception to the general rule that my poems are short. But I followed your great advice and modified my profile to give readers due warning about this poem.

      "Life can be surrendered and thus; never lost as Jesus Christ has demonstrated to us. Death can be totally accepted before it ever arrives and welcomed rather than resisted."

      Yes, this is the hope for which I strive. But surrender and death to self sometimes seems so very, very hard. Thankfully, it has become blatantly clear that it is the only option which will result in something other than misery for me, so I have no choice but to press forward.

      Thank you for reading all the way through, for your gracious comment, and for following :-)

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 

      8 years ago from east of the equator

      Like Benwriter I had to force myself to finish this read. I'm glad that I did because it appears that you finally worked your way through to a meaningful conclusion. Your profile page promised that your poetry is briefer than your articles. You better change that. LOL Anyway;Don't go killing yourself for love but the self must die for love to be alive. I hope that's what you mean. Life must be embraced no more and no less than death in my view. Life can be surrendered and thus; never lost as Jesus Christ has demonstrated to us. Death can be totally accepted before it ever arrives and welcomed rather than resisted. You have touched on so much that I can't possibly write a more complete comment. Thank you for your words and I am following.

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      8 years ago from United States

      But yes, it is impossible to say just how fond I am of Leonard Cohen.

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      8 years ago from United States

      Wow, epigramman... you sure do know how to give a compliment! Thank you so very much for making my night that much better.

      Ah, Leonard Cohen. Please do mention me to him whenever you should be in need of a cup of sugar or other sundry that you could borrow from imaginary neighbors. He hasn't called in too long :-)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      8 years ago

      ....well it's 1. intellectual

      2. deep

      3. profound

      4. soulful

      5. actually quite mad (but in a grand artistic way|)

      6. cerebral (isn't that a poetic cousin of intellectual)

      7. epic, strong and powerful

      8. like all great art - it needs to be read over again so you can find something new or maybe something you missed)

      9. brave and courageous

      10. daring and original

      By the way I am a Canadian who lives in Ontario by Lake Erie (literally - 100 feet away or so) and I simply adore Leonard Cohen - and he's my next door neighbor (figment of my imagination) and I must tell him about you!

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      8 years ago from United States

      Well, thank you sir

    • BenWritings profile image

      BenWritings 

      8 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      That particular one could become very popular and draw some nice attention, trust me

      Its soooo long, and I had to force myself to commit to reading it, but its AWESOMMMEE seriously

    • japtaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Aptaker 

      8 years ago from United States

      Wow, thanks broseph! Glad you finally liked one of my poems! :-)

    • BenWritings profile image

      BenWritings 

      8 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      DUDE!!

      thats AWESOME!!

      you've never written anything this poetic, and understandable. whoooaaa

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