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Nov 2018
It’s easy to discern the who what where and when
Compared to the divination of why.
Why are we here?  Why are we alone?
Why are we tortured with foreknowledge of death?

Stop.

That’s the most important why, perhaps.
For it plucked us from the trees
And set us on course
To make some sense of our shortage of days,
To ****** the brass ring of eternity
If only in the collective memory.

(Let us here pause
And give a moment’s thought
To the countless anonymous
Who sacrificed all their
Fleet-footed hours
And all human joy
For attainment of eternity
In the memory collective
Only to have been
Promptly forgotten
In the first moment of
Posthumous silence.)

But this quest is amoral,
It does not specify
Whether fame or notoriety’s the prize.

This is the apple of Eden
The tree of knowledge.
It is the crux of sentience

(Poor sentience,
robbed by redefinition
of all salience and pride,
Left lying shop-worn and ill-used.)

It’s the fear of time, the root of crime
And our demand for assistance devine.
Are our whole lives a scream of protest
Against the known inevitable?
Can inevitability even be known
Without the benefit of hind legs?

(Why the quadruped bias?
(and what does this have to do with inevitability?)
Any more than four legs would render
‘Hindmost’ as opposed to ‘hind.’
Let us be specific,
Whether or not it’s
Neither here nor there.)

Why can’t we make peace with our fate,
And accede to the eventual silencing of that
Hated, feared, beloved voice within?
What does nothing feel like?
What does nothing sound like?
Who would be there to tell?

Imagine our lives
If foreknowledge of death,
Did not exist.
What would be sustained?
What would be lost?
What would have never become?
(I know that my ask is unreasonable at best,
The bell has already been rung.
But this is my poem and I’ll ask what I will.)
Could you live in such a state
Of innocence edenic?
Of course not; not as you are.
But then, who, what would you need to be?
If innocence were refundable,
What would that voice,
That lives in a certain place
Between your ears

(Would that voice still
be hated, feared, beloved
under the prospective circumstances,
or would it be otherwise?)

Have to say

(Does a voice ‘say,’
Or does it speak
For it’s master?)

When in quietest solitude?

Are you uncomfortable?
Will you turn the page?
Would you prefer to debate
Than to imagine?
Do we know which way the wind blows?
Are there any more weathermen?
Or are we all meteorologists?
Does it matter?
Did it ever?


For those who remain,
Let me welcome you
To the Realm of Poets and Madmen.
A distinction without a difference.
Written by
J R Cramer  F/Napa, California
(F/Napa, California)   
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