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ryn Jan 2015
I can't write...
     I have a stash of twenty drafts, bearing a couple of lines each
I can't *****...
     Every draft seem to have developed a shell I can't breach
I can't gather...
     My thoughts so I could nurture these drafts to fruition
I can't think...
     The clatter in my head meant only to deafen
I can't fathom...
     What went right from what had gone completely awry
I can't find...
     Much needed sanity to let soar and fly
I can't cry...
     The tears I've beckoned for so very badly
I can't scream...
     Only muffled gurgles of notions drowned at sea
I can't see...
     The bigger picture...that consumed us both
I can't hear...
     Except for the dreaded voice of reason that I loathe
I can't piece...
     Together one decent little write

I can't breathe...
     I can't breathe...*I'm losing this fight
jane taylor May 2016
in the heart
of the night
a slice of moonlight
cascading
beckoned

i rouse
its mesmerizing lure
gently stirs
a hazy
remembrance

entranced
from shadows i emerge
hearkening its echo
you’re dreaming
awaken

its shimmering light
engulfed me
prying open my stubborn eyes
in the onyx
darkness

its silver glow
enticed me outside
i stood silent
whilst glistening dewdrops
danced on my toes

a sterling lunar crescent
enlightening midnight
softly
serenades
me

wake up
life’s a trance
you’re
hypnotized
mesmerized

in an ocean of emptiness
i heard
a celestial orb
calling
and ne’er slept again

©2016janetaylor
Flavia Apr 2013
With eager eyes and tempting smile, he beckoned 'cross the wharf
And I returned: a sad reply, stating he must morph
into a man -a broken man- who puts things back together
Whilst I sit here, and wait and wait, and keep on till forever.

Kingdom comes, piggies fly, time churns soft and slow
Every hour, like the other, shuffling to and fro
Mind is racing, heart is beating, must be with him soon...
He is the sun, he is the stars, he is the solstice moon.

But he is full of hatred, and angry, scary things
That I cannot behold because my covered ears will ring.
I will not hear the wretchedness that billows from his mouth
I will not see the ending of intentions headed south.

He is an angel, under God, and all the better creatures
that prize the gentlest, passionate, souls who mirror all their features.
He never asked, only assumed, that I would be alright
But Oh! the sadness over one who turned away from light.

So here I wait, on endless shores, until he comes for me
Or maybe not, really, who knows, what lies beyond the sea
The water holds the untold words of thousands who've passed on
And here I am, scribbling the script, of stories before dawn.
Matterhorn Dec 2018
He awoke.

His eyes opened slowly with a purposeful slowness; an action that for most people is the beginning of their life was, for him, a procrastination.

He arose.

The floor felt cold, unwelcoming as he stumbled reluctantly to the sink. The bristles rasped against his teeth, gums bleeding out of spite.

He entered.

Breakfast—a lonely egg, boring toast—entered his body; each bite was scooped with the utilitarian vigor of one who is no longer enchanted by food, yet the relationship must continue: a compulsory marriage without option for divorce. This discomfort washed down with lemon-water.

He contemplated.

Thoughts, those musings that are feared, condemned by most and yet became the greatest of comforts for him, reminded him that one day it all would end and he would be free.

He wasted.

He stretched out his hands, offering up his life force in the daily sacrifice to the eager god that, in return, lit up with the brightness of a thousand stars that blinded him from all that he wished not to see.

He showered.

Cold water ran down his soul, icing the most superficial inflammations while taunting the deepest wounds; no matter how long he remained behind the curtain, there would be no true respite.

He returned.

The blackness beckoned. He entered willingly, surrendering himself to the dark embrace of that demonic respite, his beloved above all others.

He died, once again.
© Ethan M. Pfahning 2018
zebra Nov 2017
i feel like talking tonight
reciting poetry to your big blue eyes
and raw pink mouth smiling
high as a wind whipped kite
discussing
art, ontology, and existentialism
sitting like lotus
at the
Cafe Figaro on McDougall st
in the west village
the  belly of a ghost
lost in a vagrant memory

afterwards
we go to a
little one bedroom flat in the east village
haunted by the vapors of history
a slight stench of ****
and dingo tongue
dripping toilet
all peeling walls
intimating births, cheer and squalor

after a hot bath
of lathered torsos
we would follow each other *****
winding around a table
into a swaying bed
that beckoned
**** here my darlings

and i licked and drank out of your drenched
rose red blossom for hours
it licking back
I salvaged my soul between your thighs
like a wounded dog whimpering
thanking God with every graze and ******
of your all supple shifting limbs
and
your company
your company
your sweet droplets
of company

a summer balm

we looked in the mirror
reflecting on my secreted glistening face
all red raspberry
lips emerald hydras
laughing our ***** off at how artsy i looked
smeared
with your blood painted thighs
appearing as if half eaten

and you growled swallowed  and
licked big butter stick piggy
till your nose ran like the Ganges
gagging
eyes bloodshot pools of fire
cooing and oowing
driving me maniacal
with every ****** of your wild glinting tongue

we poured our selves into each other
viscous creels gushing
coursing like tidal waving lava  
radiating

and finally used to the marrow
we found ourselves drooping
our eyelids  leaden

the night mist fell upon us like breezing shade
and we drowsed
in careless embrace
our *** shriveled
like cast-off umbilici
and we fell to sleep
steep steep
floating
like two buttermilk clouds
adrift

your company
your company
your sweet droplets
of company

a summer balm
*** *** ***  love memory fiction nostalgia
ashw Nov 2015
I find myself on uncertain ground,
Straddling an impossible horizon.
On one side is day, where my consciousness thrives
On the other is night, where fatigue claims its prize.

For years, it seems, I have longed for sleep,
For a reprieve from wakefulness, and the sun’s piercing light,
But now, as I stand astride this unlikely fission,
I fear what awaits within night’s unyielding prison.

The darkness has beckoned, calling me forth
Even now, its sweet siren reigns down on my soul,
Oh, how easy, to just close my eyes and let my thoughts be consumed,
The promise of nothingness nearly impossible to refuse.

But my silhouette on the ground reminds me of light,
And I owe it to myself, past and future alike
To reconsider day and all it provides,
Before I make a choice, here, where two opposites collide.

I can remember hope, and the anticipation of greatness,
But also despair and nights spent alone.
Laughter and desire, pitted against resentment,
An ever-tipping balance between dissatisfaction and contentment.

No, it’s just not enough for me to fully commit,
I’d much prefer blackness and its long-awaited calm,
Yes...I will forget about day and its promise of grief,
Instead, I’ll take night and its selfless offer of relief.

Just one step forward and I'll be forever engulfed in silence,
But first I’ll rest here for just one second longer-
I need to say goodbye to day and pay respects to light,
Then I'll go forth, and forget this place where day leads unto night.
Morning Rainbow

Myriad prismatic crystals,
     refract the morning sun-streams -
painting layers of spectral arches
     across the misted horizon.

Eyes turned to the western skies,
     we suspend our meteorological selves  
acquiescing to miracles unveiled before us -
     un-beckoned and scarcely earned,
proffering thanks for the radiant epistle
     of healing, hope and promise,
artfully encoded in transfigured light.

Synthetic Refractions

A luminary ballet takes center stage
    when synthetic refractors come to play:
crystal pendants bathe our foyers
      with dazzling swaths of color.
Hazy coronas encircle streetlamps
      discovered by headlights through the fog.
A science class prism slices light rays
     into pre-ordered spectral strata.

If the sky denies us a rainbow,
     we can always fashion one of our own
and we do!



Spectral Sound

Before there was music,
     bird songs brushed our souls
and the murmur of woodland streams
     held us captive by their banks.

Soon we learned to sing and tint the air
    With prisms of wood and wire and metal
and to color soundscapes in our spirits
     With songs of wonder, joy and longing.

Before there was music,
     bird songs brushed our souls.

Robert Charles Howard, 2019
This is a rewrite and expansion of a prior poem called Morning Rainbow. The poems are design to go with an original piece for solo flute also called Prisms.
The night rides in on a horse of pure midnight velvet,
beckoned by the stars
As the colors of the day rest, perhaps dream of the tomorrow,
the hillside becomes its monochrome beauty,
shapes that make an ever-changing,
ever-present puzzle,
question and answer united,
In this night we all become one, from rock to plant to animal,
one promise of life
awaiting the return of the sun
Mike Robbins Oct 2017
In the dim yellow light beneath deciduous trees she spun methodically in Autumn. Shadows loomed aloft, chirping their approval. She spun and seemed to levitate, the flickers of the evening flame reflected in her pale green eyes darting in between loose strands of bland vermilion hair. And she spun and spun as if she'd spin forever,

Autumn.

She was Autumn there and then, personified in glints of golden green and faded yellow brown descending listlessly to greet the open canvas of the forest floor.
And the shadows pressed into the earth and disappeared as overhead the rain slashed through the shyness of the crowns betwixt the trees.

And she slowly spun her last, and lastly, panting stood before me *****, shivering in the gentle gales that rose and fell like Mozart's heavy heart.

I beckoned her with dead weights crudely fashioned to the pauldrons of my coffin that hung lowly, swaying listless as the leaves. And she smiled a tired smile and blew the kiss I yearned for seasons to receive before collapsing in the dirt.

In Autumn.

-Mike Robbins-
October 1st, 2017
J Apr 2016
(You found yourself standing
at the edge of the sea
Shivering white like a spirit
you beckoned to me)

I've never been to the sea,
or seen a ghost,
but I've held you in my arms and I've
felt all your bones

Your lips full of sorrow, your
ribs cracked in pain,
I followed the wind and found
you here once again.

I stood on the sand, and
gave you my plea,
but I yelled and I screamed and
you still couldn't hear me.

Then I watched you slip farther,
and belong to the sea,
I wish you knew that cold water
won't set you free
Terry O'Leary Feb 2014
The Tale below was carved one night
Upon the Stone, by candlelight
...most won’t believe, but some just might
.........most won’t believe, but some just might



                         Preface

Well James made Beth his lovely bride
(And angels smiled, though teary eyed)
...their bodies bound, their spirits tied
.........their bodies bound, their spirits tied

Upon her hand, a shimmer shone,
As bright as blood, a ruby Stone
...and brighter still, as love had grown
.........and brighter still, as love had grown

Soon James was sent to man a sail
So Beth removed her wedding veil
...her eyes were moist, her face was pale
.........her eyes were moist, her face was pale

“Well, I’ll be here when you return”
Said Beth to James, who kissed in turn
...a kiss that made her body burn
.........a kiss that made her body burn



                         BETH’S TALE

1.              The Dream

One night, within a dream deformed,
The cawing of a Crow informed
“...the Ship was struck where winter stormed
.........the Ship was struck where winter stormed

Midst winds and waves the thunder boomed
The Ship of Death was surely doomed
...the sea engulfed, the surf entombed
.........the sea engulfed, the surf entombed

Your James… deceived by Davy Jones!
With spirit freed, his flesh and bones
...now rest amongst the ashen Stones
.........now rest amongst the ashen Stones”



2.               The Quest

Awoken by the ebon Wight
And beckoned by the baneful bight
...I left before the morning light
.........I left before the morning light

Throughout the realm I rode a roan
Until, in time, I reached the Stone
...where shades in dreams of darkness groan
.........where shades in dreams of darkness groan

While skipping up and down the sky
A missing moonbeam mocked my eye
...enough to make a Swallow cry
.........enough to make a Swallow cry

For someone stole a star or two
And something else that fate withdrew -
...my jewel of joy, my James Bijou  
.........my jewel of joy, my James Bijou

The shadows of the evening swelled
Where demons of the dusk had dwelled
...and in the far, a vesper knelled
.........and in the far, a vesper knelled

The Stone, beneath the sky, stood cold -
Between the runes, a vapour strolled
...a cloak of fleecy fog consoled
.........a cloak of fleecy fog consoled

A Raven on a branch, enthroned,
Her wings waved once, a wail intoned
...beyond the bay, a banshee moaned
.........beyond the bay, a banshee moaned

I lay beside the Stone, his bride
I lay beside the Stone and cried
...but were it I, instead, that died
.........but were it I, instead, that died

The rainbow of the moon fell dim
A midnight Swan soon ceased to swim
...as if to hide all hint of him
.........as if to hide all hint of him

Between the willows in the swale
Bewailed a Bird, a Nightingale
...which left me faint, my body frail
.........which left me faint, my body frail



3.              Contact

I felt him breathe within a breeze  
Responding to my anguished pleas
...and leaves blew by abandoned trees
.........and leaves blew by abandoned trees

“Eternal love, my darling Beth”
Enshrined within a final breath
...re-echoed from the Ship of Death
.........re-echoed from the Ship of Death

The Stone lit up a ruby sheen
And clouds were kindled crystalline
...with consequences, unforeseen
.........with consequences, unforeseen

Above, a wretched Raven soared
To where the Ship of Death’d been moored
...below, the icy ocean roared
.........below, the icy ocean roared



4.               Release

I’m joined with James beneath the Stone,
Though to the Ship my spirit’s flown,
...for nevermore to be alone
.........for nevermore to be alone



                         Epilogue
That night the wayward winds were weird
The Ship of Death had disappeared
...coyotes called and mortals feared
.........coyotes called and mortals feared

At dusk, the craven shadows crawled
At dawn, the winds of mourning called
...upon the Stone two names were scrawled
.........upon the Stone two names were scrawled

The Raven sits, with wings outspread,
Atop the Stone which shades the dead
...it sometimes shimmers ruby red
.........it sometimes shimmers ruby red



                         Epitaph
Between the sounds, where silence seeps,
Their love lives on and never sleeps
...and yet, the weeping willow weeps
.........and yet, the weeping willow weeps
H E L E N A Dec 2018
Sun
I trail behind your brilliant golden rays
And pray that they will never fade away.
Just keeping you in my view
Lit a spark in my cold heart anew.

I had never dared to dream,
Afraid of ripping the seams
But your voice beckoned me,
Made me see all that I could be.

A saint and my saviour,
On this set path, I waver.
Could things be different?
Can I go against the current?

You stand still in the distance
Yet I cannot outrun my hesitance.
An idea of an ideal, immersed in the unreal. I don't know how else to feel.
em Feb 16
when my eyes open
everything will be warm
my skin will feel right
and golden
not like a strange
bedsheet
when my eyes open they will
be beckoned to brightness
by the rising sun
that sets my world alight.
when my eyes open
i hope
never will they long
to shut again.
sunrise
“Thank You Jesus and blessed-be God,
…you have my prayers, my wink, salute and a nod!”

Can’t go wrong if you at least try,
in the future your dreams will make you fly,
and every fork in the road will make you sigh,
but keep on *truckin’
cause you’ll get by,
and end up happy before you die-eye...

When I sailed off the world from the Keys,
Janus and Cybele didn’t bother me,
the river of pain and hate you see,
-angry Charon screaming for his fee.
The moon his eyes, his gaze you see,
the crescent his boat they call a fer-ry,
the three-headed dog, it barked at me,
thunderous clouds, they rocked the sea,
I prayed for Jesus to comfort me,
reaching heaven at the shores of 'Gal-Li-Lee-e...'

At the top of the Tower we all spoke the same 'langa-guage' you see?
and Jesus said, “You know we just call it 'spirit-tual-lity','
I turned to him and said,

“Old friend, you ain’t gotta waste no time on me.”
I’m just gonna kick back here a bit, and stare out at that sea!”


And he replied just as quick,

“Remember the Beast and stormy seas and that angry captain who yelled at thee?”

“It wasn’t yet time for you to go, you left something undone didn’t you know?”


Just then I heard the cries and wails,
I jumped back in my boat and loosed the sails,
the winds picked-up and drove my ark,
as I set sail out in to the dark...
And Jesus called out, beckoned me,

“Fare thee well on your jour-ney!”

I had gotten everything I wanted in life,
a home, three kids and a beautiful wife...
I felt I was fulfilled inside and it was proper if I died!

But Father made me 'real-a-lize' it was not about me but what I’d left behind.

That journey back was harder than I’d thought,
fraught with peril and that ****** dog!

I must make it back to my 'fam-mil-ly' and this **** storm won’t be the end of me!

I saw them there out on the beach,
as Charon’s ship slammed into me,
his Dragon-dog’s flames burned my ship
-so I jumped overboard and swam for it,
I woke up to my wife staring down at me,
-our three little Indians peaceful and fast asleep,

“Thank You Jesus and blessed-be God!
My prayers, my wink, salute and my nod,"


“I know there’s more to life than what I got and I’ll do better if you gimme a shot. What I have and my own strife, wife and children and the family life in this journey it was never about me and that’s the thing I didn’t ever see.”

Wife and kids and 'fam-mil-ly,'
trials, tribulations and stormy seas,
the book and faith, 'spirit-tual-lity,'
are what a man’s life, -is supposed to be,

“Thank You Jesus and blessed-be God!
You have my prayers, my wink, salute and my nod!
Thank You Jesus and blessed-be God,
…for my family, my life and all I’ve got.”


“Thank You Jesus and blessed-be God!”

“Thank You Jesus and blessed-be God!”

“Thank You Jesus and blessed-be God!”

*“Thank You Jesus and blessed-be God!”
Set in my mind to a music of The Dead...much of life is.
mannley collins Feb 2017
The body that I am incarnated in was born in the middle of the very rainy summer of 1939.
My vehicle for life.
All seeing-all smelling --all tasting--all touching--all speaking--all hearing --all sensing --perambulating -singing-dancing-cooking--drinking --painting--******* etc etc vehicle.
Born a few months before the Second World War,with all its nonsensical religiously patriotic and democratically oligarchic and liberally fascistic evil nonsense, started.
Makes me a Rider of the Storm eh?.
Eat yer heart out Jim Morrison!.
Slid out of my mothers **** in the upper room of a brand new house.
Situated on a new street somewhere on a new development on the edge of a 3000 years old walled city in 'gods' own country'--that's what they called it.
Yorkshire!.
First smell I remember,clearly,was rain soaked Lilac and Earth mixed together.
Their scent coming hrough the open bedroom window.
AAAAH rain soaked Lilac.
Second smell was Tobacco from downstairs where my father was anxiously chain smoking.
Then came my first taste.
He,my father,dipped the tip of his little finger into his glass of celebratory Whiskey and poked it into my mouth as I lay there,wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Irresponsibility!!.
Second taste was her warm rich creamy breast milk.
And so my days and nights started.
They told me the name that I was to answer to--as if it was the whole of me.
They told me my beliefs and attitudes and desires and limitations and skills etc etc.
They told me that what I have come to know was my conditioned identity was the real me---but it isn't!..
The lied to me --in innocent ignorance.
My sister taught me to read and write by the time I was 3 years old.
I grew up knowing,deep down, that I was something else.
Not the 'Something Else' that Ornette Coleman played,on his magnificent disc,either.
War raged elsewhere throughout my childhood--mainly across the seas far away.
I watched flight after flight of four engine bombers roar overhead every day ,on their way to drop bombs on children I would never meet.
There was a busy air base 2 miles away from the house I was born in.
Once an injured bomber,coming back from a raid,crashed in flames on two houses at the top of the street I lived in.
I found war to be a hellish and frightening experience.
And along the way I discovered that I couldnt explain to 'myself' who I was, exactly,either.
That my parenters gift of identity was misleading.
I asked 'myself' who or rather what was I?.
By the time I was 3 years I was a ******* from 'Osteomylitis'--or so they told me.
I couldn't walk with massive  left hip joint pain I suffered.
I spent the years from 3 to 6 in a traction bed in a couple of hospitals.
Gobbling down Cod liver oil and Malt for the vitamins--and it worked!!!.
At 6 I learned to walk--YES!!!.
All that pain was left behind.
Thank you Gautama.
My life was suffering but as you supposedly said.
Suffering can be overcome.
And I overcame it.
And I ran and jumped across streams and climbed trees and walked for miles and miles and danced the dance of life.
I foraged for blackberries and wild mushrooms and crabapples and horseradish roots and rosehips and other fruits of nature.
I fell in love with the song of the Yellowbeak--Blackbird to you.
Became enraptured by the smell of wild Roses in the hedgerows.
And I sang and sang and sang and danced and danced and danced.
And all the while I just knew that I wasn't the body that I was incarnated in.
Even though my parenters kept on insisting that I was that body.
And I knew that I wasn't who they had told me I was either.
I knew that I wasn't the conditioned identity of the body that they insisted I was..
At 9 years I passed an exam and won a free scholarship place at a fee paying 'public' school.
My education started in earnest.
Lain and French andAlgebra and Geometry and  expectations of University.
I fell in love for my very first time at around 12 years old.
Raymond was his name.
He taught me how bisexual I was.
I swallowed litres of his body fluids.
Oh how I loved him.
Then after 2 ecstatic years he rejected me because I was a different class to him.
AAAAARGH!.
Then around 14 years the monthly seizures started.
A regular dark descent into unconsciousness.
I experienced the small death of Julius Ceasar and Leonardo Da Vinci.
Back to waking consciousness after an hours out of the body trip into the Astral realms.
Waking with total total amnesia.
With no mind or conditioned identity but both came back within one hour of waking and took over again.
Along with a helluva headache.
But I woke as me--who or whatever that was.
I wasn't who they said I was.
I was me!.
Whatever that was.
Where did I come from?
My purpose in life became to find out what I was and what the source of my existence was.
Teenage life as a rock n roller started beckoned and I embraced party life.
I won cups of silver for dancing very energetically to Bill Haley and Chuck Berry.
I discovered the other half of my bisexuality.
I found girls.
Oh girls how I love you.
and love you and love you.
I started to play trombone at 18 years.
Then trumpet and drums then into my life walked MISS SAXOPHONE and I melted!!!!.
Alto alto wobbly lines of sound poured out from the bell of my alto sax.
I was 23 and toying with buddhism and social alcoholism and playing saxophone jazz(probably badly).
26 and I got married for the first time.
I was playing Free Jazz rather amateurishly by now.
In 1967 I moved to London--became a longhaired hippy--started my own band called BrainBloodVolume--took many doses(literally 1000s) of pure LSD and Mescaline and Psyllocybin and DMT--embraced diet reform--became ordained as a buddhist monk in 1966--played with Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon and the pink Floyd--went to live in the Balearic Islands--Mallorca,Ibiza,Formentera--started to do oil paintings--had a Master Class in Concert Flute playing from Roland Kirk in the dressing room at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London.Became addicted to Macrobiotic Food and Spring Water and puffing Waccy Baccy(always through a Water Pipe..



Its been seventy seven years in this incarnation that I have been wandering the face of this big ball in space seeking the answer to the eternal questions of life.

What am I and where do I come from and what is my purpose?.

And here  is the answer--!!.

I am an individual isness formed solely from a small but equal independent and autonomous portion of the isness of the universe.

Each individual isness is an eternal, small but equal, independent, autonomous,nameless, formless,genderless,classless,casteless,non physical and unconditionally  loving portion of the isness of the universe.

The isness of the universe is the whole of the nature of reality and is the sole source of all existence and is eternal,nameless,formless, genderless,beingless and autonomous and unconditionally loving and is not a 'god' or a 'goddess' or any kind of being.

I live in the joyousness of shared unconditionally loving union with the isness of the universe.
Axion Prelude Aug 2018
Genuinely feeling hope for something good, and being lead by false hope to believe a lie as truth, are two different beasts

I don't hate myself for what I felt, or thought, but instead what I was lead to think was okay to believe

I was lied to, again; my words beckoned something I thought was genuine, and deceit was all that met me, just like every time before it

I'm sick of being here, of thinking anything gets better, because it's true that the those who spend their fortune at keeping an authentic heart for others will inevitably end up alone, indebted to those who only care of themselves

I give myself away too often, but only for what I objectively observe as being meaningful, but I'm afraid that closing off my mind will bring me to the dark place again, and I never want to go back there

I have no control of what someone believes or feels, nor do I know what that may be, all the same

I just take what I am given, if it seems and feels good; if it echoes compassion and sincerity, because that's exactly what I lack most

I hate being a ***** to this paradox, but my freedom may only come with absolute truth

I have no more faith for that - I still hope; potentiality rings, but I know that's one sided on my end

A wish is a wish..
Joel A Doetsch Jan 2012
He was definitely dead.  That much could be gathered.  He was standing over his own body, sixty feet away from the car.  fifty-nine feet away from  the telephone pole.  The pool of blood on the blacktop was rippling from the sheets of rain that were piercing it.  The rain bounced off of his lifeless eyes, staring on into the cloudy sky.   His shocked expression was forever frozen on his face.  He walked around the corpse, both fearful and excited.  He was dead....He was DEAD!  He was on the other side!  He looked around, searching for the 'white light',  but all he found  was a man dressed in a ratty  trench coat staring directly at him.  Rotting teeth smiled at him under a grungy  Fedora in a way that reminded him of a jack-o-lantern carved into the likeness of Indiana Jones that had been left out past Thanksgiving.  A withered hand beckoned him.

He was not hesitant.  He was not fearful.  

Those were emotions controlled by a brain that was currently about as useful as a bag full of gelatin.  He strode forward and took the man's hand.  It was neither hot nor cold.  They were no longer in the rain.  They were in a room with a large monitor
sitting in front of a station of various knobs, buttons, and switches.  A large leather chair apathetically awaited use .  He was aware that none of these objects  actually existed, because they were in the place where things don't exist.  Still, he sat down
and turned on the monitor.  He looked at the labels.  Some were obvious, such as P L A Y,  P A U S E, and S T O P.  Others were strange, like the ones labeled F I R S T S and L A S T S.  He pressed the former.  A list appeared with items as simple as "Kiss" to ones as specific as "Sprained Left Ankle in November".

He chose the former.

The screen went blank, then a video appeared.  It was a boy and a girl lying on a hill on a blanket at the onset of dusk.  The boy he instantly recognized as himself. The boy brushed his hand against hers.  She let him.  Fingers now entwined as they stared at each other.  At the time it had felt like hours, but it was less than a
minute before lips pushed apart to make way for tongues.  His first kiss.  It didn't take him long to figure out how the machine worked from that point on.  

He spent years going through every second of his life and reliving it from a new perspective. It didn't matter, he had all the time that never was and never would be.  He saw his mistakes and his triumphs, his loves and his heartbreaks.  Finally, he decided he was
finished.  It was time to go.  The man in the Fedora smiled.  Smiled that Cheshire smile

They were in a hallway.  It seemed to stretch for miles.  Every twenty paces or so, there was a person, standing on a platform, obscured in darkness.  He walked to the first one.
A light flickered on.  It was his mother.  She looked like she did when he was a boy, vibrant and full of life.  She never lost that, even as her body aged and her health declined, she always had something to smile about.  He talked to this apparition of his mother.   They talked for hours about his life, of random topics.  Things they had never had time to talk about when they were both alive.  After some time, she gave him one of her wry
smiles.  He nodded and made his way to the next person.  His father.  

He continued this for quite some time.  He talked to everyone from his brother to a guy he used to get high with in college.  Years passed as he said his final goodbyes to all the people in his life
that he had ever known.  All of them were happy for him.  All of them had something to tell him that he had never known about them in life.  None of them were real.  When he was done, he turned to the man in the fedora.  A smile.  A smile that had a personality all its own, a smile that simultaneously showed compassion and seething hatred.

The last room.  No one said it was the last room, but it had that feeling of finality to it. It was spartan, nothing in it except a marble floor that seemed to stretch for eternity in every direction.  It probably did.  In front of him were two pedestals.  On each of those
pedestals was himself.  The one on the left was wearing a fine tailored suit, had radiating skin and a smile that cameras feasted on.  The one on the right was a stark contrast.  The teeth he had left were hanging lazily from the roots.  His hair that he had left was thin, oily, and ridden with lice.  His mouth turned upwards in an insane grin that was only
matched by his thirsty, bloodshot eyes that seemed to bulge from his pockmarked skin

                                          They both spoke at once.

You were born on                                           You were born on
July 3, 1985.  Your                                           July 3, 1985.  Your
parents fed your                                         mother died when you
curiosity at a young                                     were 4.  Your father
age.  Your passion                                   turned to alcohol.  He
was art.  You painted                                 took his pain out on you.
your first work when                                     You dropped out of    
you were nine.  By the                                high school and moved
time you were 16, you                             as far away from this
were renowned as a                             life as you could.  You
artistic prodigy.  You                      quickly discovered a bad crowd.
attended the Art                                     You met a girl, Cindy.
Institute of Chicago                                       You got her pregnant.
on a full scholarship.                                   You started selling drugs
It was there that you                                     to make ends meet
would meet Claire,                                       for your accidental family
your future wife. By                                       It wasn't long before
the time you completed                                     You made a mistake
your school, every                                             and ended up in jail.
museum wanted a                                        years later, when you
piece of your work                                       were released
hanging in their gallery                               you found that Cindy      
Your work would be                                       had killed herself
remembered for                                                   and your son.
hundreds of years after                                       You had no job          
your death.  You had                                                 no skills
a wonderful family,                                        You spent your days
fame, fortune, and                                          doing odd jobs for
everything that came                                   money.  Money that
with it.  You lived                                           You spent on drugs
until 89, where you                                        Until the age of 45
died peacefully in                                       Where you froze on a
your bed, surrounded                           street corner, surrounded
by loved ones.  This                        by human excrement.  This
is your life's best                                           is your life's worst
possible outcome                                         possible outcome



He nodded, then looked at the man in the fedora.  That smile crept up.  A smile like a hyena. He snapped his fingers.  Two doors appeared.  One was Oaken and battered.  The grains of wood barely visible over years of neglect.  The other door was new and had just been  painted with a fresh coat of sky blue paint.  

The man spoke for the first time.

This is the last decision you shall ever make.  The door on your left will lead you to the  afterlife, and the judgement that awaits you.  Whatever is decided, that is where you will spend eternity.  The door on the right will allow you to be reborn as a new soul.  This one will no longer exist.

He gave it a good long ponder.  Had he been good enough in life to pass the judgement?  What if he ended up in a hellish nightmare for the rest of eternity?  Could he do better
if he started fresh?  The thoughts swirled about him like a whirlwind until finally.

Years later

He chose.

The man in the fedora smiled.
I'm aware this isn't a poem.  It started off as one, but then I kept writing.
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