Tag: Oblivion

The life saving sanctum of remembrance

I’ll say this in one long sentence and then I’ll shut the hell up and have a brandy and go to bed.

My wife had a big heart and for thirty-four years I was inside it and when her heart stopped beating I was suddenly and shockingly cast into a void, where I suspect she is now, in an oblivion and not, as her Catholic faith led her to believe, in an afterlife of continuing energy and awareness in some divine sphere or dimension — and my only corporeal salvation, for what it’s worth, is that the void in which I now survive is surrounded by the warmth and the strength, the spirit and the ethereal companionship of her memory, and it is that in which I now wrap myself as protection from the fear of loneliness and the suicidal yearning to be with her, knowing as my intelligence perceives, notwithstanding the well-meaning help and advice of the church and its dedicated believers, the stark reality of death.

‘A Trapeze to God or to Some Sort of Eternity.’

The young poet filled a paper cup with water in his room at the end of the corridor of the halfway house. He locked the door. It was Friday, October 28, one o’clock in the afternoon.

He swallowed several capsules of two powerful barbiturates, secobarbital and amobarbital, enough to kill himself three times over.

He stepped into the closet and placed a blue blanket on the floor. He closed the closet door and lay down on his right side, making himself as comfortable as possible on the blanket, his right hand under his head. In his left hand he held a small stuffed panda bear.

He closed his eyes and let the drugs do their stuff. 

He went spinning off into oblivion.

His body was discovered the next day, Saturday. 

On top of the chest of drawers were several poems he had written throughout his teenage years, one containing the line, ‘The only way anyone ever died was alone.’

With the poems was an essay he had written earlier that week entitled, ‘The Supernatural — Does it Exist?’  

There was one other thing on top of the chest of drawers — a copy of a short story collection by William Saroyan titled ‘The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.’ 

The book was face down, open near the end of the first story: 

‘He accepted the thought of dying without pity for himself… Through the air on the flying trapeze, his mind hummed. Amusing it was, astoundingly funny. A trapeze to God, or to nothing, a flying trapeze to some sort of eternity; he prayed for strength to make the flight with grace.’

The coroner put the time death at three o’clock on Friday afternoon. The young poet was nineteen.


The Supernatural: Does It Exist?

Does the supernatural exist? To begin with, the word supernatural suggests a concept that is basically unsound: the idea that anything which we perceive could be more or less than “natural”: that anything in existence could be other than natural is obviously a pointless proposition. What we term natural is nothing but the whole of existence: the only context for anything that manifests itself, through whatever set of dynamics.

We are natural beings and anything that our senses perceive or that our feelings and thinking can relate itself to can only be also natural. It is an old and common mistake to blame our own inability to supply an explanation for something on some imagined area of reality where that explanation is withheld and something exists only “in itself.” Such a vacuum of unreality has nothing to do with a rational perspective.

There is no “other side” to reality but madness or nothingness. There is also an almost limitless amount of the human experience that remains unexplained and unresolved. What some call the supernatural shouldn’t be allowed to suggest to us “another reality” colliding with “our own.” The so-called supernatural should only remind us of how much we still have left to discover about the internal dynamic and the rational meaning of all things.


Cool Dude God Tells It Straight

COMES OUT OF HIDING

God, I gotta tell ya, Dude — [this is me at the top of Beacon Hill talking to the sky] — you are one dubious entity, an invisible and unknown force in the mind-bucking infinity of 100 billion galaxies.

Everyone agrees that the universe is a miracle of unfathomable mystery, and has been, and will always be an enigma within 100 billion enigmas throughout all of history, the work of someone or something that many of us refer to as God, namely you, Holy Dude.

But what I want to know is: Why the big mystery, God? Why do you leave your “creations” in a quandary of questions? We mugs on earth spend half our lives asking, Who or what is God? Does God exist? Is God dead? And so on and so forth.

Hey, Man, all I’m asking is, why don’t you put all these pitiful questions to rest by coming out of the Cosmic Closet and just laying it out like it is, Man. [You will notice, Dear Reader, that I am capitalizing Dude and Man etc out of respect — that’s the kind of guy I am.]

So the next thing that happens — and I couldn’t believe it because I was sort of kidding around on top of that hill talking to the sky in a sort of irreverent way — but I hear this voice in my head — not an actual voice, more like a thought-stream in my head.

And here’s the truly amazing thing: God turns out to be a Cool Dude — the way he talked or thought-streamed, reminded me of Rainbow Johnson, a flashy dressing black dude from back in my Detroit days who had the coolest collection of hats — Panamas, fedoras, homburgs, skimmers trilbies, bowlers, derbies.

Anyway this what I hear in my head:

Okay, here’s the deal, crazy dude on the hill, there is a Heaven and if you don’t kill anyone or hurt an animal or treat anyone horribly, you will end up in Heaven, but if you really mess up in a murderous way or any other bad-shit way, or if you’re a politician, you ain’t gettin’ into Heaven, you on your way to hell, boy — although I’ll let you in on a God-only-knows secret, there ain’t really no hell. If you totally fuck up your lives in a bad-shit way, you end up in Oblivion — an eternity of blackness, an endless void of nothingness, no reunions with loved ones, no memory of your past life, no sensation, no feelings, no nothing, baby, just like before you were born — you didn’t exist then and when you die bad, you won’t exist forever.

So, how do you like them apples, baby? Pretty grim, huh? Better to live in world of God and Heaven — call it make-believe if you want. It’s not that difficult, babe, all you got to do is — what’s the phrase fiction writers use? O, yeah, suspension of disbelief.

So, have a good rest of your life, man — and hey, be careful walking back down that hill. 

Man, that was such an amazing experience on top of that hill — God turning out to be a Cool Guy and all.

I’ll tell you something — I sure as hell made my way back down that hill real careful like.

After hearing from God, I didn’t want to slip and fall to Oblivion, because just between you and me, I’ve done some things I ain’t proud of — nothing like murder of course or any of that bad-shit stuff God was talking to me, or thinking to me about, but you know, shit I’m not proud of, so I walked down that hill real careful because I wanted to get back down and make amends and find my way back up to Cool Dude God, man.


Poēmia Bohemia

WHITHER MY WILLOW

I sleep past noon, head deep in the pillow

Rain on the roof and the wind does billow;

No will to rise since the death of Willow.

For more than thirty years we shared a bed,

Then from out of hell a stroke struck her dead.

Life ever since has been unliving dread,

Devoid of will I am locked in the past

Remembering the years that passed so fast

Me the vagabond and Willow steadfast

Always there for me at journeys end

My wife, my soulmate and best friend.

Now in death, did she ascend or descend

Rise to the sky or stay down in the earth

Is it oblivion as before birth

Or in realms unknown spiritual rebirth?

Knowing her eternal destination

Might bring about merciful cessation

To my own life sentence of damnation.

I do not expect an answer real soon

I do not expect the gods to commune

Thus I stay in bed till way past noon.