Archive for category The Poetry of Death
(The Dissection of The Soul In Three Parts)
Bethlehem, Pennsylvannia-How much would you pay for the soul of a 5 million year old man? 10 million dollars? 20 million? 100 million? What about a billion dollars? 10 billion dollars? 100 billion dollars? A trillion dollars???
Would you give up the pinky finger on your left hand? What about your right pineal gland? Would you watch every episode of the television show Manimal? Would you become a cannibal who injects himself with Dianabol? Would you sell your children to a band of angry Saudis? Would you trade in your mother for three broken down Audis? Would you endure an hour-long attack from ravenous dogs? Would you reprise Ray Milland’s role in the movie Frogs? Would you trade dentures with Martha Raye? Would you spend Father’s Day with Marvin Gaye? Would you elope with an antelope? What about a cantaloupe?
Billionaire heiress Angelina Corpsegrinder did just that. Corpsegrinder, the granddaughter of former President John F. Corpsegrinder, purchased the soul at a nearly incalculable price at an auction on Friday outbidding thousands of lustful members of the American aristocracy. Corpsegrinder now has, within her beady little hands, possession of the one object that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that God not only exists, but also intends us to hear his outrageous and inconsistent demands.
Encased in glass in case of loss, this abandoned soul sits in a vault, collecting interest at nearly 8 percent. Corpsegrinder has had the soul examined by thousands of religious icons and hundreds of other idle idols of the breathing class. Their findings all point to one inescapable fact, that people, given the correct amount of compensation and fearing for the devaluation of their name and the deflation of their credibility, will say anything to remain unforgotten by strangers. That we are conspiring against all logic and pinning our dreams and hopes upon an empty vessel is not important, what is important is that the conspiracy continues to hold true no matter how vengefully its core fiction has been used.
Thousands have filed past a replica of this soul in the Museum of Spirit, Fellowship and Other Inane Cruelties. For years, it was thought that this replica was the only soul alive in captivity. Many believed that, in nearly every case, when one expired, the soul passed into another realm leaving only a husk of body in some embarrassing pose. And teeth. Now, thanks to the generous nature of those who possess most of the world’s resources, we can rest assured that a real soul exists.
The soul originally belonged to a Neanderthal named Arnold Mulligan. In his haste to consume the flesh of a recently slaughtered pig, Mulligan’s soul fell out of his body and fell into a tar pit somewhere south of Tupelo, Mississippi. After being discovered some years back, the soul was passed to different collectors in high stakes poker games. It eventually fell into the clutches of former Presidential candidate Adali Stevenson and has languished in a coffee can in his basement since 1964. But, that is not important. Who needs chain of evidence when there isn’t even the evidence of a chain?
Finally, a pawnbroker from Jamaica, Queens named Arthur Leo Sclerosis slumped into the vault and examined the artifact. It was elliptical. No bigger than a marble. It had been poked and prodded by the finest pokers and prodders on this planet. Its verification had been peer reviewed by peers and reviewers who had all made tenure at the finest educational slaughterhouses on the planet. They had stood in line for hours to see it, all seeking to be part of a truth that, as keepers of truth, they were free to invent. Some of them, the rebels, tried to destroy it, but Plato had told them long ago that it couldn’t be destroyed, so they stopped.
Sclerosis didn’t care. He was dying and had the freedom that only the truly condemned and utterly forgotten can ever gain. His body, ravaged by disease and disrepair, crawled towards the altar upon which the soul had been placed. He made several silly motions with his hands to confuse the guards into thinking he was part of a group of fiction providers larger than himself, then he dove face first into the case, shattering the shatterproof glass and freeing the soul from the most recent in its series of cells.
The alarms sounded. Everyone on earth froze and locked their eyes upon him. Were it destroyed, they’d have to go back to having faith in something implausibly stupid. Were it destroyed, the whole edifice would plunge headlong into a nothingness of materials careening off one another and going nowhere in particular for an undetermined period of meaningless time. Were it destroyed, they’d have to accept the possibility that God or whatever creative force begat us from Its stomach was cruel enough to simply leave us in the middle of an endless wilderness of despair with no map to get home. Were it destroyed, they might look in the mirror and come face to face with a walking pile of animated flesh killing time between now and when its life functions had ceased.
“Please…we beg you! Leave us at least the illusion of stability in this demented nightmare of an existence!!!!” they cried in unison.
He held it aloft for all to see. “This,” declared Sclerosis “is nothing more than an M & M!!!!!”
He popped it into his mouth, chewed and swallowed. He died at that moment, for no other reason than his heart stopped beating.
People were aghast! So little truth had flashed before their eyes since religion adopted the game show format in the 1950s that this mockery of their very existence flung them into an orgiastic fit of rage. Still…there was something to this. After all, this was an experience they had just experienced. An event. A happening. A thing. They were all a part of it. Suddenly and without warning, the guards draped an American flag over the former man’s lifeless body and hoisted him on their shoulders as if he had just scored the game-winning touchdown in a championship football game.
“HE………IS………..RISEN!!!!!” they shouted in unison.
Everyone went back to work.
(Editors note: This is inane poetry that I wrote about 5 years ago during my conversion to vegetarianism. It reflects my general unease about the idea of fake meat. I have since grown to love the stuff. Mock meat, I mean, not unease)
Why do we mock the mock meats?
Is it our feverish fear of fakes?
That make us avoid eating mock snakes
Do we fear down deep that we are eating
Something that never was bleating
Some hybrid of bean sprouts and shark
That looks like a deformed snark
Do we feel people will see us as quirky?
If we down a box of Tofurky
Should we eat what does not cluck?
Like a steaming plate of mock duck
Or avoid things that do not moo
And happen to taste like Elmer’s glue
What is a new vegan to do?
Settle down to a plate of mock kangaroo!
When will the mock meat madness stop?
Will they open a mock meat butcher shop?
Will mock meat mania destroy our nation?
Will we become a mock civilization?
A mock culture in neverending retreat
Who cannot tell the difference between real and mock meat
The following is an account of what took place on the evening of Sunday March 14th, 1996 in New Paltz, New York. It was the most frightening night of my life…
I looked at the alarm clock. 3:14 AM. What on earth was that horrible noise?
BANG!!!!! BANG!!!!! BANG!!!!
Loud thumping from the front door. What on earth?!?!?
“AAAAARRRGHRGRHHRRAAAA!!!!! HELP ME!!!! AAAAAAAAARGHTHHTERGG!!”
BANG! BANG! BANG!
What could it be? I stared at cracked wood paneled ceiling above me. Eyes pinned open. Was someone banging on my door? Why would someone be banging on the door at 3:14 in the morning?
BANG!!! BANG!!! BANG!!!!!!
The bleariness of sleep quickly disappeared from my mind. Cobwebs melted away and were quickly replaced with horror. What on earth? ‘I should go downstairs’, I mumbled to myself.
BANG!!!! BANG!!!!! BANG!!!!!!! BANG!!!!!!!!!
I shot out of bed and grabbed the 36-ounce aluminum Easton bat from my closet. I threw a shirt on, took a deep breath and started to walk to the hallway that connected our living room to the front door. I lived in an apartment with two other people who were both out of town. It was just me. The hallway led to a creaky wooden door that probably couldn’t handle much more of the pounding that whatever was on the other side was inflicting on it.
It didn’t even sound human, whatever it was. Some filthy, snarling beast on my front porch. Why? Maybe it would go away if I…..
BANG! BANG!!!! BANG!!!!!!!
Pounding with two fists! Screeching! What was on the other side of the door?
Only feet away from the door handle. Now, the door handle in my hand. NOW!
I flung the door open and I’ll never forget what I saw.
No shirt, covered in some red substance that was either blood or strawberry syrup, dark bruises on his body, a deranged, confused expression on his face. Only feet away from me. I knew him right away from the moment my eyes met his. It was Bill Clinton.
He began looking at the sky and howling a sick, miserable shriek.
“Mr. President, are you alright?” I asked filled with astonishment and terror.
“I know…..I know……I know……I know…….FEAR!!!!!”
“Are you hurt?”
He stared blankly into my face. His body was no longer filled with electric, crazed energy. An empty vessel. Eyes filled with nothing as if he was listening to a song that only he could hear. He was covered in blood and chicken feathers.
“I know pain,” he whispered to me in a voice that projected complete sadness and desolation.
“I KNOW PAIN!!!! ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAGHRGRHRGRGGG!!!!!!!!!” he screamed.
The next thing I knew he began running away…..howling. The way his body moved was not even human. Like some combination of an eel, a toad and a man. He disappeared into the woods on the side of the house. What had just happened? The howling faded into the distance and I was left alone in the oppressive darkness.
I tried to call the police. They told me I was crazy. I told my friends. They didn’t believe me. I tried to find news reports about the whereabouts of the President on that evening. The newspapers claimed he was in France on an official visit. I knew better.
I never have figured out what happened that night. I will probably never know. For a few moments, Clinton became a vulgar, demented beast. Maybe it was who he was all along or maybe he strayed from the light for just one evening. That night he was a monstrosity.
It’s not the screaming or the banging or the look in his eyes that I remember most. I remember his howl he let out as he disappeared as if I heard it yesterday. It was the noise an animal made when it sensed its own demise. It was the repugnant terror of existential emptiness and complete alienation all pressed together in one terrible, resonant sound. In that moment, he spoke from a horrific place that I hope I do not ever see. I never looked at him the same way again.