VIN 22- Halls of The Universe, pt. 1

I started writing when I was about six. Doesn’t everyone?

As soon as I could pick up a pen, I began writing. My mother, an oldschool reader, subscribed to volumes of collections of fairy-tales as a child and filled the house with books until the shelves sagged. My father, though not traditionally “literate,” held true the written word enough to have learned most skill through self-teaching manuals.

Thus, the vein of story is pure and deep within me. It’s no surprise I became a writer. Though spending life attempting to please others is not the way to go, it does not devalue what you learn of yourself along the way. For me, that was fiction. Stories. Information. Then later, technology and science, truth and justice. Text. Words.

For words are power: true, eternal power.

What separates us from the so-called inferior boils down to language. One need only look to history books to see as much. Especially with regard to North American and European history, the barrier between “civilized” and “savage” was based upon whether one spoke specific languages– usually, those of whites, Caucasians, Europeans, and later, North Americans.

This extreme and prejudicial example is no less repeated in regard to anthropocentric– that is, Human-centered, views on Death, the Multiverse, and Nothing. The problem is, these views are subject to mob mentality as a result of their manifest by the group. Simply: Death, the Multiverse, and Nothing, are concepts too big for one person alone to understand and thus require the effort of the group.

Big jobs need more people. Simple enough, right? Right.

The catch, as always: this reality means the mob-mentality– or that state of chaos roused by inexplicable rage, fear, or inner turmoil, can also exist.

This is not seen in other animals. However, the reason’s likely a result of Human intellectuality placing them as ecologically dominant. It is quite possible, given enough Evolution, any remaining lineage of Earth-animal surviving alongside Humanity long enough would inherit its traits. Intelligence being its defining trait, would only increase the likelihood of that trait being made manifest.

Evolution would need only, as a result of the same naturally-selective processes, on social-scales, eliminate those traits. To do otherwise would avoid evolutionary paths-of-least-resistance, which is counter to nature’s tendencies.

In essence, if dogs or cats could live in large, intelligent enough groups, for long enough, they might too become as complex socially as Humans. Canids and Felidae alongside Homo sapiens in the halls of the Universe isn’t the worst idea, but it does require compromise on the largest scales of Human Ego.

Then again, maybe that’s the point.

VIN 20- Thus, We Resist

The only problem with America is that it has always been acceptable for large portions of it to be uneducated.

After the fall of Southern Slavery, that divide became smaller and smaller, resulting in less educational inequality. The seeming Broca-Divide between those diseased with poverty, and those with eloquence and refinement, was nearly erased. At least so far as history had yet recorded. Then came the re-institution of racism in the national-jingoist’s mind, the rise of the Civil Rights movement.

These were effects of the disturbing changes in modern-day comforts. Suddenly, instead of seeing a local newsman lazily predicting weather, people were seeing whole swaths of others being brutalized or disruptive.

Regardless of sides of the fence, fires were stoked. Indeliberately, but undeniably.

These realities though still existent, seemed to subside with the growing pace of the Vietnam war’s end, and the sleek fast-moneyed cocaine-lifestyle of the 80s. However, that lifestyle had a seedy underbelly that millions were suffering from the cost of fueling it. In context, Cocaine was black market. Black market was bad. Not because it is, inherently– it is only a concept for the market of that which is prohibited but needed, and thus, unregulated– but because it was perceived to be and treated as such. (Whether it’s worth long term stability to remain so is a matter unto itself.)

However, those suffering from that underbelly were those so recently disenfranchised– whatever the effect, because they, as components of the system of society, were yet in the final stages of their own turbulence.

In essence, civil-rights and peace movements weren’t done moving, but they were slowing– if only to come to a stop at having yet nowhere to go next.

That was exacerbated later, by those other-but-corrupt elements of the system (society) that had struck back at those slowing, causing them to speed up, swerve, and nearly lose control. It was like a retributive game of rural-road chicken.

The crack and heroin epidemics of the 80s and 90s gave way to such current nuisances as the Drug-war and Opioid epidemics– whose pre-digital mindsets are entirely products of their time. Psychology dictates prohibition is doomed to fail. Human curiosity, that which is relied upon for us to survive and thrive, does not allow for prohibition except when used to challenge oneself.

While these aforementioned epidemics are of the worst kinds, in that they harm those involved more greatly than they could ever help, it remains that it is not in the prohibition nor prosecution of these behaviors, Human efforts should be focused. Rather, evidence best indicates its focus should be on treating their underlying causes.

Escapism will never be entirely voluntarily. It is, if only partially, a compulsion for Humans that comes from their need of, and connection to, imagination. It is why, despite the existence of videography, pure type still exists. There is a want, need even, for the Human mind to capably escape its reality in as many ways as possible.

The reason is simple: Stress is a killer.

Medical science knows this now. Society knows it, too. Likewise through Medical-Science, it is known as unavoidable, useful even: as much a part of the Human condition as water, oxygen, excretion, or death. An equal imperative in life to keep itself living. As well, through Physics, we know each action has an equal and inverse reaction.

These principles, reversely applied to escapism, reveal its engineering as a mechanism of action for coping as much as needed or desired. The problem with the aforementioned epidemics, and their connection, means they’re byproducts of the same underlying issues.

Simply: No pure-escapist, uninfluenced by external sources, wishes escapism badly enough to rot their teeth and smell like bleach and cat-piss from crack. Such a person would be like a connoisseur of animal shit: probably necessary, but limited in number for sake of natural process rather than want.

To simplify even further, the extremes one may go to in their escapism may correlate the depths of their damage. Speaking generally, the higher you wish to soar, the deeper you live– unless you’re Tolkien’s Dwarves.

But education, its seeming lack of pervasiveness in a so-called “educated society,” dictates we are anything but. Mostly, because en-masse Humans have failed to grasp the simple concept that to learn, one must be willing to do so.

With that comes a harsh reality: Humans don’t care to learn. They care to be led. To change the people, they must understand why they must change. It is why the addict seeks help only after admitting their addiction.

Thus Humans must wish to learn, so that they might see the beauty inherent in what it grants– why it is crucial to existence as a whole, as a “next-level” species to do so.Because otherwise Humanity is built on a foundation of animals shit, rather than something lasting.

To resist that, guide the change properly, allows all involved to be apart of something grand. It makes each participant like a kind of royalty.

Until that is recognized, treated as such, Humanity cannot hope to even begin grasping the challenges before us. When such challenges threaten our existence as a whole, it is dangerous to ignore them– Climate change. War. Nuclear anything. Planetary catastrophe. Extra-solar catastrophe…

We must remain focused on our individual goals, the healing ones– for ourselves and those around us. Otherwise, the systems needed to be in place to prevent catastrophe– for us and our progeny– will not do so.

Thus, we resist.

Short Story: Then What?

Sounds and smells of hammered and welded steel emanated incessantly from the garage. Edwin Malcolm’s neighbors had long since resorted to ear-plugs, letting come what may. Even in the middle of the night– or rather, especially in the middle of the night, Edwin found need to be working on something. The middle-aged inventor was a spitting image of a mad-scientist: his hair wild, white, and clothing appropriately frumpled. He fell short at evil genius, thus was left merely a lonely, sad man pitied by even the local police.

That had not always been the state of things. Edwin was once a prominent, high-school science teacher. He inspired even the laziest students to sit up, take notice. His enthusiasm and unparalleled respect garnered him more than one “Teacher of the Year” award. The transition to reclusive hermit obsessively working nights had come about tragically. Indeed, his first night that rolled over into day– and set his diurnal hibernation in motion– had been the same his wife was hit by a drunk driver. She lasted all of twelve hours. By noon the next day she was dead, along with any hope for Edwin’s sanity.

He took indefinite sabbatical, hadn’t returned since. No-one had the heart to cut off his benefits– not even the state-people that managed to rouse him from sleep during the day. He was less than half a man now. Even when others came for condolences, they found a slowly disintegrating husk of a man. The clean-shaven, well-groomed man was now a scruffy, stinking, Gollum-like creature with little to say, let alone teach.

His tragic demise spread so far and wide most of his former students came to console him. Always he was awoken from sleep, looking paradoxically as if he’d not had any in weeks, and stinking of sweat and day-old whiskey. Contrary to revulsion, both host and guest settled in for short, tired conversations. Such moments made Edwin’s change most obvious. He was not the razor-honed, one-track mind his students had known. Rather, he was scatter-brained, anxious, always accommodating but to a point where nothing deep could ever be broached. Guests invariably left dejected, and Edwin lapsed back into exhaustion until night when work began again.

One, former-student sought to change things. It had taken ages for news of his state to reach her, but she found it best to seek him in his natural habitat. Over a decade had passed since he’d impacted her life, but to discredit it over that missed the enormous contribution he’d made to her life. Denise had been a student whose school-life was an escape from her hellish home-life. Instead of using that time wisely, she made trouble, fought, failed classes, and everything else such kids did at her age. Years later, she’d become the first to agree she’d been one.

Edwin’s house appeared as night set. Winter’s early darkness hung heavy overhead. Denise was used to the cold. Her most recent job had been in a harsher clime, but somehow this cold felt excessive. Negative temperatures in the midwest? Who’d ever heard such nonsense? Still, she wouldn’t leave without seeing him.

She thunked a triplet on the door. The sound should’ve been lost in the garage’s clatter. Somehow, Edwin heard it. Or perhaps, he sensed her shivering presence, rushed to its aid. The door cracked. Edwin’s wild eyes peered out beneath wilder hair. He squinted, surveyed her up and down.

“Mr. Malcolm?” Denise said solemnly.

Edwin always had a good memory for faces, but he was admittedly lost until he heard that voice. It contained a perforated, angelic quality that had only ripened with age. True she was taller, leaner, better dressed and groomed, and more pale, but Edwin knew Denise’s voice. It was difficult to forget: he and most of her peers had become experts at manufacturing excuses for her speak. Its gentleness had been so rarely employed then that its innocence was superbly comforting. It always lulled him into a trance– he and everyone else that heard it.

“D-Denise Collins?” Edwin said, easing the door open. She gave a small nod. “C-Come in. It’s freezing out there!”

Denise thanked him, completely oblivious this was the most lively Edwin had been in years. His changes were soon evident as he rushed back and forth preparing coffee, mindlessly preening the house, and inviting her to sit on a couch. With a cup of coffee before each of them, he set down to speak as lightly as possible. Denise allowed it, for now.

“Tell me everything,” he said, hoping her voice might lull away his pains.

She began with her most recent field of study; the arctic. She and her team had been researching global warming effects on polar ice via extracted core samples. By deducing CO2 content over the various eons, she said, they hoped to better understand just how great an impact humans had made. Edwin was enthralled, both by her discipline and ever-lulling voice. She reached present day and gave a short explanation of what had led her to him.

“I spoke with Melody Parsons. She was in your class with me. I’d heard a new driller was transferred out to help nearby, and that she’d come from my hometown. I met with her and saw it was her. That’s when I heard about your wife.”

Reality smacked Edwin in the face. He was suddenly up, refilling the coffee cups, wiping down the coffee-table, straightening things that didn’t need it. Denise saw the acts for what they were, allowed them until they passed their logical conclusion. It was then that she stood beside him at a kitchen counter. The situation was delicate, required a transference of his madness from one subject to another. She engaged him with a simple question that tempted his natural exposition.

“I heard you working in the garage,” she said carefully. “What is it you’re doing?”

“Hmm?” Then, more dismissively, “Oh that. Nothing. Nothing at all. Just a fever-dream.”

“Really? May I see it?” She asked, knowing she had him by the extensive whiskers.

Denise had never been stupid. In fact, once she’d applied herself and her home-life faded into the background of strife adulthood brought, she’d become an honor-student, a Dean’s-Lister, and an Honor Graduate. She’d been accepted into MENSA, spent time as a researcher at MIT, then formed her own team to study the Arctic Ice. Needless to say, she knew exactly how Edwin would react. Edwin likewise, saw exactly how he’d been manipulated, but for wishing to hear her speak further, allowed it. They stood just inside his garage, Denise stared at a concoction of piping and bits of steel intermingled with gauges and a myriad of other instruments. A sort of cage enclosed a van’s rear-bench seats half-crowded by pipes running around them.

Denise was breath-taken, “What is it?”

“Take a seat,” Edwin said calmly.

They twisted and turned, slipped through the pipes. With a thrown switch, a loud hum grew to a deep grumble. The device thrummed. Something sparked. Light descended in a dome. Denise reached out to touch the field of blue, her hand repelled by a power anti-magnetism.

“A force-field?”

“To protect us… and them.”

He threw another switch: bright light flashed. The pair were suddenly sitting before an open garage door in bright daylight. Denise’s brow furrowed. A car rolled into the drive-way, oblivious to their presence. Its door opened. A duplicate Edwin appeared from one side. He looked as he’d been when Denise knew him. He jogged to the car door and a beautiful young woman there. The Edwin beside Denise teared up, sniffled quietly. His duplicate embraced his wife for a moment before thgey walked, hand-in-hand, out of view.

A second flash replaced the closed door. The blue force-field sank away. All went quiet, still– including the two travelers. When noise finally returned, it was Denise building to amazement.

“Woah.” She swallowed hard, “You built a time machine?

Edwin sighed, his body deflating with a sad nods. “Every night, for years, I’ve come here to watch them– us– to see her again. Each time the trip’s a little longer, but I can only maintain the connection for short bursts. It’s why I am always working, trying to squeeze even a second longer from the machine to see her come down the road… or anything else.”

Denise’s heart ached, but reality was painful. “Mr. Malcolm, I know it’s harsh, but this isn’t real. It was, but it isn’t now. You can’t effect it. You can’t change what happened. All you’re doing’s lingering, wallowing. These things happened, sure, but they’re supposed to remain inside you, to remind you life is worth living. Not to be the focus of its dwindling time.”

Edwin was quiet for a long time. The look on his face said he’d taken her words to heart. She knew she’d had at least a partial impact. She needed to make it stick though. There was only one avenue she saw to do so.

“You’ve inspired so many lives in your time. You could inspire infinitely more. You’ve done something no-one else can do, and there’s fodder in that to hide the truth if you need, but you have to ask yourself: is this really what she’d want for you?”

His eyes were teary. They rose to meet hers, “I know you’re right.” He hesitated a long time, then, “But I’ve become numb. I don’t know how to go back to what I was.”

She frowned, “You don’t. You change, grow, incorporate it into you. Adapt and evolve.”


She managed a small smile, “I owe you a lot. I’ll help. Whatever you need.”

He gave a desperate laugh that mingled with a sob. It incised both of their hearts. “I need sleep.”

“Then go and get it,” Denise insisted. “I’ll be back in the morning to wake you, I promise.”

They climbed from the time machine. Edwin headed into the house. Denise followed. He glanced back at her, “So you’ll be here? Then what?”

She shook her head, “One thing at a time.”

He felt weight lift from his shoulders. Simultaneously, Denise felt some settle on hers. It wasn’t anything she couldn’t handle. After all, she owed him. He’d put her life on track. That friendship was worth the weight and more. Now, she’d just have to show him as much. Then what? Who knows? Maybe life.

Bonus Poem: Black Mass

A mass,
held in black.
Crying mothers.
No turning back.

We’ve martyred criminals.
let thieves run wild.
filled powerful seats with animals,
that grow rich off betrayal.

Then, we riot and loot,
destroy our communities,
blame the jack-boot–
we’re only looking for opportunities.

There is no simple answer,
I’m afraid I must say.
It is a complex social problem.
Rome was not built in a day.

But we forget that.
Completely lose sight.
Melt our brains with propaganda,
that stokes the fire-fight.

Take a moment next time,
you think to light the fire,
or even fan its flames.
A thought is all I require,
for you to understand:
it is not child,
nor woman, nor man,
but the Human species at stake,
and it will soon come under ban–

from laws and threats of violence,
against love, expression, freedom–
the rights of every Human–
and I promise you’ll need ’em.

Poetry-Thing Thursday: For The Writers

We all write,
that’s why we’re here,
but none of us know,
to write poorly, I fear.

Do you,
know how;
to speak without,
to know nothing
of pace
I fear we
could never,
really face,
the truth of poor,
timing and words,
without grace.

But why would we,
want to,
I’m sure you’re to ask.
All I can
say is something
about knowing your class,
so that you
never repeat it
fall flat on your ass.

We may have worked,
long and hard,
with each our sufferings–
some of us still
for what confidence brings.

But sometimes I wonder,
what it’s like to suck–
for every word to be blundered,
or gnarled phrase to get stuck.

Perhaps in due time,
we all learn to rhyme,
without poor reason or logic,
and stop souring the vine.

So this one’s for the writers,
those of my ilk,
think deep as you suckle
cultivate, not bilk.
Remember your words of gravel,
whilst your pen
flows with inken silk.

Bonus Short Story: Délok

No one realizes they’re about to die, or at least that they have. I know I didn’t. I’d been inside a hospital room surrounded by friends and family for months. My prognosis had never been good, and the fact that I hung on so long was miraculous to just about everyone I met. That’s the interesting thing about pancreatic cancer, it’s the most dangerous of all of those terrible diseases. It has the highest mortality rate of any disease, disorder, or cancer around– including Ebola. That last point’s important for posterity’s sake as it needs to be understood what is meant when I say things weren’t looking good.

I’d accepted that, along with everyone else around me. That included the whole world– literally– They’d been watching me die for months, and were riveted. ‘Cause of the type of man I’d always been– a high-powered CEO whom demanded one-hundred-percent transparency from myself and the people around me– I’d managed to amass quite a following on the reality television and web-markets. Twenty-four hours a day I had cameras around me– although those last few months I couldn’t imagine made for very good television.

All the same, my death came with about as much obviousness as an ant crawling on a paralyzed limb. I woke from sleep to find myself standing before the window in my meek hospital room. I must have had one of those strange blackouts again, I figured. The cancer had a way of doing that, you see. It had metastasized to tumors in my spine, brain, and lungs. Sometimes I’d go hours acting totally normal. Then, a moment later, a tumor would shrink enough not to press a nerve, or cut-off certain blood flow, and I’d suddenly exclaim, “What!?” all the while wondering why I had no memory of the goings-on.

That day was different though, I felt it. That, and the duplicate of me in my hospital bed, told me something was off. I thought maybe I was hallucinating again– another thing that tended to happen from time-to-time– but the way the aides, nurses, and my family-members ignored my pleas for an explanation told me something more was afoot.

It must have been one of those fabled, out-of-body experiences, I reasoned; a sort of transcendence of space and time that a properly-positioned mind could enter. I’d heard and read about them before, and in most cases, they were the results of psychotropic or hallucinogenic drugs. I was certainly on enough of those, but with none of the associated euphoric feelings.

In fact, I felt terrible, as if all at once I could feel every growth, cyst, and tumor in my body. The pain throbbed within me– or rather, I throbbed completely, overwhelmed by the pain. I doubled over onto the floor only to feel something pass through me. I looked around to see my family, the medical staff, and a camera-man in a somber, shuffling procession for the door. On my hands and knees, I could do little more than retch as their progress through me sickened my core. A white-light overtook me then, and I knew I was dead– or dying at least.

Then, something curious happened. I found myself in a field of white-light– actually that’s misleading. It was more like an endless sprawl of white-light with no beginning nor end, a trans-dimensional terminal for those to pass through, alone, on their way to whatever after-life they were destined for. Those were my sentiments at least. The Christians would have called it purgatory, but I just called it, “What the hell?”

He materialized before me; an old, hunched man that wore robes like the old Buddhist monks you see in Tibetan flicks. His wide smile and prayer beads affirmed the likeness. He leveled both hands before him, prayer beads hanging from one. They lifted slowly with a singular word; “Up.”

I felt myself rise to my feet, found once more standing and painless. He turned away with a gesture to follow. We wandered through the field of light together, he with a timely shuffle beside me while my gait lightened with a languid caution. I wasn’t sure where I was, but the pain was gone and I knew I was safe. After months of agony, that former point was really all that mattered. I was ready to shuffle off to any number of the great beyonds if it meant I wouldn’t feel the pain again.

That hunched figure led me to an edge of the light that formed mist around us. I must have seemed hesitant at first, because he gave me a look of beaming pride like a grandfatherly master to his beloved apprentice. He disappeared into the mist that obscured all beyond it.

I felt compelled to follow, if only for the sake that his radiant kindness was euphoric. I’d had enough people around me lately whom had lost their warmth. I missed it. They were all too concerned with avoiding the elephant in the room, too fearful of rousing any further pain in me. I really just wanted a game of cards, or a cup of coffee– something to remind me that being human wasn’t just a series of painful moments underlined by others’ fear. Somehow this old man exuded every game of cards, cup of coffee, and everything else fun in my life all at once.

I followed through the mist, found myself beside him on a dock. The sun shone with a brilliance that kissed a river’s pristine surface with diamond radiance. Slightly ahead and below us in the water, a wooden row boat rocked gently from an invisible current. He shuffled his way to the boat and I followed, allowed him to brace himself on my shoulder for support as he stepped wide for the boat. To think of myself in the state being the lesser of two, fragile souls warmed my heart. I was human again, even if– as I suspected– only in death.

He thanked me with that beaming smile that needed no words, settled onto a bench in the boat and gestured me beside him once more. I took my seat, and as if pulled by a distant tug, the rowboat launched along the river. All around us the flats and foliage of his once-native China rolled out around thatched-roof huts of bamboo and grasses. The sunlight was heavy overhead, traced a morning arc that warmed us. Despite the ever-present haze of thin mist and fog that seemed to amass in the sky only, it warmed us, let just enough light refract rainbows over that untouched surface-water.

I cannot say how long we traveled through that beautiful land for. I know only that I had an amazing sense of wonder, awe, and more than a little profound belonging. It was only at those feelings’ apex that I began to wonder what might come next. I was soon granted visions of terror that matched the beauty.

The water became chopped, rough. All of my pain returned at once. Beside me, the old man sensed the impending doom. All the same, the only change in him was that of his smile fading to a determined indifference, and the slight draw of the corners of his eyes that complimented it. I braced myself against the water’s attempts to throw me overboard, saw ahead the reason for its tumult; a waterfall emerged from the mist with a chaotic spray all its own. From the echoes beyond it, and the carrion-birds that circled above, I knew it would kill us.

It was only with that thought that the old man put a hand to my tense leg, looked at me knowingly. As if by some magic, he read my mind, silently imparted a thought to me; if I were so convinced of my own death, what fear did I have? What more killing of me could there be? If this was to be the end of the end, why would it be any worse than the last end– where I’d been completely unawares and only noticed after awaking beyond it? The questions’ answers formed one, collective thought; I had no reason to fear. Whatever lay beyond that water-fall, something in the old man beside me said, was to be faced as a challenge; not as a thing to fear but rather overcome.

That euphoria that had once before flooded me returned with enough force to blot out the pain in my body again. I gave the old man a stern, knowing nod, and relaxed into an equal determination just as the rowboat plummeted over the edge of the fall. I feared nothing. Not even as we fell like stones through the air, pinned to our seats on the boat.

We landed with a heavy splash that rattled the boat’s joints. Even so, it kept afloat, as firm as our faces against what terrors lay before us. It was only then that we once more emerged from the mist to see blackness all around us. Then, sparked by something in it, red skies descended. All of the world’s worst terrors were upon us: We saw men murdered, women raped, villages burned. Pickpockets pilfered while thieves liberated bread from stalls, only to be shot by the guns of faceless soldiers. Heavy tanks chased flocks of children and families, herded them toward firing lines.

I wished to help, but boat’s speed was double that of the atrocities around me. I knew I could not help. My teeth grit in anger, enmity. The old man touched my hand, gave a shake of his head. At first I did not understand, but his face returned forward, empty. I saw then what I had missed.

This was not a thing to be helped, not here least of all. It was, as it had always been, the way of human suffering. Whether real or imagined, these horrors were as much a part of the human condition as the death I had so recently succumbed to. He protested my anger for one, simple reason: anger, fear, spite, these things that I’d felt were the very core cause of the atrocities around me.

My shoulders sank helplessly, and suddenly the world around me flared with that ambiguous white light. All of my emotions left, drained through a sieve of confusion that couldn’t even manifest its usual ways about me. Suddenly the murdered men embrace their killers, the raped women held those that assaulted them as babes while they wept on their shoulders. The burned villages were extinguished by the bucketfuls of water from those that had set the fires.

Like them, the pilfering pickpockets sought forgiveness, returned the stolen goods with shame. The half-dead and dying thieves broke bread with the faceless soldiers whose countenances were now those of their comrades. The heavy tanks too, turned to other men, women and children whom chased the others in joyful play. All along the former firing line, the weapons dissolved to form the faces of more, smiling family-members; brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers.

Just as I began to understand, the boat and the field dissolved once more into that endless sprawl of light. I was once more on my feet before the old mam. He raised his hands again, this time pressed them together as though in prayer. He gave a small, hunched bow. I felt compelled to return the gesture, and with it, came his beaming smile.

He placed a palm flat against my chest at my heart, and I spoke, “Me?” A small nod from him, and with the opposite hand over his own heart, I said, “You.”

He said only a single word, “Délok.”

Somehow I knew what it meant. Perhaps in that mysterious way that all of those things had occurred, I had also been imparted with new knowledge. In either case, I knew that like myself, he was meant to help show others the way, impart messages from the dead. Those places we’d visited were realms of beauty, pain, and finally peace. There was only one way to reach them yet, and in that, only one way to assure that one day it would no longer be necessary: relay my journey, tell others what I knew was its purpose, intent.

When I awoke on my hospital bed, I had been confirmed dead for two-days. In wishing to observe some ritual of closure, the hospital staff and my family had left me as I had died. There were no doubts to those thousands– maybe millions– of viewers that I had died either. Even fewer doubts were present in the learned medical staff and my family. An immediate series of tests confirmed that my cancer had gone, and I yet lived. As if healed by death, I was once more pain-free, and with a perfect forum to tell my story. I sat in my bed, and began to speak…

And here we are.

I cannot say why I was chosen, having never known of the ways of the délok, whom return from death to relay the wishes of the dead. But now knowing it, I am certain that my journey must be heard by all. Whether those that hear believe it or not is of less import than that they feel its sincerity in their hearts. Only then, perhaps, may we find a way to reach those blissful realms without first succumbing to death. I know, for my part at least, that is the purpose of the délok; to help Humanity reach its collective Nirvana, and one day, shed this mortal coil without fear. I know too, that it is not a thing we should fear, but rather, take as a challenge that we all must overcome, together.

Poetry-Thing Thursday: Collectively Blessed

Words have little meaning,
when stripped and revealing,
naked and bleeding–
what wisdom we’re eating.

Silken smooth and pale-white,
the skin of a mistress that might,
in a wave of domination and foresight,
ensure we’re blind-folded against right.

Were we to see beyond the veil,
what it is these words truly entail,
from ignorant waters we’d sail,
to lands of knowledge we’d hail.

It is with great dignity,
we must admire shame, you see,
it is wanton and lustfully,
encapsulated with ignoramity.

Ah, but to what do we jest,
when we find the undressed,
has naught been caressed,
the tongues long repressed?

Educate them,
and in their minds hem,
the ever-brilliant gem,
of words and meaning with phlegm.

Only then can we,
be assured that we’ll see,
an end to a painful plea,
and within foster no more enmity.

So once our words are redressed–
this much to be pressed–
they’ll be no more distressed,
forever we’ll be,
collectively blessed.