Ode To Fear

Ode to Fear 

Sipping simply, from an amber bottle in my putrid seat.
I slip so nimbly, with disdain, into the depths of evil sleep.
It costs so little, yet so much and I can’t think straight when I’m weak.
I drink my courage, between spittle. To a God, “my soul to keep.”

The thoughts they come, in swarms and droves, ambling, striding through my mind—
Wrought machinations, etched in gold, scrambling, writhing for a time.
I’m unaware of darkened thoughts that promise my uncouth demise.
Instead, I ponder. Ponder more. Then ask Fear “What do you surmise?”

OH!

“The question? Yes!” The answer rose from broken stone.
“Incessant non-repentant threats to you and only you alone.”
“To me,” I ask and ask again— Yes, I’m drooling from my throne.
“Yes, in fact,” Fear answers fast. “Setbacks, to which you are prone.”

Indeed, it’s been a stumbled life, a life of hedonist reprieve.
I think not of the humble strife, it sends me tumbling to my knees.
Think not of fortune, lost or gained, for those thoughts are for the dead.
Think not of love, nor loss, nor fame—I’d rather take a drink instead.

Then my mind, that wretched thing, it senses my uncaring thoughts.
Deeper, we go deeper, still. Years ago, a love was lost.
I heave out of my lethal slumber, drink again, then hit the floor.
In the abyss, I have returned, “I’ll kill you if you say Lenore.”

“Was she not perfection? Is the grip of love what you abhor?”
“Not a lover’s clasp,” I’m drowning. Drowning in unwritten lore.
“Abhorrent truths and simple lies,” these are the tasks I do avoid.
But for the sake of simple minds, I simply say, “I hate the noise.”

“Ah,” Fear drags like flattened tires, speeding through my mortal times.
“We shall not judge,” Fear harkens back, beyond the romance, sex, and crimes.
“Of the family,” Fear mocks and taunts, then adds depth to make it sting.
Who’s to blame? Fear answers fast, “If they were notes, you wouldn’t sing.”

“Indeed,” I say. The awful years were formative to my content.
My mother’s eye was blind to me. And father, well… his time was spent.
“Bitterness is for the meek. Complaints are a submissive grind.”
Fear asks again, “No hate to bear?” I answer. “No. I swear. I’m fine.”

Of the siblings, I have three, each represents a loathsome Reich.
I shan’t decry begrudging thoughts, for any thoughts are signs of life.
In that spirit, I reply to hateful rants with stumbling gait.
“One moment,” I request and hurl a recent meal out of my face.

Returned, I’m back to dreamy thoughts of Satan and his wily mates.
“Does hate not take all glory to a state of uncollected stakes?”
What is the moment, day, and place, to reclaim time we hate to waste?
“You hate nothing?” Fear responds.
“I hate that ‘fear’ is commonplace.”

If I’m forced, then I would say, I hate the mourning of the dead.
They were defined by active lives, not the nothing in their stead.
While they mourn, I smile and cheer, they made it to the great beyond.
For when you cry, I reminisce. That’s how the lost lives are prolonged.

“Daft,” Fear speaks, now intertwined with bravery, I drank to die.
“I hate that you must play this game! A pox! You quaint, unwanted stain!”
“A stain,” I ask and search my brain. “Disdain you seek is ascertained.”
“Ascertained!” Fear screams and frets. “I hope you choke on what comes next!”

Indeed, I did.
A wandering kid, a torrid man, with warring plans.
Horrid hands that engineer the worst demands, he dares withstand.
A soulful cancer, strictly dancing. By the call I am entranced.

The plan to me, the end I seek, from branch to seed, from root to beet?
“Let me die with mastery!” a casket piece, the bastard freak, the half-unique,
“Your presence ain’t a blast to me.”
“Blasphemy!” Fear rasps and shrieks, “Don’t you ever laugh at me!”
I taste defeat and match his speak. “Don’t you dare come after me!”
“Die and we’ll burn your masterpiece!”
“Then burn them at the masters’ feet!”

Awoke in spirits, grains, and meat.
I spilled into my stinking seat.
Muddling keys and feeling pleased,
I penned all that remained of me.

‘Sipping simply, from an amber bottle in my putrid seat.
I slip so nimbly, with disdain, into the depths of evil sleep.
It costs so little, yet so much and I can’t think straight when I’m weak.
I drink my courage, between spittle. To a God, my soul to keep.’

 

–Antwan Crump


Also available on Google Books.

 

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