tagNon-Erotic PoetryA Journey Past the Column

A Journey Past the Column


Pandora, in purple veils, visited me on an adolescent afternoon. I did not recognize her, but she earned my trust by reading seductive poetry to me. We talked of Aphrodite and words of love. She smiled when she handed me the key to the box. As soon as I accepted her gift, the beautiful woman disappeared, leaving me to wonder in my loneliness.

The first thing I noticed was that the eight foot wall on which I sat was thirty feet high. I watched a chameleon walk slowly under my ladder. The grass below was a different shade of green than any I had ever seen before. Charismatic flowers appeared. Looking down, I was struck by an intense fascination with the simplicity of the working class clothesline in my yard, a device that had always spelled failure to me. For the first time in my life, I heard the sound of silent breezes purring through the leaves of the ancient oak tree which had shaded my childhood. I giggled as I felt fear and anger flying off with a one way ticket south.

The little boy, frozen since birth, got up to dance.

I was in love!
The arrows of Eros had hit their mark.
I closed my eyes
and a vision of celestial glory
burst upon me,
infusing me with a sensual ecstasy
that permeated the fiber of my being.
I felt an immediate fanatic devotion
to my newfound priestess;
this spiritual royalty who moved mystically,
calling me
to the sands of the Seychelles
and Himalayan poppy fields
on carpets of golden silk.
She became my Goddess,
walking on the vapors of powdered clouds
high above earthbound Olympus.
I swooned as she enveloped me
in the warmth of a maternal cocoon.

When inside me,
she pounded my heart
faster and harder
than pelting rain;
filling my brain,
twisting my mind
into dreams of Elysian meadows,
where kaleidoscopic colors
lovingly caressed
black and white concrete.

The metamorphosis was rapid. Spring turned quickly into autumn as the deceptive power of the spiraling maelstrom pulled me in. The present vanished into a deniable reality. Movement ceased. There was a radical rearrangement of thought, a transformation of essence. The surrender was complete.

The aspiring patrician knelt to his mistress in the playground of an impoverished wasteland.

She was everything.

I died.

Those smiling people with me in those pictures; they also died. I killed them, and it was not an accident. Death surrounded me in the tragedy I continued to watch.

The boy with broken legs died, too.

I moved into a lead vault. The Gorgon followed me. She removed her mask, mocking me by eliminating all pretenses of disguise. Her hideous smile repulsed me. In desperation, I tried to evict her, but my pathetic efforts were futile. I closed my eyes to see mountains caving in, and rivers washing over large cities, drowning them in an instant. I felt wild animals tearing at my flesh, seeking the veins that were so deeply recessed. I heard the Virgin Mary cursing and spitting on me, condemning me for my transgressions and failures. I saw snakes and cockroaches crawling through the walls, their eyes ablaze with triumphant hatred, screaming my name, laughing at the terror they were inflicting upon me. My fever rose as I dragged myself closer to the boundaries of Hell, where the fires were sweeping out to meet me, not for the season of my mentor, but for the eternity promised by those I had turned my back upon.

I raised the knife to my throat. In the throes of my delirium, I saw my face mirrored in the sharpened blade as the old man I was never to be. He begged for my confession in schizophrenic tones that cut into me with their anguish. With no other avenue of escape, I screamed it out to him in a waterfall of tears, the release of which drained me of consciousness.

Upon my awakening, the little boy looked down on me with gentle eyes. "Thy sins be forgiven. Arise and walk." The Hope that remained propelled me to my feet.

I have, to this day, not found it necessary to return.

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