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The Escapist


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The Escapist


Part 1: Apocryphal truths


On the day my father died

I had 6 hours 48 minutes of sleep

dreams both warm and rich

fueled by post Yule nanoseconds

of light stored by our 23.5 degree

tilt our axial relation to the Sun


Woken abruptly by the phone

And of course I knew


We all do

Informed by The One

who has lived it all

The Storyless Storyteller

who speaks out of the space

between broken lines through

enjambments past violated syntax

and lost thoughts or the sentience

he showed on that last visit

mumbling visions so vast

words defied him memories

defeated him choices defined him


To me

he seemed to be

waiting for permission


He passed on the same day

As our mother 22 years removed


Apocryphal truths

Soon to be canonical

A reminder these

Tales are for the living


My only certainty

Is this is a bad day

To quit smoking.


Part 2:  Memento Mori


Back when I was Immortal

keen on living in relation

to dying I asked for my 18th

And he gave: A human skull mis-cut

made unsuitable for  medical diagnostics

Perfect for desk and shelf of  a burgeoning

Philosopher Writer Poet or Bohemian Lout


The last His stance

A response to his Disappointment

my assigned and labeled wasted  potential


I was just standing on the back

of my ancestors who were Rebels

All the way up and all the way down


Our Prussian Forebears

jumped ship accepting the deal

With the Colonialist Devil

William Penn for Land and Freedom


Or so I was told but it comes back to




Escaping his Parent’s Puritanical

Moralism by stealing the Key of a Strong

Work Ethic used again and again

A life well worked borrowing peace

with a Promise of Tomorrow


I struggled to escape that Promise

A constant dance with Memento Mori

seeking a crack in the Now


Like the original dance

Hunter and Prey

I and Thou

It gets complicated


Part 3: Complications


A God that needs your belief

Is not a real God


Deep down

Before Memory

The Divine

Is but a projection

of the parental


Molding our perception

Do triumphs over Say


But say I  do

beyond the all too

Complicated dualisms of

Family and Foe Blood and Water

Success and Failure Right and Wrong

these stories:


The Summer I was 3

a stubborn stump being removed

by the application of controlled Fire

and Brimstone me running to get Daddy

for Dinner and then the screams


echoing thru the evening sky

They didn’t know what to do

My nerves dead charred skin

in strips driving to the hospital


He never said

I saw

Him volunteering as an EMT

For years

His Silent

Never Again



At the age of 7

On the field trip

Listening to his stories

of Ophidiophobia

his deep revulsion

of snakes as we walked

The swampy path

The Bush and The Rattle



I Am  transported

through the air from lead

to rear clutched behind him

As he reaches forward

with his walking stick

To reveal


A Message loud and Clear


In the study of escapology

Remembrance is the only assured

Method of escaping our chains.


Edited by dr_con
Extended Full Version
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A very rich poem that translated the experience within those frames of intellect and emotion; the ordinary and the detailed seeking to anchor an understanding.


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  • 1 month later...
David W. Parsley

I keep waiting for part 2, doc.  The tone of the thing, the way it moves, fills me with admiration.  I feel that I am not connecting all the "apocryphal" and "escapist" dots with the mix of cosmic and mundane here, waiting for the succeeding part(s) of the poem to sharpen the perspective.  


 - Dave


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Memories, remembrance, flash of life, all converged in death. I found your piece a collage of snapshots of images and thoughts that death provokes in us who are left behind.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Oh, how grand:

Apocryphal truths

Soon to be canonical

A reminder these

Tales are for the living

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David W. Parsley

Oh, yes.  Definitely worth the wait.  I am totally impressed, not just with the achievement, but the ability to synthesize and order these seemingly disparate memories prior to the memorial.  (I just had to compose and deliver the eulogy for my mother's life celebration about two weeks ago.  Tough.)  A moving and enriching piece, one of your best.  Please accept my sympathy.

BTW: Those are my favorite lines, too.  But I will also add a nod to these:

On ‎12‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 6:01 AM, dr_con said:

For years

His Silent

Never Again

Thanks doc,

 - Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

I came back to reread this, to take in the extended version. I, myself, have been struggling to understand and come to terms with many of the things you touch upon.

On 12/25/2017 at 9:01 AM, dr_con said:

The last His stance

A response to his Disappointment

my assigned and labeled wasted  potential

I don't think any of us "go" until we've learned the things we need to learn, to know: till we've reached our potential. The same goes for him. And if he didn't talk much, what he really thought "at the end of the day" may have differed from what you think, or thought, in the past.

Strength to you, Juris. Sveiks!


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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