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The Regret

The Regret
by Jace Daniel (b. 1969)

Dead at last, I get up. I see, without eyes. I feel, without touch. I breathe finality’s scent, without smell. I taste the permanence, without tongue. A state of mind, without brain. And I notice. As I always have.

Nothing has changed.

These things. These colors, these forms, these angles. These lines, these numbers. These letters. These shots. All there for my seeing, cruelly invisible, known only by the militantly creative commander embedded in the core of my awareness. Unchosen, I accept the critical mission to blend these things, to combine them, to marry them. To place them in conflict, the hanging prerequisite to their resolution. I remain relentlessly pressed to calculate, to measure, to find order in the nonsense. To have my way with these things, my cast of characters, my pawns of emphasis. And yet, as if finding perverse joy in the unattainable, they cry mutiny, celebrating the paradox. I hear them laugh, without ears.

Like vultures they wait, nowhere to be. These words, these phrases, these lyrics, these verses. Feeding. This cocktail of thoughts both written and verbal, committed to domination. Thoughts functioning in engineered harmony, resuming their gang rape on my consciousness in their ordinary onslaught. I am forced to utter them, without speech. I must write them, without pen, without paper, without type. Unwavering is this battalion of syntax, this prose corps, this brigade of sentenced passage. Invading. Percolating with aggression. In striking formation, without structure.

The the, the it, the is. The it is. It is the same, but different. It is paint without canvas. It is a story without a page. It is a song without music. It is half of what was.

I now must join this wasteland of timelessness, smothered in the routine of solitude, patrolling this one-way dead-end street to an eternity nowhere. It is a world I now haunt, as it now haunts me.

Maybe I shouldn’t have jumped.

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