Cadaver’s Muse

Man at edge of world

This isn’t life;
This is death.
I am a corpse masquerading,
Feigning feelings I do not possess.
Inside, I am a wintry wasteland,
Barren,
Perhaps at first attractive,
But caustic and moribund when the charm evaporates.

Another wave crashes,
Another force pins me down,
Holding me under,
Watching me struggle for air in a sea of despair.
I yearn for the surface—
To see the sky as it is—
Not refracted and darkened by this manufactured poison.

In the corner of the world’s consciousness I subsist,
Wondering in throes and lamentation
What life is like in the center.
Can it be these smiles are more than fa├žades?
Is the trilling laughter sincere,
Or is the rest of the world a portrait,
As lifeless and desperate as I,
The shadow of existence?

Truly, this is the difference
Between mere existence
And actual living.
I fight—
Strive!—
To cross the threshold,
The gates of Hades,
And breathe once more.

Within the Shadow

Shadow of the Colossus artwork

Another one down;
Another one to surmount the guilt.
In this field of giants, what am I but a speck?
I am a plague, a darkness upon this forbidden land,
Rife with abominations,
But when the corpses mount the pile,
I am a titan among insects.

Hear me! father of the land:
I never wished for this fate.
With each transgression committed
I see myself more and more a beast,
An occupant of the greatest evil;
But if you come for me, beware:
I am the slayer of monoliths.

Is this a boast?
No!
With each stab I feel my heart flutter,
Panged as though I were piercing myself.
These ululations of lament transmute,
Become tirades of anger and self-deprecation,
And though salvation may be won in the end,
Forgiveness is far beyond me.

In this silent prison—
This empty haven—
The beauty brings me to my knees,
Prayerful before the cursed altars,
Trembling for fear of the unknown:
The next monumental conflict—
An epic struggle.

There is no one to share the pain,
No one to comprehend the strife within;
Just my soul and a spurned god
And a cadaver awaiting resurrection.
Alone I embark, alone I succeed,
Alone I witness the horrors wrought by my hand
And the tragedies left in their wake.

But of all the atrocities enacted,
Yours, my fathers, were the worst.
And so to cast blame,
Only gaze into these hallowed pools
And witness the ripples of reflection.
For as much as I abhor what I’ve done,
I would herald the death of a thousand guardians
To undo the blessing bestowed for your sacrifice,
And see this dead beauty walk again.

*Special thanks to Fumito Ueda and his masterpiece for the inspiration for this writing

Foursquare: The Stalker’s Delight

Growing up in Southeastern United States, it may not (or it may) be a surprise to hear one of the most often vocalized concerns from neighbors, friends, and what not was the government intruding on its citizens’ privacy. This concern, of course, was inflamed with the terrorist scare and the passing of the Patriot Act, and has since caused near hysteria in many alarmed civilians.

But let’s not go there. The issue I wish to address today is one of severe irony in light of the aforementioned worries. Despite Americans’ (and probably citizens living in other developed countries) outrage at the government’s intrusion on their rights, they continue to utilize tools that render the government’s job of tracking them laughably easy, social media and cell phones being two of the best examples. Yet there is one example that trumps them all.

Foursquare.

For the uninitiated, Foursquare is an app available on Android and iOS that enables users to quickly find the best places around town, be it restaurants, stores for shopping, or virtually anything else. It is a handy tool to make the user’s life easier. Oh, and it gathers information on the best spots to visit by having its users check in to locations when they arrive.

So let’s examine this. Man complains his privacy is being invaded, saying the government has no business knowing where he is and what he is doing all day. Man keeps his cell phone on him, a device with GPS tracking that, let’s face it, can be used by the government to pinpoint your location. As if that’s not bad enough, man goes to the bar and, as he sits down to order his favorite brew, pulls out that phone, opens up the Foursquare app, and broadcasts to the social media world, “Hey, this is where I’m at! Come stalk me please!”

Now, I’m not criticizing. If you don’t care that people know when you’re home, have at it. You can even give your domicile a clever title for your friends’ amusement. (My brother-in-law dubbed his domicile “The Bat Cave.”) And it’s all in good fun, right? I suppose, like people who do you Foursquare, I am a hypocrite, as well, since I use social media and have a cell phone on my person at all times.

Still, there’s something unsettling to me about alerting all my friends each time I step foot in my home or work. For my part, I’ll stick with occasional social media posts and use the Facebook check-in on the rarest of circumstances, like going to a really awesome concert. If you choose otherwise, well, we live in a (sort of) free country. And that means you can get a restraining order when you start attracting stalkers.