Into the Abyss

Poem by William Brien

The following poetry was sent to me by someone I know to be very in touch with the underbelly of human existence, the crisis of self, the pull of the darkness that threatens. These things in their rich darkness are beautiful, for it’s here, paradoxically, where we experience life, the vibrancy of our heart’s beat, the reality of existence. Threatened by the gulf of unknown and lured to release into that which calls to us but of that which we cannot see the bottom, here is life abundant. But he says it better than I do. I give you Albert Warner and his poem: Into the Abyss. Enjoy.

Into the Abyss

To be, or not to be, that is the question [1]

I stare at a sharp corner
With precise blind vision,
Tracing the broad rigid line
Then the two U-shaped humps
Which ride along the letter’s origin.
Magnificent tsunamis reach an eerie calm.
Distant shapes become blurred puddles,
Then swallow each other,
Part into a dark cone of vision,
Hiding their insignificance behind black shadows,
Leaving only pointy corners and laborious curves in perception.

The world evades us because it becomes itself again [2]

Comforting words pass through me as a hand swipes through air,
Compassionate embraces as a knife through warm butter.
Laughter no different than breath,
Smiles the same as frowns.
Red veins creep like vines
In already tired eyes.
Names appear not as old comrades,
But bundles of sharp-sided letters
With exhausting round lumps.

When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you [3]

I hold not hope,
I feel not passion,
I see not reason.
I am not dead,
I am not alive.
I am naught.