Earl Johnston

I had lain in bed junked up on as much legal pharmaceutical junk available at any hip enough health food store to warrant any legitimate FDA investigation for days on end stuck in a hopeless rondo of Netflixable fixes to quell the fine and delicate balance I held onto between heartbreak and the sort of rage that would kneecap an entire band of innocents just for crossing my path by accident. That I could almost embrace the world in my arms and feel its immutable torque was like the torture of misapprehensions that I had continued to endure and could not pull myself eventually away from even as I felt myself being pulled repeatedly into the lowest and worst bardos of human existence deserving of the worst of mortals having made the most grievous missteps in life and definitely not fit for those whose footsteps were still being made somewhere above ground in the veldt, the tundra, the desert, or upon the soft blue shores of North Africa. I was like Hamlet who only he himself self-reflexively seeing his own madness self-contrived, self-invented, self-made, self-anointed, self-mocking, even he now cannot walk away from his poetical celestial prison of self—his peerless mind, so noble so true, now murderess. Instead, I had had to drowse myself to death, to Lethe onwards, into the good night, into the good morn, into the good empty day at hand like another and another and another, stultified like a poisoned man whose only final utterance will be to write the words neurasthenic cow, neurasthenic cow, neurasthenic cow over and over until he has stuffed his sweet American conscience into a thimble that sinks, when his good arm will have tossed it into the great ocean’s sublime embrace of nothingness.

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