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Poe and Friends
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I Might Be Edgar Allan Poe

 I have a friend.  I'm worried about her.  Whenever we get
together all she want's to talk about is death she's obsessed with
it.  Well, she's a doctor it's sort of her job.  She has to find
something wrong with me.  She keeps steering me towards death; I
think its because she wants to create some type of mental illness.
Anyway, this is my room.  There's my bed.  The sheets are always clean
but they don't have very comfortable beds here at Oakbrook.  Oakbrook.
The other day I suggested to my doctor, Dr. Phuko that they should change 
the name from Oakbrook Mental Health Facility to deciduous aquatic
chemically induced tranquility center.  She didn't think that was funny.

 I've been bad. I took the Edgar Allan Poe book from the library
and brought it back here.  I figure if Dr. Phuko thinks that death
is so important in my life I should learn about it more.  And Edgar
Allan Poe writes about it.  So, its strange.  I feel like I know
this poem.  Almost like I wrote it or its about me.  I get all
caught up in it and I can see it all in my mind.  Listen... uh....
this is called Alone by Edgar Allan Poe.

From childhoods hour I have not been as others were. I have not
seen as others saw.  I could not bring my passions from a common
spring.  From the same source I have not taken my sorrow. I could
not awaken my heart to joy at the same tone and all I have loved... I loved alone.


Hmm... isn't that pretty.  I wasn't even reading it really.  Just
part, I mean its strange; but it's beautiful.  There's a biography
section in the back I'm reading.  It's really interesting. 

Edgar Allan Poe's life began with death, his mother, died before
he was three.  He was adopted into a particularly dysfunctional
family.  After 14 years of isolation with these people Edgar made
his break from his foster parents and began his long string of life's failures.

It's strange so many of the things this biographer talks about
seem so familiar to me.  But they're so different too.  I got
in trouble for reading Edgar Allan Poe.   They said I had some
sort of episode. I don't know.  I told them that it couldn't  be 
        because well I might be Edgar Allan Poe. The doctor said that wasn't normal. 
There big on normal here. But then they started asking
me again about my early experiences with death. I mean it's there
fixation not mine.  I told them how Birdie Eckle and I used to feed
moths to spiders at the docks.  Do you remember the docks?  And
how we would release the moths right there into the spider webs.
And watch the spiders dart out from the shadows.  They moved as
quick as thinking.  We were fascinated.  I remember watching the
moths being rapped in a new sort of chrysalis.  Snug, close, forever
warm.  I remember watching that and thinking that it looked sort
of comforting really.  But you see I shouldn't have shared that here at Oakbrook.  They were very concerned and I was forced to answer a
battery of questions.  And we went on talking about death every day.  Day after day.

I mean, I knew that all this talk about death was really leading
up to a talk about the fire but they had never asked me about it before.
It's very strange the doctors think that if I told them about the
fire that that would be some sort of a breakthrough for me.  But
that's not true.  It has nothing to do with it.  I could talk about
it I just dont want to.  I mean, why should I?  I could talk about
it, I just dont wa...I....here I'll show... I'll tell you.  They'll want to examine it.  Dissect it and make it devoid of meaning.

I...I was living in an apartment building.  One night there was
a fire.  We all went outside and stood on a strip of grass across
the street.  And then a woman came running out of the building.
She was screaming that her child was in the fire.  I don't know
why she chose me   I couldn't see anything at first.  When I went
in there was smoke everywhere.  I heard something, I knew that it
was in the bathroom and there I found her.

A wide eyed little girl in the bathtub.  She was clinging onto
a stuffed bear; all curled up in a ball.  So, I picked her up.
The fire had spread on the first floor so I went up onto the roof.
Anyway, a bunch of firemen with something that looked like
trampoline were shouting for us to jump and they had positioned themselve's directly below us and... 

The little girl started screaming again.  So I put the little girl
down but she was just screaming and kicking.  So... I picked her
up... and it was all very dark and there was smoke everywhere and
people shouting that we had to jump and she was scratching me where
I had been burned ... but I wasn't angry with her... I wasn't angry.
I was... I was scared.  So I picked her up and I kissed her on the
forehead and I threw her... but she was squirming so much and the
firemen tried to move underneath her but she only landed half on.
And her little body flipped over the edge and hit the pavement....
And I was still holding on to her stuffed bear...

It's like that poem I, Edgar Allan Poe wrote
A dream with in a dream... take
this kiss upon the brow and in parting from you now you thus much
let me a vow.  You're not wrong wh deemed that all your days have
been a dream, yet if hope has flown away in a night or in a day,
in a vision or in none is it there the less gone?  All that we see
or seem is but a dream... within a dream.  There's moonlight coming
in through the window.  It's pretty.  You know sometimes I wish...
I don'
t know if any of it matters, 
If it does.
 
 

From childhood's hour...