The Premature Burial by Edgar Allan Poe

In these days
it is all too often
all too common
to hear the tales
of those
who’ve had friends
and relatives
interned in the ground
buried in the depths
under the earth
the dirt
the mud

still alive!

the Victorians
have even
organized
their own Society
for the Prevention
of People Being
Buried
Alive

and the vampire
this figment
of our imaginations
does
reside
in the truth
that many have
in fact been
thought
dead
yet their bodies
later become
animated
under the dark
night’s sky

entombed
entrapped
encrusted
over
lost as if gone
forever they are to remain
in their tombs
trying wreathing
to break free
left for dead

insanity

Doctors
mistakingly
believing
people of this 19th
century
to be so far-gone
into the Hades
and Heavens of the mind
and Celestial
realms
they do not even
realize
the patient is merely
resting
catatonically
or otherwise

Coma-tose
no
this isn’t thought
of and
so they go to early
all
too early

graves

My case
is one of particular
concern
as I do reside
here in this world
a victim of constant
catatonia
epilepsy
catalepsy

all these things
do plague
me

and for days
weeks
even a month
at a time
I will remain unconscious
hyper-conscious
here infinitely
but with eyelids
closed

re-soundingly
in silence
re-posed

my friends
and family they know

they’ve witnessed
my passing from
the light to the darkness
and back again
over
and
over

and
over

again

they see
they’ve witnessed
me vampirical
draculantics
empirical
me this bat-winged
man promethian bound
full of fury
tormented
spleen picked out

as my radio channel
burns out
as the candle
gets turned
off
for x,y,z
period of time-off

and so I do fear
though my friends
and family
dear know
me
know my situation
well
that nevertheless
somehow
I will be found
by someone
else
in this comatose
state
and they will not
know the reasons
of my situations
they will not
know the predilictions
of my biological
conditions
they will not
know
they know
not what they do
and so

they will
try to inter
my body below
the ground

to bury me ALIVE

and
this
scares
me

INSIDE

I have created
a tomb
for such a situation
equipped
with enough
water and light passing
through
with food trays
and levers
and bells to signal
at the slightest movement
of awakening

for I fear
with such great
terror and horror
of the possibility
of being buried
while I’m still breathing
though my mind-state
might temporarily
be insane
or dead-to-the-world
I know
it is only a transient
moment
of effervesence
and I dare not
meditate too much
on the possibility
of being
mistaken for a corpse
being
a zombie
a no-more-meaning
no-more-speaking
only silent
screaming

O what TERROR!
does
haunt
me
O what FURY
lies within me
the concerns
the fears
the agonies
the woe

What chance does
man have against
Destiny?

and suddenly
I feel it
yes I feel it coming
upon me
the unconsciousness
soon
to be filling
me like stone
stuck-solidity
rigidity
ossification

the blood
rushing to my temples
pulsing
pounding
knocking at my
door
they’re coming
the world
is overtaking
me
I’ve been here
before
but its so extreme
I can’t breathe
the breathe is caught
up in my lungs
my heart quivers
it beats

O THAT BEATING HEART!

How my brain
does split apart
migranal-unexplainable
horrific terribilations
of machinations
the images flying
swirling in a spinning
blur in front of my
half-closed twitching
fast
shaking eyelids
and scissor-hands

and I’m GONE

deep into that TRANCE

GOD HELP ME!
I know
not whether I will
be found
again after
where I’m going
in these dark
nights on the Plutonian
shores
of Fate
and Destiny
intermingled
in folklore
and no-more
speak
not

darkness
black

stop

and slowly
turtle gradation
coming upwards
head poking
psycho-neumatic
out of insane
I awaken
breathing air
I struggle
to make sense
of what’s around
me the vision
of wood
it seems

I breathe heavy
I put my hands
up towards
the ceiling
but I feel something
hard
its only a foot
aways I can’t extend
my arm all the way
I can’t move my body
I’m in some sort
of thing
some entombment
trapping
casket
surely

O NO

Truth my own worst
enemy
this is it
I am trapped
where are the levers?
where are the bells?
where are my food
trays
and water
this isn’t the internment
I sought after
in case
of such an emergency

I must be
somewhere
foreign
lost in the wilderness
in this strange
wooden
casket
all is quiet

HELP!

HELP!

HELP ME!

GET ME OUT OF HERE!

GET ME OUT OF HERE!

I scream
I scream and scream
at the top of my lungs
I wither and whrither
and whreathe and shake
violently no suppression
except me inside
this cage
of woe

O NO

CAN THIS REALLY
be HAPPENING
to me?

MY WORST FEARS
Life’s truthful
dish of ecstasy

and then everything
goes clear
for a moment
there is sun
shining
there is blueness
the calming ocean
and I hear
the waves
above me the
light ahead
atop the little
ladder

and I SNAP
into IT
I CRACK
into Reality
again

I TWITCH
myself
straight again

and its all
so obvious
to me
now

here I am
in the bottom
of the sailboat
my father’s
sailing yaught
on the calm
seas of Maine
summer-time
breeze
birds
off in the distance
qualing
away

the little island
the sand
it’s all coming
back to me

I wake
up
stand up
and go up
the ladder
to the top
of the sailboat
to straighten
the lines

my father
looking at me
smiling
saying

“Joey,
I hope you had
a good rest
we’re almost
at Cape Hope
a little ways
more and
we can break
out the sandwiches
and Coke”

and I look
at him
my father
captain of the ship
and I wonder
does
he know

does he know
what goes
on in my mind

does he have
any clue
of his son’s
Reality

O Great Unfathomable
Distances separating
ourselves
from Sea
to Shining Sea

Me
sipping on breeze

Thee
shoe-streams
pitter-patternations

What is this
Life

or Death’s
pre-game

Celebration?