Rich Man, Poe Man

Will you say that I am mad?
Inordinately sensitive perhaps.
Despairing? At times.
But mad? I deny the accusation.
Inside my chest beats the heart of a romantic.
I laugh, I cry, I love with reckless abandon.
I am a vox clamantis in deserto;
a voice crying in the wilderness.
Foul Death haunts me,
stealing those I allow myself to love.
I retaliate by opening a vein
and letting the ink run out;
purging the darkness within.
I fear mediocrity yet toil in obscurity.
I drink away the sorrows that threaten to consume me.
I collapsed in an alley and awoke to behold
train-like conveyances in underground tunnels.
These colossal conqueror worms
swallowed up silent, sallow passengers,
then coughed them out again.
My vision lacked the idiosyncrasies of a dream,
so what then? A prophecy?
A figure garbed in the emerald shade of greed
strode across the platform ahead of me.
I hung back, allowing the stranger to remain out of reach.
I do not write to pursue wealth; only healing.
The figure suddenly spun and lunged at me.
I lashed out with a reflexive blow fueled by panic and fear.
My attacker disintegrated in a cacophonous shower of coins.
I fled and staggered headfirst into a stone pillar.
Darkness followed the explosion of light.
Again I awoke, this time to more familiar sights.
I shambled back into the welcoming warmth of the tavern.
I will consign myself to Anonymity; my only companion.
I order another drink, paying with a shiny coin
that has found its way into my shaky palm.


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