MY INTERVIEW WITH POE
Cursing and complaining,
Pounding my fist to the door.
Not surprising, it was raining,
My first time in Baltimore.
I had no choice but to go,
As if guided by Destiny.
It was after all a man named Poe
Who had invited me.
So soaking in frustration,
Wet, I walked around the back.
Where, nigh, to the occasion
Appeared a man dressed in black.
Incessant, I looked upon him
But though the rain couldn't quite see.
Yes, indeed, vision had grown quite grim
With this man stood before me.
I felt him due a greeting,
But the words hung in my chest.
Nodding head, eyes still not meeting,
Was truly offering my best.
It was then the sweet smell of wine
Whisked slowly off his breath.
A cold chill lingered up my spine
To the words, "I welcome death..."
At this, open wide, swung the door,
The hinge yielding a creaking groan.
Stepping inside, speaking once more,
He then added, "but not alone."
Words perhaps I should have pondered,
But then, so cold, so dark, so wet,
His meaning my mind never wondered,
Entering the oubliette.
There I shivered, there I shuttered,
For inside ‘twas even colder.
Lo, something flapped, something fluttered,
Felt it over my left shoulder.
Yet nothing there caught my vision
With head turned in that direction.
Cobwebbed corners of indecision,
Portrait of my misconception.
Beckoned to follow down the hall,
I treaded through the dim lit gloom.
I couldn't seem to swallow all
The thickness hanging in this room.
As if sensing uneasiness,
The man gestured, raised a chalice.
"A sip may ease the queasiness,
Alas, welcome to your palace."
There he unbolted the clasped door,
Blinding me from a light within...
Sudden warmth cut the cold I wore,
Enraptured in delightful Sin.
With fevered pitch and glowing eye
Upon his face, an impish grin...
Seeming somewhat amused with I,
The man then proffered, "Please come in."
Almost eager, I stepped inside.
Began to take a look around.
Antique decor left me pie-eyed,
In finding his taste quite profound.
"Be at home", words echoed faintly
Lost to the wonder of a child.
As the door behind closed quaintly,
While I looked on, ever beguiled.
Ivory statues lining the walls
Velvet chairs, a marble chess set.
In the distance, fading footfalls
Singing subtle their minuet.
Till silence laid claim the chamber,
Till dampened cold return duly.
As I lay in wait, in languor,
For the man who beckoned me.
An interview of immense worth,
For who before had known this man.
Cursed of Aidenn, cursed of the earth,
If by angels or darkling clan.
My only summons, now seemed Time,
Shadow creeping across the den.
As screaming, voiceless as a mime,
My words echoed empty, again.
Whence by chance or chanced by notion,
Felt I a glaring behind me.
Turned to face, void of emotion,
Two woeful eyes staring blindly.
A mysterious portrait, inlaid
By captioned gold, the name of Poe.
But there the face boldly displayed
Was mine in melancholy glow.
I gasped, my voice by rictus quelled.
Turning, running, reaching the door.
But no inner knob there was held.
As Despair threw me to the floor.
Where by the sobbing of each tear,
I heard his laughter echoing.
The impish man who led me here,
Heralding life, my forfeiting.
As Time, frozen, holds me captive.
By the spirits of Misery.
In darkness ever adaptive,
Come these timeless eyes to see;
By bleakest notion in my head,
A righteous world never forgives...
I give my answer to the dead,
That within me the ghost now lives.
Michael R. Anderson
[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 03-04-2000).]