Staring at the End (Prose)

Mostly my frame of reference is at the edge of some yawning precipice, open throat of the Earth, and any spell of vertigo might send me tumbling off into the depths. There is a constant gravity in the off-kilter pull.

We search for the end. The end of all things, the end of times; an armed insurrection, globe seizing in its girdle, heart attack — we’re fixated, with only chaos in the foreground and the future, staring down misery and death for all.

The world either ends in cataclysm, or it doesn’t. We want the comfort of the end, the end of man, because there exists a crueller fate when hope does not die.

The vast swinging round of all things.

Life pushes thoughtlessly forward, the Judge; chance-like, uncaring, careening evolutionary randomness sweeps us carelessly away — loosely appendaged machinewheel rotating forward, multifaceted, geared trillionfold, will win. The chance for happiness included in the chance for anything. Death and sickness strung up on iron fractals; love and sex and body fluids, crying souls and laughing fools gummed up in the lurching planetsized conglomerate assaulting our imaginary human timeline.

We think things will die a human death, but there is no empathy in the eternal progression of things. There is no doom in reality and so no meaning of doom for us to cling to. Oblivion is a human concept, and organic matter a messy sidenote in the happenstance, combinatorial fate of the universe.

And man, in the face of it all.

Our world spins at a thousand miles an hour around its axis, tracing endless ribbons round the sun through ever vaster space, lost within the revolving push of our galactic spiral arm. Our universe is prokaryote, without a center — so there’s no order to our motion, no true direction used to pin the mechanism of it all.

. . .As the body heals in sleep, perhaps with enough space and tranquility all our mental damage might recede. Maybe it would all slow down and we could reclaim the pitied fate of humans — or reconcile our human death — or even halt the brutal juggernaut of the universe, advancing, advancing.

With enough focus and quiet maybe our point of perception could become the absolute reference again, in a plane of coordinates with no axes — in a field of merciless and incoherent energy — calm, contented, out of time. Descartes’ thinker, eternal upon observation. Motionless and silent. The center.

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2 Responses to Staring at the End (Prose)

  1. jejunejesuit says:

    Originally I had written this as a poem, but ended up converting it to a prose piece to work on a lot of the edits.

    I’ve made small changes between the two. The most obvious changes are in the formatting, but a few lines of the piece are different, too.

    If you’d like, leave a comment and tell me which one you liked better! Which one reads better; which one did you like more and why?

  2. tipsy says:


    I preferred the prose, I felt I was able to read a line and digest the meaning. With the poem it felt a bit more choppy with forced pauses.

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