Ode to an Endless Eight

Matt Brown (Editor in Chief) — August 25th,2009
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Oft upon a Friday late
in summer time, I'd lie in wait—
for what, I couldn't contemplate;
just then, a parcel, at the gate.

Drug through mud and beaten up,
"From someplace South," I had to guess,
When opened, this unseemly crate
its contents drawn to pounding chest
announced itself as Endless Eight.

A thing for which time averted its gaze?
Such a thing could not exist
but time itself; but in this crate
which had no packing list,
lie a thing called Endless Eight.

When at last I drew it out,
it shook, as though to activate.

From within its memory bank, it showed
me a far more fun filled summer;
To think I'd have missed something so great,
were I out on the town instead of in slumber,
this wonder called Endless Eight.

When again it shook, knowing I wanted more,
it showed me the same thing it showed before,
but no, slightly different, as if the wait
had tweaked the settings in its core;
Amused, I applauded this Endless Eight.

Encouraged by my applause, it repeated
with slight differences, the very same show.
Was this toy, which I drew from muddy crate
just a one-trick pony in a one-pony show?
Annoyed, I glared at the Endless Eight.

"What's so great about eight, anyhow?
It's the count of a spider's legs and eyes.
It's the number of tentacles on octopi,
It's the hours I work each day to live right,
It's the scorching heat of an August night."

My protests fell silent, as Endless Eight
spun into action, one more time.

"Enough!" said I, steeped in rage,
I cursed the heavens and the deep
and all the creatures small and great,
but mostly Man, his treachery;
"Stop this torture, Endless Eight!"

And at once all became clear to me,
that no act of man was binding me
but my own — I was Mephistopheles
and Faust and Lucifer, all three.

I'd shelved my soul in a deal, whereby
I gave up my life willingly, for a lie;
An illusion of emotional safety
replaced all adventure and joy in me.

What I took from myself I can give back;
time to end this line and lay new track
to a bright sun rising over the sea,
to majestic mountains covered in trees,
to glimmering fields and stone ruin,
I'll walk the world 'til my waist grows thin,
and maybe know a woman's love,
we'll dance and sing and be as doves
in spring, the great awakening
that few will ever see!

The Endless Eight then whirled and shook,
and showed me something different,
and I sat down to watch, content.