Friday, November 11, 2011

Fears of Zero

A bit late for Halloween, but think of this as alternative to The Raven.

---------------
Late.
Late at night.
When the world sleeps.
And I am here alone.
And here I come some nights to confront my fears.
They're here...my fears.
They are always with me.
Lurking, scurrying, hiding, and waiting.
They come!
And they go.
Though they are gone they are never far
and here alone at night I can confront them.
There they are...confronted fears!
Fears of hunger, fears of pain, fears of missing the last train.
Fears of dentists always drilling, fears that no one will be willing...
to see me as I know I really am.
Once they are counted and compelled...they can quickly be dispelled...
Like figments of my own imagination.

But always, there are other fears.
Fears of snakes, fears of cats,
fears of mańętre d's and rats.
An irrational black terror...
that someday I may get fat.
Fear of elevators falling, and the taxman someday calling
And the accidental walling of myself up inside a clammy, dank, old, dingy cellar where the spiders weave around my tummy
And the worms, and bugs and crawly things squirm and squiggle at my person. (Oh, I love it!)
Once they are counted and compelled, they can quickly be dispelled...

But then there are other fears.
Fears of bullets, there's a dread.
Fear of baldness on the head.
Fear of waking up one morning, to discover that you are dead.
Once they are counted and compelled, they can quickly be dispelled...
Like figments of my own imagination.

Then there is the last fear.
Just about the time I'm past fear.
The one that really is final.
It will come.
Yours...and mine'll.
In the darkest of the night
it will come without a fight.
It will count me and compel me.
It will casually dispel me.
For I am just a figment of its own imagination.


-----

Fears of Zero
Written by Jerry Juhl
Preformed by Zero Mostel on The Muppet Show

This was first shared with me by a friend who did a calm, slow reading of the work. Then I went to youtube and learned just how Muppets change everthing!

1 comment:

Elinor Dashwood said...

Was this really written for the Muppet Show? Somebody on the show was clearly a fan of old music hall songs ("Burlington Bertie From Bow", "The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery", and so on), so I assumed this was an old comical recitation from the same background. If Jerry Juhl wrote it, however, I guess it was a Muppet Show original.