None Shall Sleep (Il Principe Ignoto)

by dschapman

[The following transcript reached me as if by a miracle in the middle of a rainy, romantic night as I sat in my attic, sickened, thirsting for blood, deteriorating as I do in my grandiloquent fashion, slightly delirious. The text was titled, “Spate,” and it was unsigned, although I knew in my heart who it came from. I read the words slowly and repeatedly, relieved to the point of exhaustion just to see them, and then I began drifting away from the face of the earth, drawn away by the weeping hands of relentless, divine inspiration, catered by the plume and grace of beauty. It was as though I had written the transcript myself, that is, as a better man, as a man who could write. People across the planet speak sometimes in hushed and muted tones of greatness, of artistry, of genius, as something truly and definitively out of the ordinary, the prodigal progeny of actual gods, the poet and the poem both, such as this is, or these are, such as a force and a constant that some men are never exposed to, nor would know what to do with themselves if they were. And here, in this attic, did it happen to me, before my very eyes, as I was very much a part of it, shining, and reluctant.]


I am in the library. I hate everyone. I hate myself the most. I want to kill myself. I think of suicide every day. My life is sad. I did it to myself… and… I hate myself so much. I want to run a hot bath and in the water, I want to slit my wrists. I am so sorry. I do not change. Who am I? I do not want to die this way, God. I want to die this way, God. I am suicidal. I never, as a boy, imaged my life this way. It is grim wherever I am. If I am there, I want to be here. If I am here, I will only be there soon. It is no matter any longer, no matter of mine for years to come, hidden away from the world with art, paintings of frogs and land, poems of death and things I do not understand, but there is something that I do understand, and that something is death.

When I killed myself in my bathtub, there was steam everywhere and water all over the floor. I left the foist running because the sound is comforting and I loved it. This was the day of my high school reunion. Ten years, the past, the present, I know no one. Not a soul, just me, just as I am, a man, but I was sensitive and very angry. I wanted to kill everyone there. Thank God, I killed myself instead of innocent, innocent folk, but I do hate them very much, especially in my death.  My death, I hate it. I think back, back to the reunion that day, that day of my death when the sun was out, that day when I saw birds in the trees and my old classmates thought that I was just being an eccentric character but I was not. I swear! I was in pain! I recall looking into the eyes of some of the people who there that day; I blame them for my death, for what I saw in their eyes, for what I smelled on their clothes and the way their jewels shined in that sunlight that was always unexplainable to me. Therefore, it was this, and this was all it was. I died in water. I like that.

At my death, I am young; in it, I am old. Things are strange in space. How they really are, I will never know. I could not face reality in life. In death I do not face it well either. I study the stars as if I was the flesh and blood I once was. I remember my life, of course. I remember the canyon and the desert. In space, I am a powerful atom. I would love to tell you how big the universes are. I could answer all your questions. It is unfortunate. I am still sad. My reality is what my world was. I still feel sad and I want to die. I want you to destroy my soul. Death is not wonderful.

I loved the trees and the wind, the movement of water. I wish I were on earth again. I want to see the trees. I want to hear the bird sing. I used to take long walks through the forest at night. This was my heaven. This is where I meant to die. As in life, as in death, this death, there is regret. I caused pain to my wife and made her heart hurt and break and soon it was broken. I want to go back to when my life was okay, when I was so love with you. I miss you. I hope you are okay. Listen to the selfish voice, the disgusting twist, and me, whip another stroke and give her death as well. Her last wish… your star… as she wished upon it, she cried for you… cried seven tears for your daughter and you.