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  • Neil Johnson


Updated: May 13, 2022

Across the world, there are splices of myself.

Bits of my mind that I left behind,

fragments of time in my peer's minds,

far too intertwined

for either of us to forget.

Until a part of the link ceases to exist.

For what remained were two strains, two woven brains,

the same sort of place, same sort of chains,

same sort of blood flowing through our veins.

Until the strands of our unhatched plans,

splintered and vanished,

left with no more knots.

No more thoughts.

Laying on the floor in a pool of- not snot,

but some other vile life water,

vital as vile, as red as the Nile.

From a mind with the potential to decompile,

the universe and everything that exists,

if only not permanently eclipsed

but left to die.

A bullet in his third eye,

that saw it all as he had to fly.

Too high,

too close

to the sun,

until his wings

melted and became undone.

It was probably just a deal gone bad,

but my gut says something more.

No one gets murdered,

and left to die on the floor,

without some clue left as to who

or what

compelled such an

unfair end

to impend.

The story sounds familiar,

particularly similar

to your mention

of your marijuana mentor.

In the Colorado winter,

killed alone in his home

yet it is still unknown,

as to whom, cast that stone.

His dead head bled,

til you came back and

found the floor covered in red.

Panic, pain, depart.

Changed your name to Skylark.

Moved back home, laid low.

I guess the years weren't enough for the grudge to go?

Because what an unimaginably accurate foreshadow

of exactly what we know

about your death.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

As an ethereal being, I'll send you these words,

I respect your gifts

back to the world.

Our soil loves your fertile flesh,

but our lives could have used your neural net.

Passion, but no patience.

Well-founded paranoia,

intelligence, insanity, laced with hysteria.

After a decade of distance,

You reached out to me, insistently.

Now I see,

it wasn't just because we were brothers of the past

or because my skills might get you rich fast.

You saw hope in a fellow outcast,

and if I hadn't turned away,

if I had only made the time to talk and stay,

maybe fate would have changed.

Maybe you'd be lucky enough to see another day.

I should have read the signs,

should have heard your tells,

looked between the lines,

spells drowning in the wells.

In a brain that got you where you stood,

too smart for your own good.

A phrase, I thought, oxymoronic,

until your life bent on it.

A musician at heart,

a student of the strange,

farmed his own crops,

lived the mechanics of biochemical change.

He understood the molecules

and the bonds of the particles,

that made up the things that messed with his brain.

We're talking THC,

CBD, Ecstasy, LSD


You name it,

he knew it,

he felt it,

he lived it,

until he didn't.

Until his soul flew free

through his own DMT.

It was six weeks before you croaked,

when we talked and joked,

about how it's only a matter of time

until the humans collectively find

a cure,

for the problem,

so pure.

Immortality is but a blurred science,

but if we research enough,

our nanobots will soon call death's bluff.

We both knew in our hearts that it wasn't a joke,

we knew it could be done, if properly bespoke.

I felt your passion, I knew your mind.

I knew you could do something to stabilize that line.

To help find a cure,

to life's inevitable contour.

And you wanted to contribute

as a participant, as a tribute

to the immortal cause.

I asked why,

and you couldn't lie,

the words came out:

"I don't ever want to die."

This makes me think

maybe you knew,

that death was coming for you soon.

But I guess it's possible too,

that you already knew,

there was nothing you could do.


Neil Johnson is an American poet and a world traveling circus performer. Neil explores various creative mediums, from writing to fire dancing to juggling to unicycling.

Connect with him on Instagram and Youtube at @banananeil

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