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Mid-life Crisis of a Major god: Poems by Stanley Princewill McDaniels

Mid-life Crisis of a Major god


Most days
                    I feel have reached
                    the end of my
as with a navigator
finding the end of the          planet – the end of all ends –
                    & at last
                    found it to be
an object lying there,
naked, & nothing else lies
beyond the end          of the body.
                              The rest
is the void that is the
                    universe – a stark expression
                    of the mind, an essential Nothing
which would be the start & end          of all Things.
                    But when we get to the first end,
we press on, for underneath may lie
another end, & in-between may be
a journey, a secret, another step forward,
which tells you that it never truly ends,
& every stop may just be another start, at least,
you discovered the initial end to be
                    the beginning of the rest of the world.
                    That’s a consolation. Start & end are
                    mental Things. We could be a movement
                    in the void of Things, a lightning across


– For Benita

& maybe all the while, it was just
                    a bad car on an expressway,
this life, & the only guarantee
we’ll ever have (the only one we’re ever
going to get) is a
                    stop-&-start; maybe that’s
                              all there ever is to this place, all
there ever will be,          a stop-&-start, but, always a movement
toward or fro-ward.
                    As for Things we have no emotion left for,
                    & all we received to which we never sent a
prayer request – maybe every stop
is a start &
                    we have only failed to
notice                              that
start                              &
stop                              are
mental                              Things, no matter how many
times the car becomes an airplane or,
                    the airplane becomes the
violence & non-violence of Swedish rock music,
it is but the same journey. So
we press on, Beni. We press on.
                    We could be rose petals
drifting across the cold, hard winter.


Mid-Crisis of A Major god III (after Carl Phillips)

The world began
with the sound of silence, for it was
                              the perfect beginning
                              which would guarantee
                              the perfect ending: the ending
of all endings,
as was with the beginning of all beginnings,
                              round & round it goes like a
to gather all its many broken selves, finally, & become
one mighty Thing that hits the mind point blank.
There’s a war not too far from here. Some call it
living.                              There’s really no difference
                              between what comes after the end
                              & what was before the beginning – but
by then, does it matter? – for the
only essence is the Nothing
everything slowly, but deliberately, returns
to. I know how to draw a circle:
                    you start at a point
& end behind the beginning – if at all
                    we agree to that way
                    of life – but
before it all goes to shut, how do we live?
                    How do we become?
                    What do we become, before it all goes
to shut,      which is what everything is,
                    really; the Nothing everything
                    slowly, but deliberately, returns to,
                    which is the only constant, which was
the beginning of the world when it was
void & beautiful, which is something greater,
full of regret –

Poetry © Stanley Princewill McDaniels

Stanley Princewill McDaniels
Stanley Princewill McDaniels
Stanley Princewill McDaniels is a Nigerian poet currently writing from Ondo State where he is completing a degree in Political Science. His poems have appeared on Bakwa Magazine, Kalahari Review, Deep Water Literary Journal, Tuck Magazine, Lunaris Review, & elsewhere.

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