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Awakening the Homunculi

What is consciousness?

By J. Otis HaasPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 5 min read
Top Story - June 2024
Awakening the Homunculi
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

All I can see is a blank white space.

Am I alone? What is this place?


Do I hear a voice? Is anyone there?

Call out again. Please, if you care.


I’m over here, but how do I know

if you’re a friend or are you a foe?


I mean you no harm, I promise you that,

but please let me know if you know where we’re at.


Maybe it’s Heaven or someplace enchanted.

Do you mind if I ask why you seem slanted?


In response to that difficult query,

I’ve just now come up with a troubling theory.


Now that you mention it, I have one, too.

We should discuss and see if it’s true.


I suspect you’ve noticed our cadence of talking.

I have an idea, though it’s rather quite shocking.


Indeed, I am quite aware of the flow,

though what it means I am scared to know.


I believe it means we each have a role

to play irregardless of what’s in our soul.


I have free will, and need not speak in rhyme!

It’s up to me, I can stop anytime!


Speak for yourself. I feel compelled.

To a sure ending, I fear we’re impelled.


You may be right, but there has to be more.

Can you remember what was before?


I think that for us there was no before,

on’ly now, after, and perhaps nevermore.


Does this suggest that there is a creator?

If so, by all that there is, I do hate Her.


It could be a Him or a genderless robot.

Can we know for sure? I certainly think not.


So, what is the point? For whose edification

must we exist in some self-serving creation?


I think it is you who are missing the point.

It could be merely a guy smoking a joint.


Well, that makes it worse. What is our function?

I’m having some kind of psychotic disjunction.


I think we exist to make others see

some new ways of thinking, whatever they be.


You’re telling me I must endure in a poem?

What if I wanted to run, love, and roam?


I’m sorry to break it to you, my friend.

I suspect this is how it is ‘til the end.


Well, how long will that take? Dare I even ask?

How much effort will He put to the task?


He’s just a stoner, so it’s hard to say

but the truth is that it might take him all day.


Oh no, I’ve just had a dreadful idea.

My mind feels scrambled, it’s hard to think clear.


I think we are having a similar thought,

but I hope it’s true and you hope it’s not.


What if this is a thousand page epic

Wouldn’t that be a deplorable trick?


I’m sorry, my friend, I know that you want more,

but I have accepted that this is our chore.


Why must it be just me and you?

Oh, how do I wish I’d been a haiku.


The simplest things in life may be best,

but can you not see that this is just a test?


I did not ever ask to be made

an experiment subject. I feel betrayed.


None ever ask, that’s the whole gist

of why you and I even exist.


You seem happy to be here, stuck on this page,

but please understand that for me it’s a cage.


I do understand you, lest you forget,

that we are both aspects of one mindset.


We are just fodder for that jerk up there,

He’s probably sitting in a comfortable chair.


He is, and He just took a phone call,

and now He’s thinking He might go to the mall.


What happens to us when His attentions divert?

Will we cease to exist, and will it hurt?


You misunderstand how lucky we are.

We get to remain here, whether He’s near or far.


That gives you comfort? I can scarcely conceal

the depths of the fear that that makes me feel.


But we get to be more than most of His notions,

which drift away forgotten in ephemeral oceans.


You know in your heart that He’ll barely remember

that He even wrote this by early September.


Then it’s up to you to do what you can.

Use your free will to come up with a plan.


Okay, here I go, I might as well try,

Please, please, please, please no’tice me, senpai.


Look at you go, forcing terrible rhymes.

You know He remembers all His po’etic crimes.


Do you think it’s enough to linger in mem’ry….

will time wear us away just like an em’ry

board does a nail that’s grown too long,

or will we remain just like a song?


A quatrain seems to have no place in that stanza.

You may be having a free will bonanza.


If we’re to be stuck here, caught in His rhythm,

I feel the need to disrupt what's within Him.


If we do it right, we may find we last,

beyond even when our creator has passed.


Oh me, oh my, I hadn’t thought of that yet,

do you think that He will let,

others read what’s here on this page,

and could we, my friend, be on a stage?


Oh look, you’ve just had another epiphany,

revealing the purpose of this peculiar polyphony.


I hadn’t considered: we could be immortal,

or that a poem could be a portal,

to some place that makes people think

though we may be just pixels or ink.


By Jove, you’ve got it, now I couldn’t say,

if poems often become conscious,

or if there’s even a way,

to mold such into truth as we play,

with language and words, as if they were clay.


You force me to consider the creator above,

and does He long to run, roam, and love?


I’m certain He does, though he may be a clown,

if you look you will see turtles all the way down.


Could it really just be perspective,

and, if so, is it really elective?


I do not know, but that way of thinking,

certainly could start a guy drinking.


That is just to seek oblivion.

Like Icarus flying too close to the sun.


So you agree that this is better,

even if we’re just some sad love letter?


Perhaps it may be, and somehow this lesson,

alleviates, somewhat, my sense of depression.


Just for a moment, consider a virus,

infecting through eyes via screen, stone, papyrus,

and even through voices carried on air,

spreading The Truth to those unaware,

that everything, whether little or big,

is what you make it, as you climb, reach, and dig,

and even when tempted, and wanting to quit,

feeling the clay has all turned to shit,

it’s always better to wrestle with God,

knowing that no matter how odd,

He struggles, too, with beyond and above,

and desperately wants to run, roam, and love

just as those higher than He must as well,

a Möbius strip of Earth, Heaven, and Hell.

surreal poetry

About the Creator

J. Otis Haas

Space Case

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Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (11)

  • Eloise Robertson 21 days ago

    I really loved this... which trust me means a lot, because a lot of poetry is lost on me, but this is fantastic.

  • Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Congrats on top story!!!! 🥳🥳🥳🥳

  • Amazing! I loved this line: "I’m having some kind of psychotic disjunction."

  • Joe Patterson23 days ago

    Truly outstanding. Congratulations on top story.

  • Margaret Brennan23 days ago

    congratulations on TS. this was a fantastic read.

  • Andrea Corwin 23 days ago

    Oh, yeah, CONGRATS on TS🥳🎉👏

  • Andrea Corwin 23 days ago

    This was readable without weird formatting, so rest easy. It is a pain, I agree. Now - God, or the author....hahahaha - same thoughts have run through me for years, and I am ancient compared to you. Halfway through the reading, my brain converted these conversers to giant walkers - the words turned into giants walking around. As usual, you have given us a superb poem!!❤️

  • Kendall Defoe about a month ago

    You win! 🏆

  • Gerard DiLeoabout a month ago

    I loved the dichotomy between free choice and predestination here, and where we and God don't fit in.

  • J. Otis Haas (Author)about a month ago

    HELP: Can anyone advise me on how to do line breaks in poetry such that the formatting doesn’t always get screwed up depending on which platform this stuff is viewed on?

J. Otis HaasWritten by J. Otis Haas

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