The Question Mark Man

"In Reading gaol in Reading town,
There is this pit of shame,
And in it lies a wretched man,
Eaten by teeth of flame
-{Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol}


"All men kill the thing they love"
Said Oscar Wilde of yore.
But when more than thirty bullets found their mark
It was not love, just blood and Gore.

The meaning of life
is not to be found
in a thing so arbitrary
as a speeding bullet

The Question Mark Man

Who are you, they asked him.
Who am I , he asked himself.
You're the loner weirdo, they told him.
I'm the Question Mark, he told his teacher.

The loner, the lonely eagle,
Cuz every man's an island.
So what's in the sea,
where these islands float?

He knew he was Asian, cos everyone told him so.
He knew he was American, cos he grew up here, of course!
They found him morose & moody.
He found them grubby & greedy.

When neighbors said "Hi, howzitgoing"
He was quite oblivious, he kept on going.
Hands in his pockets, safety of the womb
Mind full of alienation, and silence of the tomb

His sisters went to Princeton
And were sociable & nice
He kept to himself
Lone eagle, like so many around

In a world of plenty
He grew up wanting
Though he knew not what
"surely nothing around here!"

of that he was sure

It was time to go to college
Oh those brilliant days of youth
And the rites of passage

With fraternities, & football
spring breaks and heartbreaks

But none of that for him
He was the question mark man

But he didn't ask anyone,
for the meaning of his life

Some day somewhere, though
there came a powerful voice

that banished from him those traces
of imagination and feelings
of the rush of adrenaline

those things that makes life life

The voice perhaps was a sweet whisper
perhaps it was a harsh cry
That penetrated his insides
And reverberated through his empty heart

The echoes just wouldn't go away
After many days had passed
Other people heard each other talk
He heard only the echoes..

said the echoes sometimes
So lonely.. so lonely.. so lonely..
He perhaps heard at other times

(For wherever he looked

An Enemy found He)

He looked all aroung him
Something's Gotta Give!
said the voice again
tearing through those echoes

Those infernal echoes
His teacher had perhaps heard
throught that paper he'd submitted
as assignment in creative writing class

The teacher felt concerned
and let the counselor know
cos if there was anybody trained for this
It would be those that know

About how humans are wired
and about how they are structured
And what causes input into equations
Tell of the Effects or results

Time passed…things were forgotten.
But not by him..oh those infernal echoes

He went to a Gun store
And bought just two, sleek & shiny
He was not a criminal,
And yes he had the money,

That his parents had earned
in another lifetime
in the promised land
where they came with hope

Oh those infernal echoes..
Oh the injustice in the world!
Something's gotta give!
Something's gotta give!

His protest was for the injustice
of those who had money
of that he was sure
and those people all around

who seemed evil
and didn't deserve to live
His parents, where did they belong?
He didn't know & he didn't care

Itchy trigger finger
Shiny gun in hand
walking around campus
"They have no idea. Fools!"

"Of the Power in my hands
Of the pure ideas in my head
Of a better place than this
Without echoes..those infernal echoes"

Blam Blam…Bang Bang…
more than thirty times..

Far away in a foreign land
with surprise & sadness
his grandpa said
"He was a Good Boy!"

Closer to home his parents
with a hint of accent
and hesitation said
"He had some problems talking."

More stories of this
some more of that
mixed with tributes and mourning
of those the bullets had found.

Some say it's water under the bridge
Others want to get to the bottom
so, soon there will be fact finding
so this never happens again.

And after all that is done
And the reports made and read
One may still wonder
As to what the whole point is.

And the point is…?

Some day somewhere, though
there came a powerful voice
that banished from him those traces
of imagination and feelings
those things that makes life life



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