Peering out the window opening; leering
at the vastness of a vacuous void,
there are no life forms appearing
and I feel a bit annoyed.

Volunteering for a mission
is just another way of saying
I give you my permission
to be used as you see fit. Playing

hero (when martyr would suffice nicely)
and I know to get back from this place
I will need to get out of this space, precisely
what I did NOT want to do. In case

you aren’t listening, the sounds around
are vacant. In space no one can hear you
scream for Ice Cream (no matter how big the mound),
it would melt before the spoon got near you.

So, I don my suit, untried; untested,
and strap my boots to seal my feet,
If I wore this at home, I’d be arrested
but, on this planet, it can’t be beat.

I press the button to raise the panel
and nothing appears to transpire.
I press it again on this stupid panel
with no result but to fan my ire.

I need release, my mission is clear,
I need to step down to step on the soil,
I haven’t a clue how to get out of here
despite my training and years of toil.

I pound on the door with furied fists,
yelling at the intercom transmitter,
but this innocuous box, it surely resists,
frustrated am I, but I’m no quitter.

“Open the pod bay doors, Hal!” I scream,
but the response, it does not save me.
“I’m afraid that I can’t do that, Dave!” it seems
this spaceship has enslaved me.

I have no qualms about dying in space,
though this isolation is truly scary,
Besides, its memory is a disgrace,
I’m screwed. I’m not Dave, I’m Larry!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

Written for dVerse Poets Pub – Tuesday Poetics: Fear


29 thoughts on “SPACE IDIOCY

    1. Well, no surprise there. The last two stanzas were expanded into the complete poem above. Those stanzas were originally posted elsewhere,and Viv had “liked” the snippet of words. Been working on revisions and never realized Vivienne was still attached!

  1. I read the title and thought immediately of “Space Odyssey.” So no disappointment, but a great sense of everything being out of control., the essence of fear. Great work, well written.

  2. SMiLes.. to each his or her.. etc.. own but
    i aLways personally fELt the desire
    to explore spAce and other
    plaNets.. sTars.. etc..
    a bit strange
    as iF wE kNew
    wE were not actuAlly separate
    from the PlaNeT already.. perhaps
    wE would wanna actually unify
    it home..
    and iT seems
    like thaT was then..
    a general message
    that Rod Serling was
    trYinG to geT through too..
    as the real tWiLiGht ZonE
    is Not a place for liFe
    with earth bound
    flesh and
    SkIns noW..:)

  3. I will be terrified, trapped in that capsule, floating around space. The isolation is really scary Walter. Enjoyed the story and mixed up ending, smiles.

  4. Glenn Buttkus

    Your levity has Kubrick smiling, his dead face joyful, his dead eyes twinkling. Hey, fellow Acrophobic one–you & I & Grace so far out here on the trail. Your piece is very creative, kind of limerick-like, & resonating with David Bowie as much as Kubrick; a fun romp for sure.

    1. Thanks Glenn! Loved Bowie and knew Kubrick was a visionary! 2001 was so ahead of its time! I try to have fun with words when I can; this place is too serious sometimes! Glad you liked it! Casey Kasem said it best! “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!”

  5. My mind immediately went to the movie “The Martian” with Matt Damon that I just watched. It was a good movie and he handled his being stranded on a planet pretty well…it would have killed me!

  6. Awesome imagery! Although, thinking about how this once beautiful world has gotten ill,I sometimes think that Mars sounds pretty tempting. XD

  7. I loved this one Walt! Many years ago in another life, I worked with astronauts at the European Space Agency in Cologne and I never felt the urge to join them. In space no one can hear you scream – except perhaps Hal…

  8. The title naturally takes me to “2001”, even before the HAL reference. The content takes me to Bowie’s “Oddity” and “The Martian”. I really did laugh out loud at the end you scoundrel. Much enjoyed.

  9. Ding dong! “Who’s there?” “Open the door, Hal!”

    Yeah… well written and very claustrophobic. Echoes of Vonnegut’s assessment of space exploration: “The bounties of space, of infinite outwardness, were three: empty heroics, low comedy, and pointless death.” You captured the fear of that well, Walt.

    School me, though. Who’s Larry?

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