No Exit

There are no means for escaping this world

It penetrates even into your sleep

And is its substance

You are caught in your own dreaming

Where there is no space

And are held forever where there is no time

You can do nothing you are not told to do

There is no hope for escape from this dream

That was never yours

The very words you speak are only its very words

And you talk like a traitor

Under its incessant torture.

There are many who have designs upon this world

And dream of wild and vast reformations

I have heard them talking in their sleep

Of elegant mutations

And cunning annihilations

I have heard them whispering in the corners of crooked houses

And in the alleys and narrow back streets of this crooked creaking universe

Which they, with their new designs, would make straight and sound

But each of these new and ill-conceived designs

Is deranged in its heart

For they see this world as if it were alone and original

And not as only one of countless others

Whose nightmares all proceed

Like a hideous garden grown from a single seed

I have heard these dreamers talking in their sleep

And I stand waiting for them

As at the top of a darkened flight of stairs

They know nothing of me

And none of the secrets of my special plan

While I know every crooked creaking step of theirs.