Here, in February, the month of romance, it might seem odd to explore the “death sentences,” or sentences about death in the journal of Escape Into Life’s founding editor, Chris Al-Aswad, but in another way, it seems quite natural that, like John Keats, a Romantic with a capital “R,” Chris was “half in love with easeful death.” Chris had many obsessions, and death was one of them.
And then, of course, he died young. “I guess my problem is I’m racing to my grave,” he wrote in 2006. “What’s the rush?” He died in 2010.
Here is a collection of more death sentences from Chris’s journals:
Now I say these words looking forward to the day when I am master of my art, and genius of my destiny, but soon others will be looking back at me after I have died, and say the same thing. We historicize ourselves in such a way, manifest the outcomes we wish; as long as constant pressure is applied to an ideal, that ideal will materialize in reality. So we make our leaps into the future either on our own or using our imagination with the help of others.
What is that vital fluid that circulates my veins like hot lava? Will I ever know that the same substance which makes me creative also, in the end, will kill me. Like my mother—whose spark was too intense.
I come out of a death that came before me. Death is my origin.
Right before I go to bed / I am afraid to fall asleep / I am afraid to let go of the / spinning wheels of the mind / It irks me to enter the land of the dead.
Just having read this passage [from The Art of Seduction] my mood is uplifted, which means mild satisfaction may soon be entering; hence the cycle I must embrace if ever I am to embrace Death itself.
Often I have the slightest sense / that I am dying—my / fatigue and weakness ravels around / my spine
But every day brings me closer to extinction, to feeling my own palpable non-existence, when I know the stories running through my head are pure fictions…
then go – let yourself go – Rise
like nothing – like everything
this life it fades out
watch with me
Life Sentences at Escape Into Life
Men in Love at Escape Into Life
Sergio Lopez at Escape Into Life