Today I want to talk about a poem. It’s a poem from a video game–namely, Doki Doki Literature Club. On one hand, I have been obsessed with this game lately. On the other, though, there is some legit deep poetry that comes out of it. This one in particular spoke to me, especially since it is meant to sound like a raving lunatic but I was sitting there reading it going “Wow this makes perfect sense.”
So roll with me on this tangent, guys! Going super off-topic today! I could say this is entirely unrelated to the tarot, and I don’t think it is meant to be related at all. However, I have to notice the poem is called “Wheel,” and “The Wheel” will be the next card I post.
DISCLAIMER: this poem is meant to portray someone who is manic and going crazy, so, make sure you are in the right place mentally to read this.
Click here to read the poem.
It might help to note that this game is about computer characters gaining sentience. The realization of a universe much bigger than them kind of breaks them. But I think we humans can relate. We often feel like this grand intelligence stuck inside a very limited machine. So, while I pick apart this poem, I like to notice how it relates to the character who wrote it, but also how can represent real people.
Wheels, Axles, Gearboxes–These all relate to the machine. She mentions a portal to another world–the computer connected to the real world.
Falling sky, Drowning, Torn harness–I think these all relate to her losing her grip on reality
7 holy stakes–Symbolically, this could be a lot of things. But I think this is actually a game reference–there are a total of 7 characters: the main four, YOU, and two secret characters you learn about later: Elyssa and Renier. In that case, if characters are stakes, are they the ones holding the game together? Or are they just stuck there? Is it because a stake, unlike a ship, is a movable object?
Kaleidoscope of holy stakes, exponential gearbox–this is the madness of Saṃsāra, the physical aspects of our world as a whole. If you look at our world in data points, numbers, consumption, the endless monotony of it all can become very overwhelming. This is why we must find value and depth in the world around us. I might note that Saṃsāra also means “wandering” or “world” and it is represented by a WHEEL.
Forty gears and a ticking clock–You see the number forty a lot, and I don’t know if it has a specific meaning. Clocks may refer to people, or time as a life-giving force, which we will come back to later.
The deeper and the creepier:
A prayer written in blood–If you think of people as poems, and our existence as a prayer–intent, manifestation–and blood as our life source, then this sentence simply means “a person.”
I feel like all the references to human eyes are quite literal. Time-devouring snakes–DNA behind human eyes–our eyes are our doorway to the world. A thread connecting all human eyes, I think, is the internet. But I also like to think of it as the super-conscious.
A bolthead of holy stakes tied to the existence of a docked ship to another world–Holy stakes, I decided are characters or people. If stakes are a people, than the ship is the world we live in; our known reality. And docked to another world goes back to feeling like there is a dimension of reality outside, or above, or bigger than your own.
Another sentence I want to break down: “A time-devouring prayer connecting a sky of forty gears and open human eyes in all directions.”
A time-devouring prayer–is life. It sounds morbid, but we are time-devouring monsters. Time may be infinite, but for us, it is limited. It’s also the thing that allows us to exist, so I’ll take what I can get.
Sky of forty gears–again, the laws of the universe outside our control
Open human eyes in all directions–I think this really comes from her being in a computer and looking out. If you were a sentient being in the internet, and you looked out any window–any computer screen–what would you see? Human eyes. Eyes, eyes, eyes. If you think of a super-conscious–a plane of thought that we are all connected to–than it is like this giant mind, and we are all windows from it to the physical world. So it is a giant mind with open human eyes in all directions.
Thanks for exploring this poem with me. We will go back to our regular scheduled program soon. I would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave me a comment!