Notes on “Baby, Come Here Tonight”

Captions provided. Watch in high definition. Watch the companion poem at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IajtwOXCu4. Literary signs were taken from http://literature.aslprimers.org/lexicon/.

Image description: Eric Epstein, a white young man with shaved hair, wearing a green T-shirt. The background is blue. He is signing “Point.”

Transcript: [Eric, a white man, is standing in front of a blue background] The poem “Baby, Come Here Tonight” is Gothic-themed. The setting is a graveyard at nighttime. There are three characters, two of which are stock characters: the Devil and the jester. The third character is you. The plot involves seducing you over to death. In the beginning, sunlight streams on the graveyard, where the Devil imposes as a stone angel in wait for the sun to go out. Thrilled, the Devil casts aside the wings and dons horns. The Devil dances to open graves of resurrected corpses, including the jester. The jester digs a grave for you. In response, you run away, only to be trapped by the approaching jester, who informs you that your heart will wear out in a matter of years due to the tears eroding the vigor. The jester suggests death as a superior alternative to life, which is personified as running to a higher place, where the Devil gives out tickets associated with various sins. Then, the Earth splits and you fall through the cracks, barely clinging to life, literally and figuratively, as your mind snaps. Any attempt at tugging only unravels your mind further to oblivion. You fall into a vat of blood that is yours, as a result of cutting your veins or committing suicide, which is sweeter than love, personified as running to a higher place toward death. The plot ends with the image of the jester singing “Baby, come here tonight,” having won you over.

Major disclaimer: This video is a work in progress.

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