Define Success

The ladder is before you
Will you climb?
Well of course you will
You have the time
Those first rungs are easy
A child climbs them without pause
But as you climb higher
the men develop jaws
The ladder keeps getting higher
You should stop here
You have everything you need
Nothing left to fear
But you keep looking up
Keep trying to shake off the mud
And while you climb you fail to notice
The rungs are drenched in blood
Stepping on others to get ahead
Getting hungrier as you go along
devouring those below you
Unable, unwilling, to tell right from wrong
People are delicious
You crave their limbs, their blood, their meat
Gorging yourself till you’re stuffed
Intoxicating yourself with defeat
You’re raving mad
Teeth stained red
and then, you pause from climbing
because you’re dead


The narrator accuses someone who has become too greedy to the point that success is defined not by personal gain but by others' losses.

The beginning describes the early life of the climber and a warning of the danger that life brings. The climber does find personal success, but is not content and continues climbing to find contentment, stepping over and eventually devouring others, who are all competitors.

This becomes the deadly dagger because the climber ends up suddenly dead. The reason? He or she has been eaten by somebody who, like they, were trying to define their own success.

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