Odes to Unbelief

Between the soup and my eating it


Between the soup and my eating it

I discover a new religion.

Even as I watch the landscape of aqueducts

Pass me by like a fleeing herd

I feel an arm of godliness embracing

The whole downcast horizon.


Between life and its travelling minutes,

From riverbank, to citadel, to tables filled with sherry,

There are gods without divinity lurking.

Can gods ever be un-godly? It is as if asking:

Can trees be trees without treeness, or birds without birdness,

Or life without lifeness? The question I abstractly ask

Is more real than what we would call treeness or birdness.


These are just words one species imposes upon all of nature.

Between the birth of the soup and my devouring of it

There is nothing but the godliness I impose.

And because I impose it, be it real or not,

No one can take it away –

Not even the God of someone else’s imagined desire.

He is not real to me, just as lifeness isn’t,

Because he is someone else’s.


So long as I refuse him existence

He shall not exist.


Leave me to my own, simpler godliness.



I don’t mean to take away your faith


I don’t mean to take away your faith,

The way the summer takes away the lust for storms;

Just as long as you do not take away

My own spring of contented unbelief.


And if my circus of uncertainty disconsoles you,

Let me assure you that the circus is mine alone;

Keep yourself to yourself and to your fortress of certainty,

We are of different paths, like a lily and its stream.


But we are not like a lily and its stream;

More like a lily and a dahlia.

We are man and man alike, chained to the species:

So how can we rightly think so differently?


Which one of us is wrong? – one of us must be.

Unless: would you be willing to accept we both worship

At the altar of wrongness? For what profundity exists

In a world where only this one animal

Knows its name?



I am a writer of free verse


I am a writer of free verse that chimes without structure.

I have entire constellations of desires to express

Yet no natural laws with which to express them.

For, if a word is to exude meaning from the hive of abstraction

The word will find its own form, its own law,

Just as a newborn universe composes its own laws

From an infinite tableau of possible lawlessness.



The old certainty


The old certainty that like a hydra

Replenishes its anguished heads

Whenever I challenge its certainties

Dissipates now into a labyrinth of uncertainty;

On the lips of love, in vice of wild fantasy,

In the imagination that orgies back in time,

Upon the rim of every smashing glass.

In these confusing, sporadic, nightmarish little liberties

I find the feasts of freedom I so crave.


Confusion overflows,

I am powerless to explain the metaphysics of my being,

Nor begin to decide to what altar of purpose

I should devote my borrowed self.

It is absolutely insane to acknowledge

That I live in the no-man’s-land between life and death;

Between beginning and end there I must lie.

So much in-betweenness

That I can’t even decide

This way

That way




I consign myself to the prison of  soul-bound wanderlust

The way a criminal announces himself insane

To acquire the sanctity of the insane asylum.

I know I am crazy,

It would be sweet to dissipate yourself,

Like rain falling in the waves,

To the sweet certainty of heaven, hell,

The purpose of the cross, the vale of tears,

To know that you are the dream of some divinity

And the nightmare of inexistence;

To dream of the fruit of paradise not as a vision

But as a reality as real

As your own skin

Beneath your clothes…


That, that would be dulce et decorum,

That would be sanity,

That would be sweet sweet surrender.

But I cannot, after all, I am still a child, oblivious

Of everything except the death of mothers, pets and heroes;

Oblivious of the games I play even as I play them;

And children are always, forever nuts; so as long as I play

With the golden mother of curiosity by my side,

I will never surrender – no matter how confusing it all is,



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