a wonder of indifferent efficiency

December 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’ve been doing a bit of alchemy of late, trying to turn more or less finished bits of prose (some excerpted here) into lightly versed poetry. No gold as of yet — none budgeted — but I am enjoying myself. This is the most recent attempt. The source is a passage I’ve posted before, perhaps even more than once. I’ve always had a soft spot for it, what can I say, and confess I’m enjoying tinkering with it yet again.

(I pray you indulge me.)

* * *


O . . . his jaw dropped agape,
Hea-ven-ly . . . his three-syllable smile,
Fa-ther . . . his cheekbones retreated
into confession.

In the beginning he so created the sinner and the sin.
Sin was inarticulate and vague,
more notion than idea,
the babbling incoherence of unharnessed will.

His curiosity groped these depths and said:
Let there be pride. And pride was made.
He saw the pride and he called this pride, life,
and the fruit that it bore, death. The first sin.

Then he said:
Let there be a divide set within confession.
His was divided from the others, and
he called these confessions his alone. The second sin.

Then he said:
Gather now all my confessions and press them together:
behold the stage of their performance.
He called the stage, lust, and the confessions gathered, regret.

And he said:
May that lust should write its own script and scenary,
such that one need never confess again.
And it was so.

Lust closed itself to confession, and tongued instead the bits and pieces
of language: the depicted dicks and metaphoric mounds
that redden the cheeks and ready the flesh;
the repetitional hums and moans muffled, of this, the third sin.

Then he said:
May that all lust lacks be exposed to the light of its desire.
And it was so. He made the two great desires:
the greater desire to feed the flesh, the lesser to sustain the soul.

He made that these should never be satisfied, that their objects be within reach
but beyond grasp; that the portion of those desires granted to another be envied.
He made that the envy of another should be an object of desire.
And he saw that he wanted yet more, the fourth sin.

Then he said:
May that this hunger never be met, so that the lust protected by greed,
and grown of pride, be its nourishment.
He saw that it, the fifth sin, was so.

And he saw that if it was not necessarily good,
it at least seemed realistic, saying:
Increase and multiply all that I lack,
so that I might too increase and multiply, and lack evermore.

Then he said:
Out of gluttony’s belly will come vengeance,
for the objects desired are themselves desirous. From the
dumbest herds creeping to the wisest minds teaching, all will know wrath.

And he saw that it was so:
For the abundance of some shall come from the stock and the back of others.
This will be called natural and order, and will render anger not acted upon fear,
which will fester into resentment, which will explode into moments of rage.

May that rage smolder before and after its eruptions,
such that its causes are indistinct from its effects,
as the sixth sin is, he saw,
from the sinner.

The world of sin, in his confession,
was thus created,
and it was, he declared:
a wonder of indifferent efficiency.

Anticipating the rages against the created order,
incorporating all threats to the confessor’s pride,
and hungering always for others, the confessed,
he could perhaps be forgiven for falling asleep: this, the seventh sin.


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