this, that, and the Other

identity, alterity, and everything in between

Month: November, 2011

a Creed

I believe in the mothers

who bore the earth and who bare the earth still

like so much clay on their shoulders,

and for whom the earth groans

deep in the joy of its naked flesh;

 

I believe all is conceived in the

darkness of a miraculous sorrow and

born into a light of a name which,

if we could speak, would make us one

 

even here so far below heaven;

 

and there is a profanity so holy

we can only taste of the womb thereof;

 

that we must grind ourselves down

to mere pulp or ash of the bark

of some tree before we can whisper

its name into the ears of our sleeping fathers,

 

who are the great devourers of all and lovers of all

 

and whose night-dreams are never ending;

 

I believe in the holiness of the breath

of everything that dies, whose breath

both in the worm and mother alike

is the same in life and prophecy;

 

whose singing is dance

and whose song is the body

which is forever and always being born

and is forever and always beautiful, even though

you will hear it is never beautiful enough;

and the soul too is beautiful, far more than enough,

and its beauty is the beauty of all things,

a beauty that, if you could touch,

could change the world, and all things in it.

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love poem

I love you like ass

or maybe the smell

of sex that pours

out when we open

and close like two

lids on a mattress.

I love you like a hole,

like digging myself

out of a hole or losing

myself in a hole and

being a hole for you

to be wholly and utterly

lost in. What spaces

this mouth has for

you tonight! and what

mornings this body

has inside for you.

I am here and wet with

desire like morning

dew. I love you like

the taste of loving you.

Polytheism

We forget, sometimes, how many goddesses

and gods there really are. Take just the Torah,

for instance. Sure, we have Yahweh, the righteous

one, but we have the many-breasted goddess,

and the god who appears in fire or pillar of

cloud, and, if we include the prophets, there’s

Lady Wisdom, which is only to name a few. It

seems silly to pick favorites, although a fair share

of world religions ground themselves upon this

sort of favoring, and, oddly enough, those who

feel it their duty to choose just one favorite god

or, much more rarely, goddess, seem to me to

pick the least interesting ones possible. The just

god or merciful god or the suffering god. But sometimes

I imagine, if just for a moment, how much different

it all would’ve been if instead of a Trinity those church

fathers—for, despite the prevalence of women, there

were no church mothers then, which, one imagines,

played no small part in deciding a deity, let alone one

that consists of three persons—proposed such a god who

walks about the garden, enjoying his fruit, and, on

occasion, searches out the body and inquires of our

nakedness. Or, as proposed somewhere later, she was

more like a giant hen, frightened but willing to do

almost anything to keep her chicks safe from the cold.

Sometimes, I really wonder, what kind of world we would

have if people gathered on Sunday mornings to joyously

laugh at the god who, after wrapping up his earth about

him like a blanket in a whirlwind, asked us all to touch

ourselves and quit our weeping, join him in song for awhile

about sea currents or lions perhaps, and who, on such

a Sunday, would come down and walk among us, asking

in the most gentle but earnest of voices where the rain comes

from, and, if we know of a place, where he could find some.