Saturday, June 15, 2013


--I left a comment on a blog and my words presented for me to type to prove I'm real:  yurgic allusion.  I started thinking about the different types of allusions and what a yurgic one might be.  One could have real fun with this.

--That got me thinking about ghosts in the machine and the idea that maybe mechanical things have a consciousness too.  I thought about an interview I heard over a decade ago, about Daniel Dennett hypothesizing that computers are using us to help them evolve.  He made a compelling case.

--I remember him talking about the future of the planet moving from carbon based life forms to silicon based.  My brain did the switch that it sometimes did, and I had a vision of millions of silicone breast implants plotting world domination.

--When I first heard that interview, it wasn't possible to get an Internet connection through a cell phone.  The longer I live, the more I think of Dennett as a modern prophet.

--I have old-fashioned prophets on the brain this week too, as I've been writing a piece about John the Baptist for the Living Lutheran site.  I have a sense of how ancient people believed that God talked to them.  Occasionally, I wonder if God is talking to us through our machines.

--Is there a poem there?  Could God be sending messages through word verification experiments? 

--It's certainly not as clear as shrubbery bursting into flame but not burning or wild-eyed men with their locusts and honey.  Or maybe it's every bit as clear.

--These thoughts put me in mind of a poem that I wrote years ago, which I'll post below.  I'm surprised at the male gender of God in this poem.

--I've spent much of my adult life arguing for gender neutrality as much as possible, especially when it comes to the gender of God.  It's hard to escape my childhood vision of God, which seems to be the default of my brain.  My child brain envisioned God as a longer-bearded version of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

--But before I get too far away from the topic which made me want to post this poem, let me post it.  It was first published in the online journal Referential.

Rendered Mute

His angels return, abject in failure.
Lately, an angel makes an appearance,
and the human makes an appointment
with the doctor. Anti-psychotic
medications render his angels mute.

He used to be able to appear in visions,
back in the days when humans remembered
their dreams and dissected them over breakfast.
But his humans, ever more efficient, have banished
sleep from their daily to-do lists. They drop
into dreamless heaps and sleepwalk through the day.

Even the night skies defeat
his purposes. His industrious
humans, so smart, have lit
the planet with electricity and cloaked
the skies with smog. No one can see
the celestial signs he sends.

He even tries the personal touch, the old tried and true,
but decides to leave the shrubbery
alone after that woman yelled
at him. “I just planted that bush.
I don’t think Home Depot will take it back
in this condition. Have you priced plants lately?”

He considers withdrawal, the passive-
aggressive game of pretending not to care,
pretending there’s no pain.

He decides to mute his majesty.
From now on, he will not be the first
to speak. Instead, he decides to create spectacular
sunsets, and new colors, and a new species here or there.
He attends to the routine miracles: tumors that shrink,
lucidity repaired, relationships resurrected.
He sketches recipes for miracle drugs
in the laboratory dust of the pharmaceutical companies
and moves the iron clad hearts
of dictators who free the jailed opposition leaders.

1 comment:

Linda Anderson said...

I think this is stellar, Kristin Berkey-Abbott!