Ontology of God and Other Poems




Ontology of God

Big Mike says I read that dogs

don’t have a sense of time       a minute

is like an hour an hour like a day

             a day like a minute. The continuity

is skewed & time is placed without

thought into various boxes. I think

what it must be like to be

a dog because                 yes       I be 

with my dogs in this massive cage

             trying to exhaust every thread

of thought surrounding time. Maybe

that’s why we say things like Oh, [name]? 

Yeah that’s my dog & use dog

as a placeholder for when we secret

the names of those involved

             in the robbery stabbing         extortion. 

              We want to shake off the slough

of our numbered bodies            hieroglyphs

              in our skin sluiced onto the floor.

We want to live in a space 

free of calendars & clocks & the minutes

             we must share              but the high

fruits are not ready to fall from this

life. Not yet. Ciph & Civ claim God 

body & who am I to tell them otherwise

               when we all want to claim

master                            key to lock                    silo

to grain & again own the con-

tents of our own dufflebags & spoken

languages without restraint. Still

when I call Doc he says What’s good

God? & tells me about my god-

daughter           her mews & her small body

taking hold of the world around

             her. When I buried my faith

I didn’t dig deep                        no           I didn’t 

& from the dirt sprung forth a woman

I asked her                      I said What is your name?

& she just smiled past me      which left

me confused. When I woke up

            I went to commune with the poodle

down the hall who quietly trotted

around while her master

played cards. 

Bodies of Water

There are no empty vessels when everything has proper weight.
 — James Wood 

Sitting in the substance abuse class we talk

about moderation                     the therapist

                Elissa loosening the clenched jaws each man 

has labored for years to claim as his own

                          opening the floor to the stories we

claim. The watch-words are criminal thinking 

& this is commonplace. This is everyday

in the joint                       correction. That’s what this is

             correction                           correction in the depart- 

ment of closely governed boxes.                  Bodies

of water are different                 no longer

signified in themselves                     but              these            bursting 

symbols                       overflowing with money &

drugs & the women we see in photo-

copied porn. They become our desires 

transposed amongst the pasts we had assumed

to be ours                       stories we lived in real-time

             yet are read fast by this institution 

as empty glasses                         vessels to be filled

& tossed long into whatever ocean

borders the nation with the most bullets 

& the most mechanisms to keep us

from loading those bullets. We are thirsty

for any other ocean                 for bodies 

of water                      not                       weighted with the remnants

of these floating cages                            of correction

             of anything unseen                               but still policed. 


I don’t know how I ended

up         here       yeah actually I

know. I called it              I made myself 

a dumb prophet & cuffed my own

wrists like a God who creates

& creates         & creates         too 

many worlds to wave his hand                     or

whatever he believes he’s doing

             over & grant the prayers 

of his reckless children. He gets

mad because he gets shown up.           He

fails at the feet of his 

creations. I know how

I got here.         When I first came

down    they tested my criminal- 

ity by sitting me down

in a small room                        an office

           giving me a battery 

of statements like If my fam-

ily gets hurt I feel the urge

to retaliate & some 

people deserve to be pun-

ished (that one I laughed at). I was

to answer with agreement                      or 

strong denial. I must have

passed                             my report read Low Prob-

ability of Reoffense 

            but a sentence is a sentence

            & now it’s almost a decade

with more to go & all my files 

in a drawer full of other

men’s histories                      so many

histories. Do you know 

the stories       Do you know who

I am       Do you understand

what I am           Can I tell you 

             I’ll try to sing this broken

song    & summon my tribe      ones

who will one day carry me 

home    & damn            damn       I know

it’s a moonshot but        maybe

you’ll come find me before I lose 

myself in this jungle. 

Originally appeared on Logic Magazine Read More



Whispering Monuments

Whispering Monuments

n this beautifully illustrated talk, China historian Robert Bickers explores the lost monuments of Shanghai. Leading us through the complex...

The Roof-Watcher

After the Agamemnon of Aeschylus Late afternoon of that unending year’s first day, I cringed at clangs, at god strikes...

The Kyoto School

[Revised entry by Bret W. Davis on November 28, 2023. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] The Kyoto School (Kyōto-gakuha)...