Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Psalm

Argument

(S) Being a good people, if we were wrong, we would change.

(S) We would not change.


Proverbs

Without passion, no reason.

Without mind, no body.

Without body, your soul.

Without point, our purpose.

There must be an extraordinary.

There are contradictions.

A dog's skull is slightly thicker than our own.

We will have coffee, and, after breakfast, a short walk.

We will wear shaggy coats and carry sidearms. There will be a game of chance. We will lose. We will win. We will ascend to the throne and make apple fritters drenched in warm syrup.


Arise criminals!

We will find pockets of peat and hot cross buns.

If you have no daughters, marry your sons.

Oh, what lidless day, when they took my baby away.


Psalm

I do not intend to hurt anyone.

I did not intend to hurt anyone.

O Jerusalem, we gutless few delighting

sobre tierra de libres

In perspicacity

what you would see if you were not

drown'd in sound and sight

wooly-headed as a chrysanthemum

literal as the lamb.

What we could do as one in two,

our prayers made hand-in-hand

you are my voodoo chile


my voodoo chile

Were pity pure birthright

and charity simplicity;

Were babies born not guilty

and ladies told the truth

were human nature natural

and

catastrophes unmanned,

were people made of popsicles,

accliving the summer sun

were lidless pearls more decorous,

and all our battles won

were these the these which would us please

there'd be no need for Americans

for heart would will what it would want

and all of art be

damn'd.

Credit


Copyright © 2010 by Vanessa Place. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Vanessa Place

Vanessa Place's books of poetry and conceptual writing include Dies: A Sentence (Les Figues, 2006), a 50,000-word, one-sentence novel in verse.

Date Published: 2010-12-10

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/psalm-5