Per Contra

Summer 2007


Plain Text Version - Poetry

Deluge by Donald Kuspit


deluge i
the bird was a burden,
                       and so was wisdom,
although less importune,
                  until the rip tide
of silence
        dragged words under,
and pilings of consciousness
into the oblivion
           of the unconscious.
gods begin 
            in amphibious feelings
lured from the infinite
                   by fading light,
the dew-like dust 
             on the memory
of what might have been.
grows molten
               in the cold sun,
awakening angels
              from forgotten heavens,
looking for nests 
            in the gray clouds.
but the bird continues to fly
                      in circles of abandonment,
screeching wisdom as it is swallowed
                                whole by the sky,
while the wind carries its corpse
                             toward the light.
there was no resting place
                     on the shadow
it cast on the water.
                 it hovered like a ghost,
waiting for christ
           to teach it to walk on water.



deluge ii



godís voice

            dragged under,

having lost ultimacy.

                  unable to rest

their wings, 

            angels were ground down

by the sky,

            and pulverized

into reckless light.                 .

             the grayness spread

in a shroud of clouds,

            more durable

than any light,

               more ancient than darkness.


let the bird take

          as many flights as it needs

to find new land,

            and then to know

there is none,

               only the everlasting bleakness

of abandonment

             in the ark,

where it must  live out

              its days until

all life becomes extinct,

                       and the faith

men have lost

         will return to god,

once again free

          to experiment

with the emptiness

                in search of his own fullness.


refreshed by the deluge,

                   he will nest

in the ruins of man,

                and create beasts

more miraculous

            than any angels,

but he will never again

              create the human beast.


deluge iii



pillaged by passion,

                   the temple of thought

became a ruin of words.

                         ideas are broken

like ancient statues,

                losing their promise

of glory,

      their meanings crumbling,

their marble pockmarked

                  by time,

shadow staring blankly

              from their empty eyes,

their arrogance embittered

                    by dust,

the only intimacy left

                   in the inevitable.


fragments are strewn

                    in dreams

waiting to be excavated

                  like missing pieces

of a puzzle

           that can never be finished.

but the enigma

          remains intact in the tomb,

protected by angels

                   from forgotten heavens,

hovering in the passing wind.

                            words finally lose

their mooring in meaning,

                          and wander restlessly,

bricks from the babels

                      of the past

unable to build a future.

                               silence corrodes

them completely.

              the novel thought

becomes a blunder,

                   true faith

betraying itself.

          oblivion sinks its teeth

into the carrion

        of consciousness.


death has shown

             its primordial wisdom,

loss its fury.

            one must have a clear memory

of fate

           to have an afterlife.


deluge iv



the infinite faded

           into a skyline of feeling,

drugging words

          with innocence,

deluding them

        into timelessness.

then the clouds settled,

               crumbling the buildings

into mist.

       the city became an emporium

of emptiness.

        deluged by shadow,

it lost breath,

             becoming a mirage

able to give meaning

                    to meaninglessness.


deluge v



am i real,

       or is it only birds

who suffer unreality,


in the empty infinite?


the sky unburdens

                its innocence

in icicles,

       dripping into slow mirages

of wisdom,

           clear as ancient crystal


       the cracks of time.


i am no more real 

             than the embrace

that makes us real,

                the purely real

a wasteland of losses,


possibilities abandoned


the narrow path

                  of our intimacy,

rising above the treeline.

                  all is finally clear,

and the birds soar


forgetting that we

             are their prey.


deluge vi



eloquence at last,

              in the mist

that hung

       in the unspoiled silence,

glistening like crystal

                  in the hesitant sun,

my wakefulness lurching

                 towards the limits

of the eye,

           urgency in every gentle touch

of light,

    our intimacy spread

like a sheltering shadow,

                 adding majesty

to the birdless sky.


                the dawn never lost its freshness

even as darkness labored

                     in the mind,

seeding the emptiness

                with idle thoughts,

as though they were myrmidons

                                of meaning

rather than the waste matter

                       of the senses.

death hurried briskly

                  through time,

making every moment

               the last,

and most lasting,

                    for each outlasts

my longing for you,

                 throwing idle darts

at your flesh.

              one will stick

in memory

                  so that we can forget ourselves.




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