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pitch black god8 Sep 2023

By Ariana Reines

The city was humming gently under me
Like an adolescent quaffing deeply
      from the cup of righteousness

Out of practice with my own world
I was looking at how someone else saw it

Longer than I realized
Longer than I care to admit

Those goggles left a mark on me
Then I stared at my own face

An invitation came with my face
To melancholy while Nature

Purred at the edges of my perception
And before me lay a broad road

Enjoining me to do of myself and make
Of myself according to the American

Tradition. Secretly I felt and knew
Things I had not perceived my body

Turning into secrets. In other words
I did not notice the mechanism

By which something within me noted
My experiences and apprehensions  of ‘the truth’

Would not be met with favor if I  spoke them
Which is not to say one speaks  only to find favor

Only that unreciprocated realities  have a boring
Way of haunting the cells

Pulling them somehow down
Like the countenance of Cain

Which fell one day and never rose
Again, and the fall of his face

Rhymed with the fall out of Eden
Leading to the first ******  and the invention

Of cities, where we now find ourselves
Each tower the ghost of a farmer

Who failed to meet the favor of the Lord


Anne Boyer is a poet and an essayist. Her memoir about cancer and care, “The Undying,” won a 2020 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. Ariana Reines is a poet, a performing artist and a playwright from Salem, Mass. “A Sand Book” won the 2020 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She runs Invisible College, a study hall for poetry, sacred texts and the arts. This poem is from her next book, “The Rose.”
Zywa Jun 2022
Changing one's name
after a scandal, it works
with time

Cain could do everything
he made tools
grew beans and grasses
with edible seeds and
built a house of loam

He created what he invented
but who still wants to know now?
His name has been black-washed

so the grandchildren just
had to deny him, no
their grandfather was Seth
the only real
son of Adam and Eve

who dug little canals
and made bedsteads
who created what he invented
The story of the flood solved the problem of the family tree. Lamech and his family survived, while Lamach and his family drowned.
Seth >> Enos >>>> Jared >> E >> Metusalem >> Lamech
Cain >> Enoch >> Irad >> M >> Methushael >> Lamach

Collection "From Sacred Scriptures [1]" #11
Zywa Jun 2022
Lilith was just like him -
from the clay, not as docile
as me; she left him

She prefers to roam
the world, seducing
men in the evening and robbing

families of their babies
so say the malicious tongues
that blacken everyone

who does not fit in their rules
It's true that she lives in trees
like a snake, I saw her once

at least, I think it was she
who praised me for my brain
and showed me the ripe fruits

With Adam I got two children
rib from his ribs, blood of my blood
The third was later made up

by the false tongues
that whitewash everything
that does not fit in their rules
Cain, the oldest, was called Seth by his descendants, to cover up that he committed a ******

Collection "From Sacred Scriptures [1]" #3
Black Sep 2020
pain the teacher

the only instructor who instructs after punishment

the only teacher who flogs you without a cain

it teaches you the bittersweet truth

it knows nobody

it is a respecter of noon

it won't stop until you learn.

the best instructor anyone can ever have.

take or leave it one way or the other everyone gets trashed
pain pain pain
Pain it's keeps coming, it will teach you almost all you need to know ...
Ylzm Jul 2020
Sine qua non and election's affirmation
Knowing the unwritten and unrevealed
But, alas enlightened eyes see not its kind
Adrift in sea of strangers bearing the mark of man
Ylzm Apr 2020
Banished to wander the Earth
But rebelled to build a City
Babel was temporary, now COVID19
For worship of numbers makes Money, and Man, god.
King Arthur Apr 2020
I can’t help but be a child of Cain
My hands too ****** to be holy
Too stained to be washed clean

I was once told that we are our own thoughts and actions
So does that make me a ****** for being a bad person?
Is that all I’ll ever be?

The sin is strong in me
It’s the sin of not getting better
Of continuing the hurt
Past down, man upon man, wife upon husband, parent upon child, stranger upon stranger
Blood you keep coughing back up
That won’t leave your body

We touch so many people in our lives
But how many do we scar?
It’s human nature to both love and to maul
Especially on those close to us
Especially when we aren’t aware we’re even doing it

Now, I don’t believe in God
This poem isn’t religious in the slightest
But if I met him I would ask
Is Hell the last destination?
Can we ever get better?
Can our hands learn to be tender and to hold instead of trying to choke one another?
Is there still salvation for us, for people like me?

I don’t know what his answer would be
And I don’t think I’d want to find out
Ylzm Aug 2019
tattoos, the mark of Cain
instinctively inducing revulsion
stirring a mix of fear and hate
and of contempt and pity

today a common mark of man
mistaking individuality for identity
abhorrence for affirmation of being
and grotesque debasement for beauty

the mark of exile, rejection, and wickedness
now of fellowship, freedom, and choice
embracing the perverse to shock as all children do
now permanently etched, defiant without understanding

perhaps it is fitting and timely now
for the world is going the way of Cain
the mark of man is yet another sign
manifesting openly for those given to see
Ylzm Jul 2019
a shell, a rock, valueless
token of exchange
Cain's creation, perhaps,
impelled by hunger and his mark

today a non attributable lie
a picture of true faith
- but the sword still stands -
speaks more truth than any word can

deeper its insidious roots grow
for the greater its seeming efficacy
displacing the currency of love
for my enemies love me as themselves

but the lie is true
gnawing from the inside out
from nations, to businesses, to people,
a soulless heartless ******* remains

by the sword you live, by the sword you die
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