M (trackstar99) wrote in cellardoor_,
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new poem : "mala in se"


mala in se



"BELIAL came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd Fell not from Heaven,
or more gross to love Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood"


—John Milton



Dearest Max, and also that dear Timothy
(for what epistle was ever written to any Max?) :

I write, first of all, to implore you to guard the trust.

I think you know better than I the errors we face as a world
and you know them as broad letters, as hefty type from a
well-worn letterpress, scent of oil and silverfish-gnawed papers
in the back of the hometown newspaper’s offices.

when the president visited Egypt they had to clear those narrow
streets left over from a Cairo of Ayyubid times to allow him through:
they had to cheer up the dust and present the glass face of the modern city.

somehow still, like an adventure movie, it was all mummies, tombs, palm trees, poor native kids in the streets . . .
what it is always when we see Egypt.


it must have been horrible for those gnostics on their pillars alone, with
only
God
by their sides, or even
those Coptics left alone, as Christians were not the star attraction—
not even those exotics ones no Christians here even know to exist
much less to share any brotherhood with.
and for Muslims? just as bad, because while all eyes were on them, they
were the eyes that mattered. it’s always the worst when you’re the one
expected to say something, to feel something, and the whole world waits.

to Timothy, to the non-Timothy, the Tim I do not know but whom
was included anyways:

running a church is serious business. you should have just
sold insurance or become a dentist.


Max, back to you, let’s do what we always do, and find some pretense
to talk and eat when we’re supposed to be doing finer things.
[thanks again for the pen: it’s nice to have something made of an absurdly
expensive rare earth metal.] too much good metal goes for things like
jet engines and car parts while little services the spectacle as was done in days of old.
you know, when you think of kings and castles
even all those shields and swords and stuff were mainly just for show.

where you are, did you see it on CNN?
from Austria, what did you think of the president visiting Cairo?
don’t you suppose he’d rather gone to see the birthplace of Mozart
or to Prague? Cairo so seems like something you have to do, like a
salesman who goes to Dallas and Midland before he is sent to Miami,
Chicago, or LA. but that said, Tracey Thorn told us we can be happy
anywhere as long as we do take due care.

ok, a thicker question:
do you think there are any demons behind our
problems with religion and religions’ problems with other religions?

is this a case of mala in se? could it be Mechembuchus perhaps,
that old tinkerer given to broker in shiny evil things? could he have
made lead-lettered sacred texts do his evil ways, poison the wells of
ink instead of water and lead men astray to, in the names of their gods,
hate their neighbors? perhaps the good of Jesus Christ or some other fellow
with the best of intentions but worst of timing brought down the
demonic powers so no longer could they make our sun go supernonva,
no longer could they damn souls to hell, no longer could they turn seas to blood
and at their best they had to for once work for a living,
writing, reading, whispering, suggesting, dripping poison into ready minds.

it must have been a chore, given how in Harry Potter the wicked just have their spells and wands.

so when our president visited Cairo he went from a nation that doesn’t trust him to another one
that doesn’t trust him and both pretended to love it that he did this,
because really, it’s like when your widowed aunt stops by and stays too long to visit mom,
what else can you do but ask her to stay for dinner, come again also next Sunday after church?

I would like to blame people for their actions but gods are better blamed,
after all, if the dog bites someone we can sue the owner, sooooooo . . .
if the person blows up something, we might as well just levy the tort towards his god, right?

I think it’s a plan of which you’ll approve :

just remember both ”torquere” and ”attorney” mean ”to twist” if
you take them in literal terms. like, say,
Jezebel's conspirators against Naboth —and men in general who stir up contention.


—for Max, and for Will Livingston
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