Creation Myth

I. When We Were Angels

Maybe God died.
And a little bubble of spit began to rise from his cold lips.
And that was the world.

And we grew in a most scientifically viable way, as something like bacteria, on the ductile globe of film.

And we sensed, as we began to measure curvatures and things, that there was something beyond our bubble.

And some looked upward and outward into empty limitless space and imagined an empty limitless God, which is to say, no God, or if that strange finger of faith needs to quiver, a dead God.

And others looked inward and downward and thought they saw the vacuum of a huge throat not breathing, vague, refracted through the bubble, but there in the same sense that something is definitely something.

II. The Danger of Technology Is Proportional To the Danger of Ideas

Time passes.
And certain technologies allow us to leave God’s gravity and soar out into the expanse.
And certain other technologies allow us to penetrate, dissect, dismember with a pathologist’s skill.

And then, three geniuses come along and have between them a theory, a process, a harnessing of storm grief, which they say can reanimate the corpse of God.

Half the world says this is the best thing to do.
The other half says that as soon as God comes back to life, he will suck in a breath and the whole bubble will implode and burst.

The debate rages and dangerous technologies are stockpiled—every faction has its own Frankenstein machine.

And it is said that buttons could even accidentally be pushed.

III. The Writing Down In Words Makes It True

Then they who had gone off into limitless space return.
And they have found a diary (painstakingly interpreted from the hieroglyphics of some nebulae).

And although the pathologists grumble, it is read by everybody, and it appears that God, in utter, utter loneliness and no hope, no hope at all, swallowed some grim belladonna, some quiet gulp of hemlock to cure his case of suffering.

Because, as we understand all too well, a dream of belonging is like a tumor grown to behemoth proportions which we drag behind us.

An instinct for death that slows and slows us.

And these tumors, enormous and callused on the bottoms, dream of being cut free.
And we dream of being cut free. And we dream of freeing them.

Because what grew without our will, will continue to grow without us when we are stilled, and will continue to drag itself when our dragging days are done and our cosmically insignificant libido has gone under.

At this time cosmic insignificance becomes quite popular.
And all out of sympathy with the book, that diary.

How noble that being, and as for us, how sad that we continue on, persist parasitically as the gooey side reaction of the tragedy of a genius.

Something about diaries has always been utterly convincing.

And enough button pushers are convinced of a version of salvation, an honorable redemption through audience participation.

And they push those buttons, and the buttons have been pushed.

And the storms are broken like rude but beautiful stallions, and their dangers milked by the breast pumps of our ingenuity.

IV. Science and Religion Unite: The Fall of Man

A shiver buzzes through God’s body
like a slender current.
And his mind feebly capsizes into life.

And the fatal breath is drawn.

And the bubble pops insignificantly like a thought vanishing from above the head of a cartoon character to designate to the audience an idea up in smoke, or maybe a lack of attention span, or a passing from the world of daydreams to a world of inevitable conclusions, inevitably disappointing.

We plummet into the mouth and are swallowed—all is moist, long-dead darkness.

V. Finally, a Justification for Literary Theory

While falling or sliding along
on rivers of mucus, it occurs to someone that the diary could have been a concoction (although it was legitimated as God’s own work) not of a being pure, and out of simple innocence, simply honest.

But of a rather demented fabulist, a maker of fictions, a kind of avant-garde prankster pulling the wool over the eyes of the logically trusting.

An intellectual huckster, a traveling tent preacher-auteur who had a terrible way of saying, “The moral of the story is . . .” and bringing about a bitter enlightenment to the human condition.

The kind that makes us spit and disagree frantically while we know it’s really too late, too late . . . and we’ve been made.

And then it all becomes so obvious that existence has always been founded on fictions, models, what-ifs.

That story has always clothed the naked ape of reality, evolved to fit into its suit.

VI. Or—Willful Suspension of Disbelief

In this story it is too late, of course, but—
God rises up pristinely, Christ-like.

He has executed through, not so much trickery, but, let’s call it, utter faith—luminescent, unbelievable faith in the impossible occurrence of mankind—the serendipitous blooming—the miracle of resurrection in grand Houdinian fashion.

Were we all dupes?
All victims of our perspective to a sleight of hand?
Were we glued to our chairs in the audience precisely where we were supposed to be?
Are we so predictable, even to a God who didn’t know we existed?
To some vague formulaic rhythm of the universal round?
As though we have no free will whatsoever, no choice to choose or not to choose?

We ask ourselves this as we are passing through the intestines, and we seethe with bile and are passed on and passed and excreted.

Fate now seems to be like the sensation of suspense afforded by a good tale.

Irrepressible, even if it is predictable.

VII. Humans and Their Nagging Suspicion of the Divine

And now this is the creation story.
Because only now is the lump we’re living on the earth.
Only now are we human beings.

It took all this just to get here.

And now we look out into that distance and see . . . or we see inside ourselves, but only as one sees inside oneself as he is separated from that which is his tower of perception, his footstone, his basis for a sense of himself as an individual—

The back of a tall chair and the back of the head of God (the hair thinning somewhat) and hear the clicking of the typewriter as he composes his next demise.

We are all anxious where we sit to contribute our own chapters to the anthology.

A ruse must grow exponentially though.

And there is a cleverness so immense and far beyond our understanding.

A hook-handed devilishness that knows so well the most ancient craft of misdirection, pinning us between illusion and entertainment like a butterfly in a display case.

The furry worm trapped between the bedazzlement of its wings, which it toiled so hard in the darkness to grow.

VIII. The Scribe’s Prologue (Inspired by a Vision
of St. George Hull Conceiving the Cardiff Giant)

My hunch—
is that the way we turn our noses up and cast our eyeballs away is quietly burrowing a hole in us like the spiraling bit of a hand drill sneaking up through the floor of a bank vault in an old cinematic heist.

We are still the fools of the language, queuing up at the pronged tongue of the barker for the latest Bird Girl of salvation . . .

Come hoax or revelation.

And we’ll fall again hook, line, and sinker.
And pay our dollar at the door.
And everyone will shout amen.
And there will be much laying on of hands.

For there is a sucker born every minute to turn the page and believe the tale is true.

And Halleluiah to that!

Halleluiah, and sign me up!
And take my money.
And take my life.
And call me Adam if you like.
Or Mister. Or Buddy. Or Pal. Or Joe. Or Bub. Or Slim. Or Dude.
Or, simply, Man.
Or even, Son.

I’m your everloving Mark.

[see note on this poem]