Summer 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 3 Poetry |

Reading the Not-Written

agrapha (not written): the sayings of Jesus not in the Bible i. A papyrus leaf from the desert trash heap's mutilated oracle, with one word left there of some outspired holy utterance: Poverty, saith the moth-eaten Saying. ii. By what schema has the rhapsode stitched together the song & the agrapha been stricken from the Gospel & left wandering from lips to unhallowed lips, out of papyrus rips, the no-longer-sanctified places where worms ate through the scroll just where Christ opened his mouth to speak or wrote into the dirt       You have received mercy [ . . . ] become they wrote [ . . .] book, as[ . . . ] to you again [ . . . ] and just as they [ . . . ] hear and [ . . . ] they [ . . . ] understand. Do you not desire, then, to be filled? iii. & so say the doubted Sayings: A man is unapproved, if he be untempted. & so says the known- to-be-corrupted text: There is nothing buried which shall not be known.

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.