July/Aug 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 4 PoetryJuly 1, 2015 |

The Story of Up

The gods, the sages of almost all traditions say, are manifest in the smallest of things. The vine of morning glories on a broken fortress wall. The hieroglyphic of rust and barnacles on a keel. Wasp nest. Ant hill. Or the koi in the pond: those slow gold loaves. And smaller, lowlier. Aren't the gods to be found in a single mustard seed? in the fine hairs on a tuber? And smaller yet, and lowlier yet. Yet say "the gods" as a test of this, and where does anyone look but up? ❦ Perhaps because the neocortex is upper, and the brain stem below. In any case, we already see in 3500 BC "a caste of people, distinct from the general population... a combination of ruler, priest and scientist," who were buried near (or inside) megalithic temples, a group apart, whose teeth exhibit the signs of a uniquely luxurious diet. Workers in metal, fire-tending specialists, were charged with the powers of metal gods and fire gods. Yes; even that early, we ceded the concept of Unity to the concept

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Albert Goldbarth has been publishing collections of poetry for over four decades, two of which two have received the National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest, Selfish, was published by Graywolf Press in May 2015. He tests his patience by living in Wichita, Kansas.

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Wrist Beep

By Albert Goldbarth

The gods, the sages of almost all traditions say, are manifest in the smallest of things. The vine of morning glories on a broken fortress wall. The hieroglyphic of rust […]

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