Dog, or: God


“Mario, what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic and a dyslexic?” “I give.” “You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there’s a dog.”

David Foster Wallace (1962 โ€“ 2008)
The Sabbath for Jews is twenty-five hours
It keeps the Jews more than they keep it.
A Jew,
I try to maintain tradition,
but not for
any non-existent God.
So, I don't write
poetry and avoid
making changes to
the physical world
on this weekly Day of
rest, despite my
finding more meaning in the
verses I
write than the nitty-gritty of
rituals; usually, I can
with it, but, sometimes, Shabbat is followed
another full-day holiday, and
that comes
out to an entire forty-nine
hours away
from my poetry writing,
which, frankly, drives
me crazy, and makes me
feel resentful of
the arbitrary
restrictions I have come
to find nearly
meaningless, after years of
religious practice and hours of
text study; once, I thought I wanted
become a rabbi. Ha! Dodged that bullet!

d’Verse: Meet the bar with dissonance

At d’Verse, writers were prompted to write poems employing dissonance, which is harder than we may think, as we naturally want to sound pleasant. If it helps, try to describe something unpleasant, to write off your anger, sorrow or angst.

A few ways to do this.

  • Break up assonance by using all different vowels you could;
  • Break up the meter, and make your poem stumble on two left feet;
  • Use harsh consonants, putting some firework in your verse.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

43 thoughts on “Dog, or: God”

  1. love the quote and your poem combo David and laughing at this
    “text study; once, I thought I wanted
    become a rabbi. Ha! Dodged that bullet!”

  2. The quote is hilarious…the poem, not so much. Religious ritual can be meaningless…only Messiah can save (and He’s always available). Shabbat shalom, David!

    1. Lynn,

      I’m happy for you and others that you find meaning in your faith. Personally, I find absolutely no reason to believe in any of it.

      As a thought experiment, if you had been born a Muslim in a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia, what would your faith have been then? You would have most likely ended up a Muslim with different beliefs than you have now – but that would not have been based upon the beliefs themselves… only upon the circumstances of your birth. Or – if you had been born a Hindu in India, etc., etc…

      So, again, I’m happy for you – but I have absolutely zero belief in the coming of any messiah – I find no proof of it in the world we occupy.

      Much love,

    1. โค Harshi โค ~ thanks! Shabbat and the Shavuot holiday on Sunday are now over – so I'm back at the keyboard ๐Ÿ˜€

      Much love,

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