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Page 73

It is my faith (perhaps my knowledge)
that everything is alive, even the molecules
of concrete. What has life as its source
lives. Thus, when I, alive, laugh or make my arm
move, we say my body is alive. What responds
intelligently lives. What can recognize us
lives. But what is an intelligent response?

A determinist argues that all action is
mechanistic, chemical, having no core of choice
or being, that choice itself is a brain state
best described via neuro-chemistry, that so many
scadrillion atomic and subatomic particles,
lightning-stirred in a primordial pot
(add another pinch of carbon, two cups oxygen...),
will convulse, contort, seethe, moil, condense,
coalesce, ferment and eventually spit out
from its writhing, unknowing cloud (PLOP!)

this book (wet and shivering), its pages strewn
with these markings, spit out this pen, this hand,
this body, your eyes following where my hand

I think, rather, that before the beginning
is pure causation (what I am, what you are),
a nothing that can create and admire its creations,
that every impulse, every particle we can perceive
is our agreed-upon creation, its persistence
dependent on our willingness to forget
that we've created it -- how else could we
have a game? Barriers vanish for one who realizes
his part in putting them there. To make things last,
we must be complex, lest right hand remember
the left hand's doing.

Note: Stanza 4 (and much else in these poems) owes a great deal to writings that may be found at the following sites:



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