Friday, January 31, 2003
Main Entry: dog·ma
Pronunciation: 'dog-m&, 'däg-
Inflected Form(s): plural dogmas also dog·ma·ta /-m&-t&/
Etymology: Latin dogmat-, dogma, from Greek, from dokein to seem —more at DECENT
1 a : something held as an established opinion; especially : a definite authoritative tenet b : a code of such tenets
2 : a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church
ANTI-DOGMA FROM THE BEKAH CHURCH OF WONDER
sort of a poem about eternity
Excerpts from an anthology
Catechisms at the house next door
Semester long dowsing into the ancients of the earth
Clicking to beyond, clicking back to reality
television – its content
the president – a world’s folly
Sages and experts, healers and mediums,
They all know the answer, they say,
They all offer it up to me
The way strained squash is spoon-flown into the mouth of an infant.
It’s good for me, and when I finish
Eating the shit they keep feeding me,
Oh we will all feel so much better you see.
Twenty or thirty or a million or three
Each alone holds the answer you see.
When I am all filled up, I will feel as serene
As the celibate nuns and priests
Who were miraculously called by god to forego their humanity,
surrender their sexuality
for a mass a wafer a rosary,
All good work all god’s work you see.
Until society evolved beyond the repression and denial of
Puritanical teachings, and the Fathers’ babies learned
of their true identities, and the Fathers so pure, pious, and holy –
Holy shit. I hear they’re starting to prosecute secularly.
Another sage holds the answer for me. She is soon to be
a Master in the ancient healing art of Reiki, she is psychic, empathic,
she feels for me, feels she can help me. Her father is dead;
this proves that she knows grief as well as me.
She practices mediumship and shares with me that my daughter,
The one who was killed violently, abruptly, and recently, is in the room.
“Bekah is suffering physically,” because of me. The psychic says compassionately,
“Bekah cannot move on until you’re done grieving.”
This is supposed to comfort me, or at least stop my weeping.
Would either result be satisfactory?
The next answer comes to me in an letter sent by a kind
and kindred spirit, kindred except that
unlike me, he is finished seeking,
having received enlightenment, wisdom, and especially,
relief [from doubt, fear of death, all spiritual pain].
I am writing to share what I have learned, he tells me. Reading your poems
I could not help but see a soul in pain and I thought, shouldn’t I really
Reach out to this person spiritually so that she can see that she need not grieve?
It pleases me especially to assure you
Bekah and you will certainly be together again,
right here on earth, although you may be related differently.
For example, look at me. I once was mother of the woman I now plan to marry,
whereas my own mother was [I swear] the dog who faithfully
padded and panted everywhere the son,
who is now my fiancée, wandered in that life. So you see although you cannot be
and cannot have it all the same, you can relax
knowing you will never lose it too. Know this is true; you heard it from me.
Don’t fret revenge or worry justice, a wannabe wise woman says to me,
“Absolutely nothing happens that was not meant to be.”
Believe it or don’t, but you should, she says, because this pain and this grief I see in you,
it’s wearing on me. That means it’s got to be wearing too much on you.
Smile, now, be happy. Bekah is, as are we all, precisely where she is supposed to be.
Indeed she is exactly where she chose to be, back before her life,
When she was writing down her destiny. Why cry, she counsels me,
“You decided to mother a martyr and that turned out to be the martyr Bekah chose to be.”
Now swallow your squash, so we can proceed
to eternity confident and serene,
now you know, thanks to me, that you only “think” you are bereaved, that you
only “think” that Bekah’s murder means that her death was not “meant to be.”
There are no victims she declares decisively; we plan our own destinies, create our realities.
When she finally leaves, she says, “No need to thank me,” modestly,
“My thanks is in knowing that you know what I know,
since I know what I know is the truth.”
The messages boil down over time, so that eventually every
Messenger tells me essentially the same thing: “Let it go.” Shamans and laymen alike –
Hell, everyone knows. Let it go. You gotta let it go.
Even those who never venture a guess about
That inscrutable excruciating mystery that is death –
Even those who have made their leap, to the school of extinction, even those
Whose doctrines are dogma slimed and twisted until their jesus is an asshole called
Kip McKean and they really really know that Bekah is, unfortunately,
burning infinitely as we speak, even they eventually agree that
when it comes to this grief I must let it go.
In circles and churches on billboards through schools
at shrine wall or mosque with or without music, idols, statues, robes, postures, prayers, supplications, candles incense holding books
some call sacred, some find enlightening, others see as boring, peering
through sensory perception to find faith in eternity. Whether it be
karma and reincarnation or her very own seat next to god’s knee, whether in
the ether beyond earth’s atmosphere three miles of stairs from the Pacific,
or no “where” specifically, whether shopping and dancing and laughing
the way I maintain she should still be, or plucking at an ethereal harp, her face
the epitome of beatific piety, or assured that she will reincarnate to a
different time, face, name, same soul, same planet, same family,
There must be at least one million or three bona fide genuine documented dogmatted
Pre-traveled routes to the place I seek,
that place where I will know peace, the place
Beyond bereavement past grief, and at least as many people it seems,
who know the only route to that only place.
They stand with their spoons full of squash in hand, I swear they are dying
for the chance to force feed their beliefs into me. Equivocality? Not that I can see.
Respect for the prospective validity of any one or perhaps each one
of those personal “realities” that in reality
cannot be fairly described as anything but theory? No.
Buddhas, ministers, proselytizers, gurus,
All believers who “know” what you truly can no more than believe,
Disattach from your dogmas release your ologies, and
Now, Listen to Me
Pause, think. Regardless of the road you are on, speaking metaphysically,
if there is a name for your “religion,” it is rooted in mythology;
in the annals of our human race, many, many different myths have been recorded.
Can I get a witness please?
No? okay, not today … but if one day you find yourself
Traveling in this neck of hell, do look to me. I’ll hold you up, carry you,
even while reading and writing maniacally, questioning, always,
a bereft mother learns that she is bereft of answers permanently.
Learns to build faith within from beyond herself or any logical understanding,
the foundation soul deep,
the only enduring belief, the only higher power that yet speaks to me.
I won’t suggest that you let it go. I realize, profoundly, that answer
Won’t be rushed, I am intimate with the grief that will not eat squash, and now,
It is my turn to say, here is what I have learned about eternity:
Let it go is not an answer for me … it is an action that is only
necessary when the bereft is fully prepared to court and receive
and to let it go is not possible for far longer than the non-bereaved are able to believe.
Whether eternity is. That is the question to me.
The answer will always be a choice that is made by
Individual souls individually.
If there is eternity, and its inhabitants perceive it consistently,
Who do you perceive yourself to be if you really think
You can describe it to me?
Who has delusions; who sees, who does not see? when I can in a heartbeat
Introduce you to another person, or a million others, or three,
Who will say you are pushing a fucked up concept of eternity?
Please have enough respect to agree, among the living
We cannot ALL be right, when our versions of all non-life-on-earth
Are as varied as we, all humanity as we know it, here,
This planet, this galaxy, and virtually any one or one million theories
Could be, or could not be.
In our reality, truthfully, eternity
may be, or may not be.
Beyond that any answer demands a leap.
not to read a certain book hear some asshole preach
not to genuflect on our knees
not to fervently repeat hail marys
not to speak in tongues or swear we “see” jesus
not to “testify” in front of an audience to squash their disbelief
A soul alone makes a decision, one that cannot be made by anyone else.
Right, wrong, who knows what else in between, to believe anything
Even to refuse to believe requires that a person choose
to believe or not to believe.
Beyond that reality, the only offer of proof
I have ever heard, felt, seen, other than the phenomena Bekah shares with me,
Is the Love that obviously,
Permanently, fervently, ever so faithfully,
Believes in me.
Who am i, what am i
A picture's worth
I stand on the sand, and I'm rocking grief to sleep in my arms.
Comments by: YACCS