A Confession

I am not a learned man,

as I sit in this empty room I admit

the diplomas on my wall are

certificates of debt – nothing more;

perhaps if my learning did not come

through an untamed curiosity

and fits of wild distraction

I could speak higher of my higher education.


My library is a study in chaos:

there’s enough poetry to persuade me

some minds are vast as the universe;

there’s enough fiction to convince me

truths are verbs untangled by action

and the self is disclosed in a constellation of selves;

there’s enough science to remind me I’m bad at science;

and there’s enough theology on the shelves

for me to concede that, in the end

the only language for Truth is incarnate,

everything else is negation,

each finite word regresses to an infinite

Word too simple to understand –

the best I can hope for is better incomprehension.


My words are the modest epiphanies

of a middling mind

in an era where everyone writes poetry

and almost nobody reads it

and those who do could do better than

reading my wild scribbles,

these are a series of smoke and mirrors

and cheap parlor tricks,

a retread of ideas better minds have trod

and will tread again;

every word is a precious failure –

that raid upon the inarticulate,

whose best hope is in failing well;

perhaps they are all I have to remind myself

that the void is only a vacant room

waiting to be filled.

© Jedidiah Paschall – February 2, 2019

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