“You can’t write the clear biography
of the aches and pains inside your skull.”
– Jim Harrison
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling
to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense,
once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
– James A. Baldwin
The icons erected before the altar
are triune: Anger, Hate, and Prejudice.
And every keeper of every altar
know that they are righteous in their keeping.
Each morning and every evening
the devout enter their private sanctuary –
they enter, every one of them, on their knees –
and bow and pray and praise them;
for they are graven in each worshipper’s image.
At the end of their devotions, they offer
petitions in the name of each image –
Anger, Hate, and Prejudice –
and they wave a censor, wafting holy smoke.
Before the censor is lit, the penitent takes
a square of paper which they will light
on the flame of a candle of willful ignorance.
On that paper will be written their greatest fear.
* * *
Day 16 of Jilly’s “28 Days of Unreason,” where we respond to prompts culled from the writings of poet, Jim Harrison.