A poem and a judgment: Passage Prize winners, 2022:- by Curtis Yarvin Second place
A Summer’s Confession
The stairs down out into the street become
a silent warzone between
Tremors in my mind of different futures.
None are beautiful and all degrees of slavery.
I am weak and cannot write beauty today, Lord.
The clinician patronizes my anger
as misplaced fear and denial of my subliminal
concession to our emerging biosecurity state.
He is right that I am afraid, Lord.
Fearful of an alienation so sophisticated
and omnipresent that all the Being ruminating
under your design is raped into checkpoints
So many shackled jesters outline the perimeter.
Sycophantic and immiserated in their obedience,
with words of cruelty as their final great anesthetization against Christ’s love.
They perish in hatred of their own kin and I am at loss to understand, Lord.
I pray for Mercy, Lord, because I am still hurtling through
your world with nearly nothing to say.
All lyrical progeny,
All acceptance of suffering as love,
becomes the gurgling moans of a maimed horse,
running over plains of rock in an endless
want of death or respite from this torture.
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This is a religious poem. In fact… I believe it’s actually a Christian poem. Dear reader, you may not be religious, but you have to deal with that. (Lots of great people are atheists, including me, but you really can’t trust anyone who is actually anti-religious.)
This voice does not actually remind me of any poet in particular. But this is a poem of prayer—an extremely rare and difficult form. One of course must think vaguely of Christopher Smart—or even the KJV itself. These are not contemporary examples and this poem could not be mistaken for either. But as a poem of prayer it has this tone.
Now, whether or not you have ever prayed (I really haven’t, I’m afraid), there are two essential qualities a prayer has to have. It needs to be humble and it needs to be sincere.
A poem too must be sincere. Or it usually should be. But actually there is nothing less humble than a poem. This conflict is why the forms diverge too easily, and why it is hard to write a great poem that is also an address to the divine. It needs to have a kind of—glorious humility. (Note again that it earns its ending—no poem is above this.)
Maybe you don’t find that in this poem. I do and that’s why I gave it second place. Fuck you, all you New York art-hoes. Maybe you need to find Jesus. No—seriously.