Djuna Barnes

The Personal God Creeds of a kind we've always had To crouch by our dim fireside. And here some gossiping wench arose And the worth of some good name died Yea, the whole stale world went rocking To the sting of her poisoned heels, As a sky-car mangles the stars For lack of the guiding wheels. Though all of us sin most fully When hushed in our neighbourly sweats, Yet sometimes a man goes empty For the urge of things, and forgets. We stick to the same old pattern, All daubed and kissed and marred, But I'll use my own gray plaster And I'll build me a personal God. I'll breathe out his flaccid belly, I'll cup out his sightless eyes, I'll sob in the labour bending, As I handle his plastic thighs. And he shall be rash of judgment, And slow in the use of the rod. My God shall giggle in spite of himself, In the way of a personal God. He shall heed no other's message; He shall follow no dusty path; He'll believe in no written pity; Nor yet in a written wrath; He'll breed no circle of platters Nor take root in your yearly fees; He'll ask no patient toll of tears Nor the terrible toll of the knees. So, when all of you flock to your fancy, The God that is always the same, My God shall halt and be human And his judgment shall halt and be lame Yea, the devil came down your pass, Blown in on the strength of the breeze, And because your Gods were duplicates He shattered you on his knees. I'll work my clay as I find it, All hushed as it lies in the sod, And he shall be built for better or worse In the way of a Personal God. spoken = Monica Ammerman