Saturday, January 5, 2013

"The Agnostic's Prayer," Mark Flanigan

"The Agnostic's Prayer"
(Mark Flanigan)

                 "Lord/I had such a good time and I don't
                  regret anything--/What happened to the prayer
                  that goes like that?"
                                        Franz Wright, "Kyrie"

The morning is of no concern to me
despite there being nothing more embarrassing

than a corpse. Little
dead feet, little dead hands

with no one to hold them.
So little dignity in life,

and even less in death. We
go for a swim at 7 a.m. or

play cards while the sun rises.
The morning is of no consequence to us.

Every time I flick on a light switch
a bulb burns out. Every time I

fill the soap dispenser, it overflows.
Maybe there is a lesson here.

Outside the rain falls as if angry.
Inside there is a spider in the tub

I must remove before running
water. What if we are only spiders

living precipitously by a drain? I live that way,
love that way. It’s not worth being saved

by something less kind than me. Fuck mystery,
give me joy; that is mystery enough. 

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain: Books
are like parents, they mostly show you

how not to live. I haven’t embarrassed any
body by taking my web underground.   
"The Agnostic's Prayer" by Mark Flanigan appears in Versus (Aurore Press), a new book of poems he shares with fellow Cincinnati writer Nick Barrows. Flanigan's "Exiled" column recently ended an eleven-year run in Cincinnati publications but this is likely to mean more of the poet's sightings on local stages and pages.  More work and information can be found at the author’s personal website,

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