Tag Archives: god

Loyalty, Undeserved

is overrated—
a sort of
or respect.
Family first
was the original
default position
back when it
could easily
save your life—
it’s now a habit
bad as any
compulsion or
mad delusion—
like the one
that insists
your god
is so perfect
there is nothing
you are willing
to do
to challenge
his divine
and eternal




“My god”
was never something I said
when something shocked
or amazed or angered me—
back when I believed
in that thing which was once
at the center of my imagination—
that thing I thought
had the power to crush me
with an intelligence
I was too stupid to understand.

“My god.”
Still, it’s something I’ll never say—
for different reasons now.
The fear of punishment
for taking the lord’s name in vain
is as potent as the fires of hell—
which means there’s no power
in that phrase and no power
in that awful place
that exists only in the imaginary
glitches of our intelligent minds.


DeMaris Gaunt


Cultural Analysis

It’s okay if you
mispronounce my name.
There’s no way
you could have known
for sure
where the emphasis goes.
And I don’t mind
if you smile and say
god bless you,
as if your command
is a sure thing
on its way from heaven.
As long as we can agree
that kindness is the
goal of our intentions,
the truth needn’t
stand in our way.

DeMaris Gaunt


This is it.
It’s enough.
This bathtub
this music
this time I have left
to feel something warm
and pleasant
surrounding me
before I become lost
in the watery ambiguity
of what is dry and cold
and eternal.

Water is the bridge
between life and death—
it’s in the womb
before the light appears
and it’s the sloshing
after it fades.

Faced with death,
it isn’t the end
that makes me sad
as much as the desperate way
believers beg for an extension
and pray in earnest
to gods who know nothing
of warmth or music
or mercy
or what it’s like
to have laughed and loved
or existed at all.


DeMaris Gaunt


The printing press.
But long before
there was the wheel
and all those tools
born in fire.
Sharp things first
then bullets and coins—
two devices
with a kind of power
to separate life
from the living
almost as completely
as those pesky
that insist
they are real
and resist amputation.
And even though
some of our
best inventions
like razor blades
and scissors
could easily cut out
the offending pages
of history
there’s still no technology
to boost common sense
or exorcise
that common belief
that we are not
the creators of
every single one
of our capricious

DeMaris Gaunt

One Brief Moment

It took years

for my understanding to bloom

above the weeds that choked my reason—


years for my faith to become so small

it simply collapsed—

severed in one brief moment

like a tree trunk hacked slowly away by an ax.


As of today,

I will no longer be grateful to any first cause

that requires my prayer,

but to that first accumulation of cells

that took so long to evolve

into a consciousness that could examine

its own existence,


in the beautiful freedom of the cosmos—


not a single string attached

not a single flame to fear.




DeMaris Gaunt


Bread Alone

Bread Alone

Peanut butter is what you craved first

after surviving so long on bread alone.


You wanted to find out if His words were true—

if man (or kid, for that matter)

couldn’t live on bread alone—

or maybe you just wanted to prove Him wrong.


But on day two, your mother,

who you feared more than God Himself

said she was getting tired of this silly experiment

and insisted you eat some peanut butter

on the next slice.


At eight years old your reason told you

that to cheat just this once

would throw off the whole enterprise,

so you declined,

and took a few plain slices from the bag

before retreating to your room, alone.


You ate the bread alone, and dreamed all night

of the creamy taste of peanut butter

absent in your mouth

and by morning on the third day, you rose

to the tempting smell of bacon and eggs

which made you grin as you imagined Jesus –

silly Jesus, locked into an eternity

of believing some people might actually want

to live on bread alone.



DeMaris Gaunt