Practicing Agnostic Atheism
I had to look it up, the right way to say how I feel
about religion or even deism. I was a Church kid
so much so that I didn’t think not to capitalize that
despite being dragged outta there mid-2000’s.
Guess my folks’ belief was strong enough to
even if I never stepped near the altar before
or after communion. When we left the Church
we still went on Easter and Christmas.
It just confuses me how I’ve never not gone
to a Church for a funeral and that my mom
still prays her entire Rosary every evening.
But what to call hope for happiness if not prayer?
But a Church is only a building like a brothel
or liquor store, and prayer is dumb especially
when you know God helps most those who help
themselves to finding their own Damned optimism.
Untitled Out of Embarrassment and Necessity
Helen facing my fleets of heart,
the wine of Nausicaa, wish
I pray. A specific Salome
whose sway, walking, starts,
yet somehow a purer Mary.
Far along in the sky, close
as ants to spires of sand, and reaching
deep into my pulsing drought
are the soft rains of your hand.
Under you as saplings, seeds
under sunlight grow, I do, but
in forestry so primeval, dense, lighting
my sprout alone makes such little sense.
Helen, Nausicaa, Salome, Mary;
I’m no Lancelot, Guinevere. Yet still
am no king, so, a Caedmon, I sing
dumb to this wide world I hear.
Diaphaneity uncapturable, too dear
to indite; believe, please, how I do try.
And whenever I’m asked about love
and say nothing, unbelievably so I lie.
Against whatever, to whom thee I weigh,
your mass makes all the same. Mine is but air
passed now by your lips, Bellinis and Bards blight
I tried to tell a story
and as the story was told
it was too clear
no one could really tell it,
but all’s fine in the world half-conscious
when I know more than by believing so
that flights of angels stoke my heart to love,
and as I told myself that
it became too clear
I couldn’t say so out loud.
Carson Pytell is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated writer living outside Albany, New York, whose work has appeared widely in such venues as Adirondack Review, Sheila-Na-Gig and The Heartland Review. He serves as Assistant Editor of Coastal Shelf and his fifth and sixth chapbooks; Tomorrow Everyday, Yesterday Too (Anxiety Press, 2022), and A Little Smaller Than the Final Quark (Bullshit Lit, 2022), are forthcoming.