Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Devil You Know

The Devil isn’t someone you don’t know.
He’s the killing floor for all your best desires
The place your dreams go to wither,
To drink Southern Comfort straight from the bottle,
And spend their last days hungover and scared.
He’s the excuse you make for the things you run from.
He’s the lost heirloom you were careless with
When you were young and foolish,
The one you swore as a child
You’d always take care of.
He’s in you,
And he’s in the way you see the Others
Who run your life,
Or try to.
He’s every mean teacher you ever had
Who didn’t see how sad you were
And yelled at you
Because you forgot your homework.
He’s the bully who was your friend in
The summertime,
And who went fishing with you,
Or taught you about Ollies and
The glory of skinned knees,
But who beat you up come September,
When everyone else was around to see
How tough he was.
He’s the overdue bill, the one you
Keep meaning to pay
And resent even having to deal with.
He’s the fear you have even now
Of your best
Being less
Than it should be.
The Devil is sometimes
A face in your dreams,
A blues imago with a way of smirking at you
That doesn’t quite wake you up
But gives you shadows
Under your eyes
All day.
He is also
Your leaders,
The ones who transact blood for
And pillage the wilderness for more
Of what they make us need.
Naming him
Might help you
To walk free,
To dream about the Ferris wheel in the city park
Or nothing you remember
Instead of him.
If you open up your mind
And let him come on in
And roam around,
Just bitching, insulting you,
And eating pork rinds out of the sace,
He might just ask you for directions
On down theroad.
By that time he’ll be just a goofy
Caricature of himself,
A cracked shard of what he could have been,
His shoulders slumped
In the face of all your kindness.

July 2, 2007

1 comment:

Search This Blog


About Me

My photo
Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or