Absence of Presence

A portrait conveys absence and presence, pleasure and pain. The reality excludes absence and pain.


Questioning existence, asking are we in service of fact or fiction, sure of nothing else but our Selves, until

the sweat is sweet and heavy, working the ground from which we were taken, woke dust shaken up, breaking

even, to cross the distance between two people is to greet head-on the face of our lost innocence, to


travel the meat of being and eat whole what we thought was love, pieces of the shattered World-Soul cutting

up our broken home’s reset bones, vapid slaves to shadow shards of our unchained Selves, a mirror’s trick is

its illusion of depth, pieces of religion which is lived myth, anticipation of an imminent apocalypse tampering with expectations


elevating above acceptable limits what makes us superior beings, consciousness, remembering this, when the Adam within was the Jewish

Narcissus, losing his divine nature by glimpsing himself in Eden’s pool until it burned with kisses of sulfur, turning

over in his head that self-awareness was death, cause and effect lying side-by-side is what begat us, insofar as


language itself is a living entity, the thoughts of god are communicated through mathematics, expressed in symbols equating images

with secrets, never count on another deity’s promises of a better destiny to give your shallowness substance, of which

for so long all of us have been wanting, choking on the ropes you tug out like a thaumatrope,


taking from behind a unit of lost time, a past whose influence on your presence you cannot measure, stargazing

and strategizing about just how you might recover what multitudes we used to contain, what used to fill us

until that thorn in the flesh, knowledge, bled a garden amidst fires, scorching to desert this absence of presence.

1Blaise Pascal, “[Thought] 678” in “Section X: Typology” of “Thoughts” in Thoughts: Translated by W. F. Trotter: Letters: Translated by M. L. Booth: Minor Works: Translated by O. W. Wight: With Introductions and Notes: Volume 48 of The Harvard Classics: Edited by Charles W. Eliot, published at New York by P. F. Collier & Son Company in 1910; page 225.