Take It Up with My Maker

The dragon in the Universe is like a king on his throne;
the (celestial) sphere in the Year is like a king in a province;
the heart (in Man) is like a king in warfare.
          —Ben Joseph1


Save your complaint’s anger for some saviour
whose divine nature has more patience than
my flawed design does to deal with strangers,
take it up with my maker, weak human
behaviour paired with needing endangers
every other sentient being,
          overreaching your mortal limitations takes
          more muscle than faking belief in strength which breaks.

What heats your speech forges your chains, constrains
you the way barbarous names and holy
shapes do demons, acting up entertains
those against whom your acting out only
enflames with greater ardour for their game’s
arsenal, we fallen angels who see
          through your plastic armour the pathetic truth: war
          suits us better, playing with weapons worse than words.


To take your own picture is to take your
own life into your hands, a strange sort of
development, an accomplishment for
gods in whose ancient images enough
artists now paint themselves, charts ruled by Mars
with planets weighted heavily in what
          astrologers call heaven’s House of Partnership
          augur how enemies will fall, tell when to hit.

How the heart knows to take a beating, its
pulse when to skip or stop, hidden wisdom
this portraiture imparts, is what knowledge
I have which renders your attempts to win
and possess my fortress of stars useless,
you really should not be showing off when
          so much rage reveals to opponents how unwell
          you are, how little you fools know of true evil.

1Akiba Ben Joseph, “The Book of Formation”, Chapter VI, [Paragraph] 8, in The Book of Formation, or Sepher Yetzirah: Attributed to Rabbi Akiba Ben Joseph: Translated from the Hebrew, with annotations, by Knut Stenring: Foreword by R. A. Gilbert: Introduction by Arthur Edward Waite, published at Berwick, Maine by Ibis Press in 2004; page 31.