Today's poem is by Daniel Tobin

To Acedia

. . . like those who go down to the Pit.

Razor of nothingness, ash
Of soul thrice burned,

Thought with its armies
Of malice turned inward,

Pygmy soldiers
Overrunning the field.

Slay one, a hundred
Rise to kill in its place—

A thousand cuts, and blood
An endless fog pouring

From the dust bowl
Of the heart. Languisher,

Purveyor of afflictions
In memory's black alleys,

Worm oil, searing garland,
You hawk the cold fever

That burns, liquid nitrogen,
At the raving core.

If mind were a knife
It would skin itself for you.

If skin could think,
And it does, it would

Crawl inside and sleep
For millennia,

Stupor that turns
The bluesman's song to stone.

There is only the fear
Of waking to this fuel

Consuming itself,
Consuming others—

The void's pure verb
That grows like a diamond,

A coal-black diamond,
On the tip of the tongue.

Copyright © 2004 Daniel Tobin All rights reserved
from The Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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