Beyond Idolatry

by victoria on February 26, 2013

In response to our conversation with Peter Rollins on DPR, I wrote a poem I shared below. Rollins argues in his book The Idolatry of God that when we give up our desire for satisfaction we will discover “a deeper satisfaction” in the present moment, “not one that promises to make us whole and remove our suffering but one that promises joy in the midst of our brokenness and new life in the very embrace of our pain.” Contemplating the practices that help me embrace the joy of the present moment while enduring suffering, I realized when writing poetry I experience an intense taste of what Rollins suggests. I embody the deepest sense of satisfaction and peace I know when writing anything, but especially poetry—perhaps best expressed through the form itself.

Beyond Idolatry (For Peter Rollins)

There is poetry: mother,
father, sibling, partner.

In vast blue, running,
falling, birthed of breath

and saliva. Tongue against teeth, poetry—
that mind-music tracing the alphabet

of itself, unpeeling, squeezing
skin and sorrow,

laughter and sex. Nourishing.
Poetry, handful of cold, clear water.

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