photograph by Eric Hart

This is/was originally intended as a spoken word piece, for a poetry slam perhaps. I have grown to hate slams and have never recored the poem. I’ve also never bothered to correct the punctuation either.

The poem was primarily inspired by Gaston Bachelard and the book La psychanalyse du feu (The Psychoanalysis of Fire) Less of a psychoanalysis and more a philosophical rant. Worth the read.


Fire begins,
this idea as moment.
Consider lightening strike,
consider the gathering of fire.

All the questions I have previously asked,
I will now ask again.
Now I will ask again.

Rephrase as a tool of meaning
as a tool to understand
what is being said
meaning what is being said
as I have said
these things I’ve said

the woman at the doorway has said
roll over on the bed

close to screaming
and falling off the bed, which
is now falling
as hands griping
as the dream that we are all falling from our beds
as the beds fall as we are reaching out,
out into space that surrounds
that space that surrounds us
with two feet

stand firmly
stand as a planted stone
stand as one man would stand as a man
place feet a shoulders width apart
shoulders level with the ground
parallel as one with the rising of the sun

as no man can stand forever
no man is an island
no man can float forever

and everything falls from the bed
and the bed is now falling from the rails
and the post are falling
and everything falls apart
and the rust and oxidation that begins
invades underneath the metal

the orange that is rust reminds of fire
and one wonders what fire and rust have in common
and the color of rust reminds of the color of fire
and near the center where the fire burns hottest
is the blue hue of the sky and
and one wonders what the sky is doing
holding the secrets of fire

and the gods throw down lightning
down from the sky
and the gods cry
and the gods cause the sun to rise up in the east
and the arbitrary direction is given a name
as the idea of a definition of who we are
is lost.
the numbers of our rooms are lost
and the diagnosis is lost

and fire as a way to become god
fire as a way to become on with god
fire as a way of burring away what is left of god

and casting you into a pit of fire
and fire the first demon
fire the first god
casting out life, warmth

The reinvention of fire
and fire as healer

fire as the moral ground on which we speak
and fire as a means of reproduction

and the reinvention of fire as a means to an end
trying to reinvent fire with our hands
and fire carried on ships

smoke as a means of community
fire as a means of communication
fire as a message of war
and the reinvention of fire to kill our brethren
our brothers light fire to burn
fire to burns

and the roof is on fire
and the keeper of fire as fire
is transferred from hand to hand
the fire that burns and the candle that burns
and everything that burns under the sun.

Originally appeared in trombones geants


3 thoughts on “Fire

  1. Really nice work. I like the connectivity of it all; the fire, the way the hottest center becomes sky, and equates God then heavens, then lightening, back to earth again, as hell, as a weapon.

    Well thought out and written. I am delighted to have found your blog.

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