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  • Corbet Dean


Updated: Jul 26, 2020

The following poem comes from the Ancient Paths archives. It was originally published in Issue 5 (Fall 2000).

Believe by Corbet Dean

When you’re overcome by the fumes of this dying town, convulsing in soot, gasping on the ground, for consolation, locked down after 10 PM, confined in your cold, quiet cage of desperation, tell me, what do you believe in?

Now that all the pretty, polished Hallmark verse you memorized and rehearsed just broke down, how will you get around town?

Like a ‘74 Grand Prix, your volume and vibration sounds good enough to believe, but that shiny car never takes you very far before it belches big, black clouds of humiliation for your to taste at every intersection. Now tell me, what do you believe in?

I don’t want to talk myself into truth: I know that nothing becomes true or majestically moves you just because you close your eyes to recite some lies over . . . and over . . . and over . . .

That’s why I want to believe like the holy roller, like the "go tell it on the mountain," born again, baptizer of men who spits with tongues of fire and rises to walk with a dance of desire all over the density in the darkness of our secret sins . . .

So tell me, what do you believe in?

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