I was thinking a bit about scary cults the other day and I decided to try a poem from an insider’s perspective. Enjoy.
I had always sympathized with fanatics–addicts in alleyways, preachers and prayers. The types no else really cares for. I had this tendency to stop breathing. Reading pamphlets, I felt more amplified in print than in living.
Then I found it. It said, Living is a sin. Don’t be what you’ve been. Cast away those former days and join the reformation. We will redo that which undid you, rebuilding the temples’ steeples. People of the world–parents of the boys and girls–we face you open-hearted to propose a toast to progress started when martyred marksmen missed their true targets and left a generation wanting. Yes, we’re just dreamers. But our dreams, whispered in the right receivers, could revive the world’s true believers. See. Can’t you see?
He lifted up a book of leather binding, blinding us to other thoughts. We flocked to follow the man standing solid and never looked back on what we soon forgot.
Oh, what a magic thing, our backwards king
Oh, I learned to sing that summer in a commune by the sea, even in the fleeting moments when those whispers were on the wind of future summers and survivors in trash bins. He had us reading kool-aid romances and dancing to manic musical numbers. We stomped our feet furiously, a chorus of drunken drummers in a circular line around the spires of his blazing fire.
Somewhere in there, I was told the origin of sin: not god or government or gin, but my own being–betraying me to eternity. Hissing at the sky, I knew why I stopped breathing sometimes: Attempts to make all life right and rid it of me–of the disgrace that is humanity.
Had I been a braver girl I would have run into the sea and swam until I lost my feet and sunk into that cold, that wet whispering breeze. At least I would have had the responsibility, not the man standing solid with leather binding and ranting pamphlets. But I was and I am me, and alleyways led to that place that appealed to me more. A backdoor that lead to no more.