God was Dead
New York – July, 1999
I envy you your beach in Languedoc,
the blue, the white and the salt.
You say there is talk of Nietzsche
with companions in the breezy cafe.
Your Dionysus and Apollo are One.
You say that summer’s secrets –
the Whos, With Whoms and Whens –
unravel before you
over campari and soda till 1 a.m.
You say Yes to life.
Here in city heat, in gray sidewalk heat
we are trapped in stasis.
We ration out our steps.
We try to overcome.
Why is God punishing us?
I’m not having a wonderful time.
I don’t wish you were here
to suffer in the stillness with us
who have nothing left to discuss
except the disgusting weather.
We wish we were plants in cool water
because suspended animation
would be a blessing
as cognition gasps that this is only July –
the hottest in memory.
We welter in schmerz.
When God asked “have you had enough?”
I said yes I said yes I said yes –
but my response had no agency whatsoever
and I knew truly that God was dead.
With great warmth,
I wrote to my philosopher friend spending the summer in Montpellier. Here in New York, the summer was one of the hottest in history.