what I thought when I heard that the world was supposed to end when they turned on the new proton accelerator yesterday

The world as I know it
ended yesterday
and the day before
and the day before.
I am a reconstituted,
reincarnated, re-oxygenated
lump of carbon and water,
and some kind of godlike cellular goo
with the power of recollection.
Every cell, or sub-atomic something,
blindly remembers yesterday
and the day before
and the day before
until I am fooled into thinking
that I am altogether
more solid and lasting
than a gnat or a bloom or a bird.
That I am something
more worthwhile
than whatever I have the power
to kill and eat.
That I am something
so important
that it is right that I
build monuments to myself
on the very heads
of blades of prairie grass,
each of which,
as the Talmud says,
has its angel.
That I am something
so wise and all-knowing
that the days themselves–
today, yesterday,
and the day before
and the day before
–are measured in hours
of my own invention,
indicating beginnings and endings
that are neither.


  1. yogazulu
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    its angel, for crying out loud. not it’s angel. i hate when i do that.

  2. Posted September 10, 2008 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Our civilization’s belief in itself, in a nutshell.

  3. yogazulu
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I remember getting all torqued about someone throwing trash out along a highway one time and you said something like, “So what? The world doesn’t care. Humans care. Humans are all worried that the world will end, but it’s just that humans will trash the world so that humans will end. The world will just go on as it was when we’re gone.” Wise words from a wise man, and I still think of you, especially when I see trash along a highway.

  4. Posted September 10, 2008 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Haha. Funny, I think of you too.

  5. Calpyso Ticonderoga
    Posted September 11, 2008 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this. I had a very similar feeling when I read about the Large Haldron Collider yesterday too.

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