“Rosemary Lamb” by Kenny Williams

Kenny Williams


The heaven of the gods that are not God
is never big enough. It’s always filling up
with smoke, the greasy breath
of sacrifice, which gods alone can take as food.
Our Father gave this business up
to stink up our bright booths
of plush and gold. The server serves
the slaughtered lamb, the lungs
the expanding sky. I sing while I can.
The palace of the gods is always adding on.
And if you glut yourself on smoke
you’ll live forever and forever
is an end to the story of the gods,
the start of all that’s come before,
sheer prolog to the puff.

from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith


Kenny Williams: “I’m an animal by nature, an animal-eater by design, a pagan by sensibility, and a Catholic by conversion. The phrase ‘of faith’ seems to me highly problematic. Like the word ‘Christian’ nowadays, it could mean anything or nothing. To call yourself a ‘poet of faith’ is a dangerous move, something like calling yourself a saint or a genius, but since I’m playing by the rules, and since I take the Catholic dogmata as my model of reality, and since I take the unfashionable view that art is a useful tool by which the audience (that brilliant goofball) may deepen its appreciation of the predicament of being human within the all-demanding context of objective truth, i.e. reality, I call myself, quite possibly in error, a poet of faith.”

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