Confessional

Toilet-Paper-Art

     Today I used a piece of toilet paper
(ingenious how the squares are perforated)
           as a bookmark,

     to mark the beginning
of a story in a journal
           I pretended to mean to read soon.

      My own pretensions in the bathroom, I’d guess,
are no more elaborate than those of any other,
           but we prefer not to confess them,

     which is why confessionals nowadays tend to be
outfitted with porcelain & brass conveniences, & vanities
           of granite stacked with prayers, or leastways

     paperbacks (suggestive of prayerful reflection,
a well-regarded, liturgical means of bargaining one’s way out
           of bondage to repugnant functions),

     all to function as a colossal ruse—for truly,
we know no sleight-of-hand swipe performed (however
           adroitly the unrolled squares are wadded

     or folded), nor our most adroit illusions of luxury
contrived of bodacious poses over prodigal devices,
           can justify such unnatural exertions.

     Nature’s call is much like that of the cleric’s behind
his proverbial curtain—indeed, a loaded business
           we can’t but answer.

STEPHANIE L. HARPER

Who, me? Employ a fallacy of equivocation? NE-VER!

17 thoughts on “Confessional

  1. Reminds me of G.I. Gurdjieff’s Beelzebub, who attempts to understand our use of a “porcelain throne” to settle our calls to nature; & why we use handfuls of paper, he can’t really get his head round either. It’s been a long time since i read those books, but i think his conjecture was that every man could be a king on his toilet. i could be wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Whitewashing the House | rivrvlogr

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