(After ‘Triptych 1991’ by Francis Bacon)

‘Thus I too once cast my deluded fancy beyond mankind, like all afterworldsmen’ – Nietzsche ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’



Beyond Mankind

– An irregular rib, and the susurration of un-

used diaphanous muscles beginning now

to twitch;

your rib rupturing the larynx of the priest

when, in church, he mentions the afterlife;

as by unbiblical verdict,

and outside of kairic time, you you quick-

canister breath, re-lung humankind for

the upcoming exertions

of prayer;

with your new spinal bone-gears now

struggling to select a gait that’s human,

(and Christ’s face, unlamenting in your heart)

As all of your sins, and all of your failings,

they revert back

finally into goals…



– A battalion of fled polytheistic gods shredding

now your sinews, lacerating your leg-tendons

and muscle-tissue;

as, superearthing our species, you overcome

yourself, your flesh, by refusing to breathe,

and by out-imagining

man’s final evolutionary increase in brain-size;

that, and the sense suddenly of god, post-eternity,

beginning finally to age,

noticing his own now

terminal wounds…



A heavenly amputee, and an urnful of limbs,

wanting the future, the present, and the past

to cast back theology onto the sundial…

as, in you, each everlasting lung collapses,

forcing the saliva of a now post-religious

language onto your lips;

and cobwebbing your skull with each now

forgotten galaxy, nebula, star-system etc

(to begin the final celestial process

of  correcting man’s shoulder-blades)

– Until at that point in no-time, when

belief itself expires, and the vertebrae of

Nietzsche it is discovered, abandoned now

to every last christian

pulpit on earth…

© Paul Stubbs, 2009

First published in THE WOLF, issue 21, August 2009


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