Andrew Miller Essay on Ontology

Essay On Ontology-

Aren't they a trinity of unused parts?

Proof of the mechanic watch-maker?

This tonsil. This appendix. These teeth

so endowed with a primeval wisdom for shattering bone.

Nothing was rent from Adam’s side, instead

these three vestigial magi slouched

after some faded starlight in a world, moderately new,

into the first man still warming to his second breath.


Man was an ape! Man was an ape!

My mother refuted such notions,

swearing, as she did, on the family bible,

its great sharp-edged block of red-lettered pages

squatting despotically on the coffee table

next to House and Garden,

that "Adam would have named

snakes lizards if they'd had legs!"


But Man is an ape, was an ape, and I'm ape,

and it becomes me. It's a matter of pride,

as I kneel in with the razor over the bathroom sink,

my morning chore of modeling the man,

after waking and finding my Eve, busying herself--

not counting the keys of the chest's accordion

but squeezing her breasts, probing

for a dull lump, doughy and knuckle-round,


like a serpent's egg. She's found nothing yet,

and I propose a future uncluttered of that knowledge

or any other related to these portents,

even if only tonsils, appendix, sagacious teeth.

I want none of them: nothing from the accounts

of pus and sickness, not one.


So I'm writing an essay to no body in particular.

I’m waiting in his vinyl chair for the surgeon’s

mask and pliers and oxide. I'm praying in paragraphs

for the none of it that’s my share,

although my gums bob already with things

prehistoric and waiting to arrive.


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