gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

Contemplating Hell - Poem by gershon hepner

Counterintuitively Bertolt Brecht
saw hell as somewhere where the people feared
they all might be evicted from. No Besht,
whose vision both improbable and weird,
provides relief from the inferno where
some people have to live they’re sent
away as lifers and attorneys do not care
to intervene, expressing a dissent
about the sentence God pronounces when
they’ve been committed to surrender to
the devil, hell’s a place that’s run by men
who do not share a human point of view,
but act according to unwritten rules
ascribed to God, behind whom humans hide
when judging, Though He’s not around, He fools
them into thinking that He’s on their side
when really, though He doesn’t wear a robe,
he acts like all the judges on this earth,
well understood by none except for Job,
and poets who describe him with their mirth,
a joke in such bad taste that it is wrong
that He should ever be appealed to in
our prayers, though people do this when they long
to be forgiven, scarlet-free from sin.

Inspired by a poem by Bertolt Brecht, and written on the one-week anniversary of a sentence in Federal Court in Santa Ana when justice bit the dust.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 12/18

Contemplating Hell by Bertolt Brecht
Contemplating Hell, as I once heard it,
My brother Shelley found it to be a place
Much like the city of London. I,
Who do not live in London, but in Los Angeles,
Find, contemplating Hell, that is
Must be even more like Los Angeles.

Also in Hell,
I do not doubt it, there exist these opulent gardens
With flowers as large as trees, wilting, of course,
Very quickly, if they are not watered with very expensive water. And fruit markets
With great leaps of fruit, which nonetheless

Possess neither scent nor taste. And endless trains of autos,
Lighter than their own shadows, swifter than
Foolish thoughts, shimmering vehicles, in which
Rosy people, coming from nowhere, go nowhere.
And houses, designed for happiness, standing empty,
Even when inhabited.

Even the houses in Hell are not all ugly.
But concern about being thrown into the street
Consumes the inhabitants of the villas no less
Than the inhabitants of the barracks.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 18, 2009

Poem Edited: Friday, December 18, 2009

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