duct duct duct
subscribe submissions contributors back issues trumpet fiction contact us legal links
support ducts
art gallery
ducts stage
best of ducts

Poetry by Nic Darling

ask for a god

last night, last thought

the first time we met

a beautiful drowning

seeking america

ask for a god

  1. i ask for a god,
    and they give me five hundred sixty five channels
    which they say have him surrounded.
    so, i will try to find the shape of a diety
    as an absence in the midst of discovery; cinemax,
    cartoon network and one hundered different mtvs.
  2. we can do anything we want, she says,
    we are adults
    , but this is america two thousand five
    and there are official versions of god
    chisled deeply into the bases of all our sacred monuments.
  3. oh my god.
  4. someone says, god is the chaos we arise from,
    the primordial soup progenitor
    of our present entropy.
    millennia ago tiny gasping fish
    crawled from his seething belly
    and began to live a different death
    toward dusts return. though,
    when they say it, there is often
    something about a garden as well.
  5. god is in the details, and this is why
    we must always look at everything more closely.
    somewhere powerful microscopes are searching
    for the next burning bush,
    flaming sword or jesus shaped mildew.
  6. my father carries a god around with him
    but its alright. he will only show it to you
    if you ask.
  7. like anything, we only know god
    by what he is not. god is the binary opposite
    of everything and god is
    the binary opposite of nothing.
  8. god damn
  9. she hides tiny gods
    between her words
    and as she talks my pantheon
    is always expanding. the statuary
    i need to represent each of her ideas
    is staggering as it spirals out from the central pillar
    of agnostos theos, the unknown god.
  10. nietzsche says that god died comfortably
    in his sleep. there was no pain.
  11. for the love of god.
  12. i will search for a god in drug temples,
    alcohol mosques and the church of the perfect orgasm.
    i will sit with my legs crossed in places of power
    and sleep fitfully on the pillows of the divine dreamer.
    i will climb incense ropes, suck snake venom
    and collapse in the epileptic epiphany. my hands
    will form all the proper shapes, my mouth will wrap
    itself around the sacred om and i will wear holes in the knees
    of all my holy garb.
  13. maybe i will just get drunk and make phone calls
    to all the women i used to know. god in the dial tone
    and the church of two a.m.
  14. i am not a god. i just play one on tv.
  15. he speaks of god like god’s name is dave
    or robert and they talk each morning over coffee
    at the diner. he orders eggs, hash browns and bacon
    but dave, or robert, is really into french toast lately.
    god is a close friends whose thoughts he relates
    with the expertise of a shared diner tab.
  16. her body is a temple
    and i will enter into the presence of her god
    prostrate and humble.
  17. everyday people are trading gods
    like baseball cards, like stock certificates,
    like tapes from really good concerts
    and i am discouraged because i have a god
    shaped like a rusty old car
    and no one will give me anything for it.
  18. please god
  19. when i was ten or eleven years old
    i thought i felt god
    brush the divine fingers
    down the ridge of my spine
    and disappear without a word.
    i spent years trying to call him back,
    trying to feel that again
    but the closest i got was my first orgasm
    and i have been distracted ever since.
  20. in the end there is death
    and god, deus ex machina,
    it is all so easy this way.

last night, last thought

your beauty is a shape
i pour my sleep into,
a vessel the perfect size
for my dreams.

the first time we met

it was like walking out of a winter matinee movie
and finding it unexpectedly dark.

In this series of poems Mr. Nic Darling has taken a short poem and plugged it into a translator (babelfish.altavista.com/). Hours having his prose translated into Cantonese, Korean, Russian, Dutch and then back to English have yielded these unique results.

The original, in English, is at the top and the translations follow with their language noted in parentheses.

a beautiful drowning

two entangled
to leave, to want
to leave.

and a beautiful drowning.

this is the kind of death
we all should live.

a beautiful drowning (french)

two empÍtrés to leave, want to leave.

and a beautiful drowning.

it is the kind of died us whom all should live.

beautiful suffocating (spanish)

two romped to go away, to wish to go away.

marine alga and beautiful suffocating.

this one is the death class we who everything must live.

A happy flooding (chinese)

Two is involved in leaves, wants to leave.

Seaweed and a happy flooding.

This is this kind dies we all to be supposed to live.

It is beautiful, soak (japanese)

Because 2 you become complicated in order to go away we would
like to go away.

The seaweed and it is beautiful, soak.

This should live our kind of dead everything, is.

most beautiful sank (russian)

2 jumbled so that it would leave, he wanted it left.

and most beautiful sank.

this wakes the form of death we, is which everything they must it

Drowning which is beautiful (korean)

In order to leave 2, where it does to be tied it leaves, Sip

The seaweed and drowning which is beautiful.

This dies type is we all must live.

a beautiful verdrinking (dutch)

two confused to leave, want leave.

whose and a beautiful verdrinking.

this is the type dead we all would have live.

Inundation is beautiful (english ≠ korean ≠ english ≠ chinese ≠ english ≠ japanese ≠ english)

In order to go away with rear of 2, the remaining
of which drinks it is that the place of the coupler which is does.

There is a beautiful seaweed and inundation.

As for this which has died everything must live, it is we.

seeking america

i am looking for an america to love,
an america i can spend the rest of my life with.

i am looking for an america that won’t embarrass me
in front of my friends.

i am looking for an america i can tell my parents about,
one that will make them proud and happy, one that might make up for
all the other america’s i brought home in the past.

i am looking for an america i can make quiet love to
in a warm cabin on a cold night.

i am looking for an america that is looking for me

i am looking for an america with a simple past, an america
without serious psychological damage. i have been hurt before.

i am looking for an america that will just hold me sometimes.

i am looking for an america with clean teeth, nice hair, neat clothes
but that shouldn’t be all america cares about.

i am looking for an america that would fuck me happily
in the back seat of my foreign car.

i am looking for an america that makes me laugh again,
out loud and without irony.

i am looking for an america that isn’t jaded or hardened
or through with love.

i am looking for an america i can stand in front of naked
without concern for the possible inadequacies of my genitalia.

i am looking for an america that cares more about family than career.

i am looking for an america that will say nice things about me to others
without being asked or provoked.

i am looking for a quieter america this time.

i am looking for an america that knows how to take care of itself.

i am looking for an america that is fearless in the face of intimacy,
commitment and honesty.

i am looking for an honest america. i am tired of being lied to.

i am looking for an america that will suck my cock because it wants to,
because it wants to make me feel good, not because it feels like it has to.

i am looking for an america that can hold an intelligent conversation
about books, movies, music, religion, politics, the end of the world,
the beginning of us, food, whiskey, man’s capacity for love, man’s innate greed,
partiarchy, anarchy, the hierarchy of angels, buddha, death in all its forms, love in all its depths, economic inequities, the plight of education, the tao, the mysteries of modern science, sex, christ’s golden rule.

i am looking for an america with long arms and deep pockets, a generous america.

i am looking for an america that wants to take a hand in raising our children,
that wants to be involved in the entirety of their lives.

i am looking for an america that is willing to experiment, to try new things.

i am looking for an america that isn’t boring.

i am looking for an america that will call me sometimes for no good reason,
that will admit to being as lonely as we all are so often.

i am looking for an america that won’t force me to shave, or dress differently, or drink less, or stop smoking, or sleep more, or cry at the right places in movies. but you can ask nicely if you want america.

i am looking for an america that is not afraid to be sexy now and then.

i am looking for an america that doesn’t need anything from me but me.

i am looking for an america i can trust, one that won’t cheat on me,
or steal from me.

i am looking for an america that isn’t afraid to be looked at closely
but maybe one that blushes just a little.

i am looking for an america that appreciates my work.

i am looking for an america that remembers the right moments
and can remind me of them when i need it most.

i am looking for an america i can settle down with, grow old with, an america
who’s arms i can die in.

Return to Poetry