To the God of Emptiness


I stopped believing in gods after a second brother committed suicide
there wasn’t a prayer or act of forgiveness that could save my own life
I began to erase the specter of their meaningless lives in my achievements
I studied astronomy spent months on calculus equations learned to program
the telemetries of satellites that wandered our galaxy and helped men destroy
and exploit other men and their resources I took on avocations bending
bonsai to my will developed a black and white aesthetic of shadows
and light photo film I hiked up mountain peaks camped in dark forests
and on roaring coasts I studied the appellations of Pouilly Fuissé
that went well with fish and Chateauneuf du Pape I sipped with steaks
I kept my faith in the god of esoterica I thought was adding value
to my life I hoarded silver and gold graded numismatics I locked up
in safety deposit boxes diversified with long-term high-yield CDs
analyzed company valuations traded options and stocks and built IRAs
I looked for rising stars in the art world to cover the walls I lived within
and when worshipping Mammon became as useless as prayers I plunged
my cock in two to four women a day hoping their moans were answers
from Eros there were three women living in my house confessionals
where I lost my desires emptied myself of jealousies watching them
love each other more than they seemed to love me yet love me some did
and that made a more committed atheist of me Eros answered nothing
made nothing but false mental wounds like faith or like being alone
it’s all about what you’re holding onto what memories mean or don’t
love is like money like sex like meaninglessness I & Thou Thou & I
Martin Buber and Heidegger blended my opposites my quest for meaning
in a meaningless existence all of it prayers to the god of contradictions
which made about as much sense as money and sex and benign indifference
the only meaning I ever found was in putting words down without fear
or hate in leaving metaphors and other tropes and truths out writing
is the only thing giving meaning to my life they’re the only vespers I kept
repeating since I learned to write the only ones I didn’t need myths
or holy books or preachers teaching me to learn to recite I put down words
of meaninglessness on a blank page and the god of emptiness comes alive





Edgar Gabriel Silex is a Cum Laude graduate of University of Maryland University College and received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Maryland. He is the author of two poetry collections from Northwestern University Press, Through All the Displacements and Acts of Love, as well as a chapbook from New Sins Press, Even the Dead Have Memories. His first book was nominated for the National Book Award. His second book was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and an Artist grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. Mr. Silex has had seven nominations to the Pushcart Prize, and has been appointed Poet-In-Residence for Howard County, Maryland twice, and the Diné reservation twice. His most recent work has appeared in the Little Patuxent Review, Delaware Poetry Review, Baltimore Review, Free State Review, Fledgling Rag, The Broadkill Review, Gargoyle and Café Review. He lives in Laurel, Maryland.