Robert Duc M Bui ‘20

Vietnam, the US

1. “Who will hire a poet?” 2. He burned his notebook full of poems. Prose and verse fade away and scatter to the wind. 3. “Who believes in all that superstitious bullshit? I thought you believed in science.” “There’s no man in the sky watching. Men came up with it from factors of economics. If you will look at the cost-benefit analysis…” 4. Mother burned the hymn book. If only, please, will you look at the cost-benefit

analysis. 5. The voice of reason illuminates the minds of the future, but casts a

shadow of doubt on the soul of the past. 6. Cynics and nihilists poke holes of lies in

the veil of the holy. 7. She sings outside of the test room, clutching her mother’s

hand. “The fool on the hill sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head see

the world spinning round.” 8. But there is poetry in lies and there is truth in poetry. 9.

The sun, the moon, and the stars weren’t born out of nothing, but something, or

maybe it was nothing – they will eventually find out, or maybe the truth won’t ever be

found. The hills and the trees and the flowers and the wind do not whisper, or maybe

they do – but 10. does it matter to the hopeless romantics, with tattoos of the moon

on their forearm, of the sun on their ankle, and of the stars on their wrists does it

matter to the lost sailor looking to the heavens for guidance 11. in the long dark does

it matter to the artist, breathing in the cold winds of the Rhône, catching the stars

with the canvas of a painting? 12. Does something have to be true to be preserved

as truth? 13. Look into the eyes of the little girl. She grieves for her brother. “Is he in

paradise?” 14. At the stake of reason will you burn the truth?

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