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On the Causes of Monsters

Ashley VanDoorn

The first is glory, for gods must have us conquering.
The second, grace, for the heroic need hearts of god.
Third, uncharted parts, be they darkly cast in mind or map.
Fourth, nature's boredom, that we might pretend she's moved to art.
Fifth is nature's pleasure, that we might play her to a scale.
Next is errors of conception, a previous wound to the womb.
Or—conceptions of error, within or without the home.

Then comes fever and other diseases of the book.
—Delirium and demonism, fear deemed game in season.
—The dream of reason and its wishful disbelievers.
—Deception, be it by force or farce.
—To swallow us away that we might be nourished new and back.
—To stomach that we might discover their strength inside us.
As swerves have schemes, so anomalies have arrangements.

Fifteenth is to fill the waters and the woods.
Blame this eccentric system whence creation awakens blankly, but rarely
blends blandly, whence many kinds survive, but not many thrive.
Because repenting each day the ghost of yesterday, with free will, we repeat.
—When our bodies don't become us, they become us.
—Exhilaration, in every unlayering, for terror is the lair below those dents and
—Longing, for sans dread it impoverishes predictably.
Because camp is kitsch and killing, and revision is improvised improvement.

Ashley VanDoorn

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