Withhold No Ethos

Withhold No Ethos

by Cam M. Roberts


“Persuasion is clearly a sort of demonstration,
since we are most fully persuaded when we
consider a thing to have been demonstrated.”
— Aristotle, Rhetoric


He told me:
I only wish
you had more
morals about you

I said unto him:
You seem quite a bit indignant
though don’t fret as I feel mighty sufficient.
What few clutched fistfuls I still hold come from you –
To live and let live, slavish work,
fruitful fucking, inherit dirt,
then die quietly
old man.


© CMR, 2014

Plotinus & The Whale

Plotinus & The Whale

by Cam M. Roberts


“The philosophy of Plotinus has always exerted a peculiar fascination upon those
whose discontent with things as they are has led them to seek the realities behind
what they took to be merely the appearances of the sense.”

A sort of undeserving ebullience one feels
wandering about in darkness, away and alone,
and a slight subsequent inkling
of the dawn’s disillusionment, which is not
so much sensed as it is unnerving,
It occurs right before the light of day barges over
this far-flung panorama of land too jagged and scraggly
to consider an ideal horizon, as if
the one white-knuckled within your mind’s eye
is a likely possibility for the real rising sun you’ll never
bust, or ever outrun.

He whispered to his nightly afterthoughts:
Save your grief for what counts.  

And so, the light pierced the dying darkness
like a hook of hyperbole, an insufficient rust-raped
word infected with the mist of irreverence –

Imagine then, a different word:
To which must come, “Captain Ahab
dreams of violence” singing in my head,
at times, I’ve no self-discipline –

I say this now with such vehemence
because I wonder if a voice awoke this
within him,
or if it were the silence he might find
being swallowed by a whale
in the stomach of the seven seas.


© CMR, 2013