Creative Writing Wednesday: “The Nihilist’s Prayer”

Posted: March 21, 2012 in Creative Writing Wednesday
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I’ll be honest with you: this installment of Creative Writing Wednesday is a little dark.

I have bad days. A lot of the time. I realize that I’ve been putting a certain kind of face forward on my blog, and hey, that’s okay: I use my blog as a creative outlet, and it’s the most public side of my personality. For one thing, looking at the site stats on the blog lets me know that I’ve had hits from all over: every inhabited continent, except for Africa. Many of these people– hell, most of these people– don’t know me. And while, yes, many of my hits come from the fact that people are searching for “ceviche” (which this blog is decidedly not about, by the way), I have a feeling that there are some people who read and enjoy my lame blog.

Still. I have rules about posting on Axolotl Ceviche. I try to avoid politics, religion, and personal information. And in many ways, my poetry is pretty personal. I mean, every writer shows a little bit of herself in her work. That’s unavoidable.

In any case, I wrote this poem a few weeks back, on a day when I was having the worst possible day imaginable. I’m not going to get into details about it, because going into details is a bit too personal for… well… everyone in the entire world to read. But this poem was one I wrote to help me rationalize the feelings that I was having that day. It’s really a thing I used to work out my anger without breaking things or people, which at one point I was seriously worried that I was going to do.

A note: I have to touch on religion here, violating my second rule above. I don’t believe in a god. In fact, I stopped believing in gods about the same time that I stopped believing in Santa Claus. So I need to make the disclaimer that I don’t pray, and this was not an entreaty to some celestial being to come and help me.

But if I did believe in a god, then this is probably what I would pray.

~ Ian


The Nihilist’s Prayer


God, please give me the strength

to get up in the morning,

to face the day with a smile on my face

while inside me all is chaos and anger,

and I want nothing more

than to curl up in a ball and weep.


God, give me the strength

to refrain from destroying the world,

to keep my feelings inside myself,

my face impassive like a jade mask,

to keep myself from burning down the universe,

to sing the song that ends the world

with a requiem of ashes and fire.


God, please give me the courage

that will allow me to seem human

because if I ever doubt myself, I will be destroyed,

and like a cartoon coyote

plummet thousands of feet to the canyon floor.

Help me to walk this tightrope

between ecstasy and despair,

and convince me to keep my balance

when all I want to do is fall.


God, please help me to see humanity in others,

to believe that every person has a person inside her,

and she is not just a sack of bones and meat

trying to convince herself that she has free will,

trying to convince herself that she can think for herself,

a side of beef screaming her existence to the unfeeling skies.


God, please help me to forget

that the world will end someday,

and all the hopes and dreams and sorrows,

fighters and lovers and saints and sinners,

will one day be gone,

this speck of dust we live on

transmuted into the heart of a black hole,

and then evaporated into nothing,

radiation echoing forever in eternal darkness.


If you exist, God,

then please give me this strength.

Nobody else will.


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