“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

And I have come to see that–at least for me–poetry without ethics, or maybe a life without humility, or maybe a self suffocating in its own husk, trapped within its own accreted hair-and-keratin secretions–this is dead, locked beneath the ice at the bottom of its own hell:

“the shades were wholly covered,
showing through like bits of straw in glass.”

What is this deadness? Because I do believe also that nothing is dead at all–that every single thing is, as DFW said, “on fire with the same force that made the stars.” Yes, so what is this deadness? It is a green plant in a lightless cave. It feels like doom, feels not cold but dry, as though God/love were the deepest, most refreshing drink–was the source of all refreshment, the satisfaction of every hunger–and not just of a glycemic shortage but also of a nutritional deficiency–the provenance of all the proteins and vitamins one could need in their most infinitely bioavailable form. And so faith without works is starved, sterben, dead.

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