Spiritual Distress

by Hédi Kaddour

Damn the almanac-makers who leave you
stuck between debts and death
or a week with seven tomorrows. Today
here’s another gent: History’s convulsions,
monstrous metaphor of our
spiritual distress. Listen to this, distress:
in Burgos, in the Middle Ages, a baker’s son
converted to Christianity, and his father
in a fury, flung him into the oven.
Saint Mary, says the chronicle, saved the son and
the citizens of Burgos burned the father and

don’t wander too far off, distress, and start to giggle
because what comes next is a riddle: my first is
a convoy of Jews sent to Auschwitz by
the Prefecture of the Gironde; my second, a procession
of bullet-bloated Algerians who float
under the Pont Mirabeau; my third the funds
of a national political party in the sixties,
and together they make the proper name of a great
spiritual distress which is certainly not called
Martin Heidegger and don’t get annoyed, what’s annoying
is that all of this should merely be allusion.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap