Orthodoxy means not needing to think. It is unconsciousness.
— George Orwell, 1984

The list
whispers in vellum,
parchment, calfskin quartos

whips studded with spikes
shrieks muffled
by fire.

Beneath purple

militant sabbaths
the rage
of resentful crowds

at school boards
voting booths
in percolating ether

a medieval
mind persists,

welded to sole truths
annealed against doubt;

yet these pages
leak fear
for a reason.

In pain
through blood

a pole-star
still beckons:

Say what you see.
Be what you are