HAWKING ESCHEWS THE THOUGHT OF HEAVEN
belief that heaven or an afterlife awaits
a “fairy story” for people afraid of death,
Stephen Hawking has said.
an interview in The Guardian
Brilliance undimmed by long paralysis,
lets the coldly soulless digital voice
to the interviewer, has no choice
state without emotion or hubris
Beliefs maligned as blasphemous in what is
senseless century while faith deploys
arsenal of bigotry. The poise
galaxies sings in his mind, but this,
convinced, is not the voice of God.
Awareness, ultimate program, runs its course
And then is finished. For those who once trod
In the footsteps of prophets death was worse,
its sheer numbness, even than the rod
Of tyrant priests. But darkness is the source.
Born in Michigan in 1957, Robert Lavett Smith grew up in
northern New Jersey, in a suburb of New York. Since 1987, he has
lived in San Francisco, where for the past thirteen years he has
worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional for the San
Francisco Unified School District. He holds an M.A. in creative
writing from the University of New Hampshire, where he studied
with Charles Simic and Mekeel McBride. In 1982, he studied with
Galway Kinnell, as a member of the Master Class at the 92nd
Street Y in New York City. He is the author of four small-press
chapbooks, and most recently, of a full-length collection,
Everything Moves With A Disfigured Grace (Alsop Review Press,
2006). All of these are free verse works. A collection of my
sonnets, Smoke In Cold Weather, will hopefully be published by
the Full Court Press some time this summer.