What were you as a man Aristotle?

What were you as a man Aristotle?



            Bend the mind in fifteen different places

to pull out a particular, that

at the moment of capture,

shifts form and demands further



through definitions, substances,

entities – modeling God

on unity, and evil on chaos.

            What genius generates such a mind,

dilemmas purely in abstraction –

a voice swimming in a multi-layered

vortex of ideas and sophisticated vocabulary,

adept at defining, circulating, making movement,

unparalleled density in each paragraph,

in each line of unmatched cerebral dexterity?

            So I found you and I don’t know how

to take you in, if I can, but your observations

of elemental spirituality are exciting, and each read

is a like long dive into a living coral reef-barrier –

colours alien, animals sublime – both prey and predators,

proficient in the art of survival, and the energy!

Take me in –

            if what I thought would take a week,

takes months, and I sift through

your summits and grooves slowly, tasting

sugar, sour wine, touching

the tips of wings from the flight of many birds zipping

around my atmosphere at capacity – sometimes

as shadows, sometimes showing their bright plumage,

and those times I can glimpse, participate

in your singular reasoning, hear a man’s voice

labouring under metaphysical complexities

and bend my mind to the cyclone of your gospel,

spinning, upside down but in perfect order –

            maker of an intellectual sermon,

thinker uncorrupted, unlike your mentor Plato was

with his didactic prejudices, with his what-fors

his where-fors – but you!

            piecing out the divine,

making meals, ideals without rigidity,

chaptering out the primitive and the holy combined

with your plying, delving, ricocheting symphony



Copyright © 2021 by Allison Grayhurst





Published in “Dumpster Fire Press and Voices from the Fire Anthology” April 2021


Dumpster 3Dumpster 2Dumpster 1Dumpster Aristotle 1Dumpster Aristotle 2Dumpster Aristotle 3Dumpster Aristotle 4Dumpster Aristotle 5

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Chicago Record Magazine” March 2021

Chicago Record - March 2021 1Chicago Record - March 2021 What Were You As A Man Aristotle 1Chicago Record - March 2021 What Were You As A Man Aristotle 2Chicago Record - March 2021 bio





You can listen to this poem by clicking the link below:


Leave a Reply