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The Argument is Odin, God of War & Poetry by Dustin Luke Nelson | Word Riot

January 15, 2012      

The Argument is Odin, God of War & Poetry by Dustin Luke Nelson

Listen to a reading of “The Argument is Odin, God of War & Poetry” by Dustin Luke Nelson.

In no other religion or mythology do the two intersect under a single deity’s domain, with the exception of monotheistic religions where the god is the god of all things.1 Hoarder of all our favorite intangibles. Does this give the poet a role as more than an honorary thinker. Does Odin value both war and poetry equally, and for that matter knowledge, of which it is also a god. Maybe it lists the hanged before poetry and knowledge, because the hanged demand so much love. Can a god lack respect for that which is his domain, and wouldn’t this be required of a monotheistic god and therefore evidence that monotheistic god might not care about us at all.2 Does it open the gates of Valhalla for the poet, or for those who died in more metaphorical ways. It is Odin. Odin is the argument. And then I’ve no bruises, none from the drifters in floppy hats lobbing oranges into the river, and none from the one-eyed clown who throws darts at the fairground. And you can watch. Five minutes for $1.50. Maybe that is the argument within the argument, often misconstrued as the answer. No. It is just another in a long legacy of arguments without questions. How does the clown hit the mark. I would tell you, but it would be stealing $1.50 from the grifters who paid to find out. Ultimately, too, it has nothing to do with the immortality of the gods, who don’t exist except on earth as assholes hunting immortality. $1.50 for five minutes. It’s the argument in the argument. That this all has nothing to say but that there may only be one question that is unanswerable for us. We wind up at the beginning once again, shouting at bleached clothes and crackled plaster, Hey, it’s me, the hanged. Pretty sure I’m yelling at bleached clothes and cracked plaster and the neighbors who never say hello to me in the hallway. Knock twice if you are there. Do you hear me, god of war and poetry or cornstarch and Fritos. The argument has been made, and we will sit in pods of four, cross-legged in the grass waiting for you to respond.3

1 In the author’s experience this is a fact.
2 This in the same fashion children care not really for toys.
3 Look down, that is us withering in place.

Dustin Luke Nelson. Photo by Jacqueline Ouanes.

About the author:

Dustin Luke Nelson is the founding editor of InDigest and InDigest Editions. “The Argument is Odin” come from a collection called Activity, Group. He has been a writer and producer on Radio Happy Hour and Geocachers. His writing has appeared in Bookslut, Powell’s, Tiny Mix Tapes, Monkeybicycle, H_NGM_N, Shampoo, Guernica, and elsewhere.

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