"Portrait of Dr. Doubt"
image by AC Evans
from THE SILENCE INSIDE
--Rupert M. Loydell
‘Maybe a man could not bear how the world had turned pallid, washed out, grey, every day a photocopy of the last.’
- Peter Murphy, Shall We Gather At The River
‘What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation.’
– Don DeLillo, White Noise
Doctor Doubt is a doctor of doubt,
a one-man inquisition who questions
everything he was taught to believe.
Who says? How does that work?
Is that right? Well I never. That’s
just what they want you to think.
Negation and cynicism, disbelief
and doubt, are the foundations of
his self-conferred certification.
He would like to feel himself
slide through the wall, fall through
the floor, walk on water and live
on air: show everyone that everything
they know is wrong. But he can’t.
He is trapped in an endless loop
of unanswered questions and comments
which suggest that he knows best
but that you should never trust him.
Nobody can see the wind
or the way electricity moves
through the wires. We do not
know or understand the things
that make up our world.
Trees grow, plants die, animals
breed and eat, do not need us
to organize or interfere, we are
just part of the scheme of things.
Do not doubt it, do not attempt
to make us more important
than we are. We are not
the centre of the universe,
suggests Doctor Doubt,
putting his own spin on things.
Who knows what the Doctor is
looking for? It’s easy to say faith
but just as likely it’s a perfect
round pebble or the meaning
of marks found on a kerbstone.
Perhaps it’s just somewhere to sit
out of the wind, where the god
and his friends cannot find him.
THE SILENCE INSIDE
We make it from language,
states Doctor Doubt, cognition
is language is thought is life.
Only when we name
does it become meaning,
can we know anything.
There is nothing there,
so to speak, before
we begin to speak.
I only hurt when I know
I hurt, only love when…
Well, I never have.
The words cease. Doctor Doubt
falls quiet. He cannot describe
the silence inside, how
he would like to be loved,
spoken to, named and held,
cannot afford to doubt himself.
Doctor Doubt’s days are empty,
though he likes to sit in the sun
and ponder this fact.
Doctor Doubt’s mind is empty,
all he has to think about
is how endless the days are.
Doctor Doubt’s head is empty,
he has run out of days, of time.
Death is, in fact, a fact.