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Contributor Series 8: Feast and Famine, Vegetarian Gumbo


03.29.11 Posted in Contributor Series 8, today's words by

Contributor Series 8: Feast and Famine
Vegetarian Gumbo
By John Pursch

As I was filling my bowl 
with soup at the cafeteria
a woman smiled and asked
whether I believed the sign 
that said, “Vegetarian Gumbo.”
I laughed and told her that
I don’t believe anything.

Later, while eating my soup,
I realized that my statement
could not be true,
because it implied that
I believe that I have no beliefs!
Indeed honest people
who are self-aware enough
to believe their own statements
cannot claim to have no beliefs
and remain consistent.

So as honest, consistent,
reasonably self-aware people,
we must believe something.
What is it that we must believe?
Only that we believe something.


John Pursch’s poem Some of Us Know How appeared at vox poetica in January 2011.



3 Responses to “Contributor Series 8: Feast and Famine, Vegetarian Gumbo”

  1. Jean says:

    John! A deep truth, beautifully expressed as elegantly as gumbo, as elemtarily as soup. Thank you. Jean

  2. Working as a chef, and knowing my southern roots in Gumbo…it is a very layered and complicated dish, much like the poem…really enjoyed this piece John!

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