The Sunday Poem : Merry Fortune





God Quest


And when I have toilet paper I say thank you toilet paper god and when I
have food I say thank you food god. Clothes: thank the clothes’ god, shoes
and accessories- thank the same god. For lifts: the elevator god, and wine-
the god of grapes till I see stems and pits and oranges then I am lost in
contemplation of that which is good and may certainly decompose, knee
deep in gods pertaining to the dreaded thought, all distinctions left floating
to be divvied and transferred, mulled upon. After consideration and
appropriate confusion it is with great relief I decide to thank one god and
one god only. But the atheists appear and appear disgruntled so I thank no
one and my contemporaries appear to remind me how selfish and undeserving
I am, then my friends appear to rescue me from my contemporaries’ quaint
but borderline visions of myself and they take me to a better place until I
disagree with them. Upon realizing how emulative of the one they are I take
to the woods and breathe very deep- very, very deep.




About Merry Fortune

Merry Fortune is a poet and vocalist of German and Native American descent. She is the author of the newly published Deep Red Guild (Straw Gate Books, 2012) and Ghosts by Albert Ayler, Ghosts by Albert Ayler (Futurepoem books, 2004). A former co-editor of The World, editor of Pagan Place, and coordinator of The Poetry Project’s Monday night reading series, Merry has been performing and reading throughout New York for many years; highlights include performances with composer Butch Morris’ A Chorus of Poets. Her work has appeared in several anthologies: Many Mountains Moving, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, and The Unbearables’ publications The Big Book of Sex, Help Yourself! and Worst Book collections. Merry has taught writing workshops at both the Poetry Project and the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Her poems, reviews and articles have appeared in many publications including Beyond Race, High Times, L Magazine, Lungfull!, The Poetry Project Project Newsletter, Press 1, and Sensitive Skin. She has produced a recording titled The Love Dogs of Misfortune and has a collaboration on the 3-D compilation State of the Union produced by Elliott Sharp. Merry was born in downtown Brooklyn and currently lives and works in New York. For further selections of her work from Deep Red Guild visit Sensitive Skin Magazine and


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“God Quest” appears in Deep Red Guild Copyright © 2012 Merry Fortune. Used with permission from the author. All rights reserved. Deep Red Guild cover art: Goat (detail) by Anna Schuleit, mixed media on paper, 2009.

By | 2016-11-11T21:52:42+00:00 08.04.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.

One Comment

  1. Jeffrey Gross August 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Puckish, sly, and thought-provoking. Very nice, thanks.

Comments are closed.