Televangelists square off against Satanist Anton LeVey
in a rollicking whacked-out play.
If any God can survive the crucible of my will, then I'll bless him.
Life has an end,
Sorrow is endless.
"Listen to this. 'Life has meaning but no theme. There is no truth
we can assign to it that does not in some way lessen the bright flash
of being that is its essential matter. There is no lesson learned that
does not signal a misapprehension of our stars. There is no moral
to this darkness.' That's some nice shit. Extremely profound.
But the man who wrote that, he's not watching the water for sharks."
--- Lucius Shepard
"You're drunk on God, Sandoz."
---The Sparrow, Maria Doria Russell
The Story of Walker Railey,
First Baptist, Dallas, Texas
The Porno-Panegyric of Jimmy Swaggert
A Morning in the Life
of Madelaine Murray O'Hare
A Modern RENDering
This pleasing insurrection erected by
ROGUE PROTEAN PROLOGUE
[The scene. Procenium should be made up like a giant TV screen.
ANTON LE VEY is kicking the edge of the TV screen as the curtain rises.]
ANTON LE VEY, SATAN'S MINISTER
ANTON LE VEY
I am that anti-holy bastard Anton Le Vey,
Satan's minister, and revel revealingly within
my Mephisto-philosophizing and turmoiling role.
Oil me, adore me! But whatever you do, don't ignore me!
Hollywood's first, and most restless, rule-- the fools!
I'm a proto-atypical American success story
prostletyzing Faust for cash. I'm tired of TV's "seems"
and ache for the intermittent hurt of reality.
Technology draws our attention nearer, tweaks our brains
to the frame its making, and not to the God-analog
of the wistful fistful of substance glow-glowering within;
after all, this is simply air dosed with ions,
a gamma ray whisper the same as a chunk of God's snot,
a radio-detected and iron-cored meteor, senior.
Another rum Sunday's come on, another day to delay praying in,
sick with my universal wish to WANT to pray.
Ah Hell; Hell's the nearer circuit to salvation.
I wrote my ruminative book about it
writhing in a pentacostal pentagram of flame,
a cheap, thumbed paperback beneath the weary mattress
of every teenage metalhead in my America.
My plangeant, Satanic Bible, a gun of wrong
(perhaps!) to knock the righteous fuckers on their ass!
Sin is kindness in my thin grin
and under my black, rancid Elvis hair,
every evil takes on a certain sainthood in my eyes.
Let's see what choir-hummers will come upon
the electric scene-scenario my wattage has conjured here.
Click! Rearrange, my derranged mirror-ministers,
this hissing cathode ray to your boring dream;
I sense they sense a certain something in the Cosmos
they can't shut up about. Five televangelists are scheduled
to prate their aching minute beneath my wary stare--
the competition! Against 'em I'll win
or burn my own bible on the waxed hoods
of their long Lincoln Towncar Continentals.
.... Ah, my soul's all of charcol and chafes to dust
with my wiry able body's little wreck.
Antony Levy or Anton Le Vey, hey heh heh hey,
I am whichever face my tongue has the strength to say.
So saint or sinner be, but be be be! Whichever's wiser.
But half of both is none of neither.
Blind on my righteous high, and erectly ecstatic after the miraculous,
I am Pharaoh here in Dallas, commanding the irreligious
from my grainy height of pyramid, the sandy pulpit
splashed by your unretractable prayers and spittle-bits,
my breath a Lazarus of chile peppers this sunny Sunday morn.
My divine invective flies out to scrutinize and research
the wicked hearts slumping in my pews, you, you, and you,
flogging the bishop, and grinding your lecherous sins
into your bad rear molars, sin-silvered, as if
the Judgement Day weren't razoring in on us all,
God's stukka narrowing on your brown-nosed nose.
And mine, no less targeted, but perhaps a touch divine.
Happy Easter, greetings, fleshing blessings from God,
the incarnate mystery rolling back the stone of Death.
Once again we're gathered in His absence, post-Ressurrection
apostles and wayward acolytes each and every one, flung
to our Dallas cathedral here, the seven, stiffened
concrete arches marching backward larger and larger
to the dwindled pulpit; says something about the human scale
of all our small things and doings before the huge,
ubermensching sanctity of God, don't you think?
But where would God be, in His gigantic, out-of-scale heaven,
if we myopic mortals hadn't the vision to see Him?
Think, think, think, continually on your knees
while you pray at the dais, my humble, cowboy tribe.
Now I know that the circumstances of this sermon are far, far
from the very best, but we Methodists are used
to setbacks; we deal with what we get, and put
God's hard-won trope of hope in our hearts,
our faces staying as masked with rapture as any
kid giving his Satan-grin on All Hallow's Eve,
thus proving His saving success. Puts me to mind
of that squib about God the Potter, all thumbs
thrust down and in to hollow out a soul, the golden goal.
But what blind foot spins the wheel? I'll confess
my account of hope's been bled low as trench water,
but seeing you, this spate of loved and loving faces,
my endless sea of congregation gathered to my rock shore
as if your righteous waters clashed eager
in timeless lines of divine and crinkled light
to subsume and crest my dry and alien land.... Well, folks,
lumps my thick throat with gratitude; my tears begin to wear.
A touching stone stands loaded on my chest, a milemarker
staking my heart.... Was it after midnight's witching minute
that I collapsed with my gasping Mustang at the house,
edging into the blacked-out garage, a sinister raider
of my own home, the nesting place; two eggs had hatched
and blossomed at our backs, my wife and mine's,
we hardly knew that they had come, and there they were,
alert, alive, not us, changing our lives forever,
stays against the hideousness even now. Did you ever see
us three at Galilee, my two daughters, those robbers,
and me? I felt like a rinky King Lear
lost in the sandlot of God. There was a presence,
almost, I'd swear, extraterrestrial, an angel in the desert
beating my timerous existence towards the Lord.
I was caught in the backwash of whatever
those extending wings were heading toward
and blinked against the light, a more morose, dour,
plunging and self-unloving Eugene O'Neill type guy
than I had ever planned or prayed on becoming.
Still I felt and followed where the wind twisted,
my own tornado of demons beginning their whirligig
within me. Yes, demons. I am not unannointed by the vile,
I only live towards the light, a humble heliotrope
barely better than a weepless cactus; I do not stand revealed
among the high mercuric scrolls of God's good clouds.
I am lost. I am dark. I am in the dark.
Rapidly praying here in Poe's peachy pit, tick,
tick, tick, as our waiting clicks towards the Lord's arrival,
pawing in nerveless, yuppied and active ladies' hands
an abacus of rosy Methodist rosary-bead Hail Mary's,
forgiving ourselves the sins we witch-hunt the neighbors for,
the one calculus of forgiveness I still can't get straight.
If they're guilty, why not witch-hunt them to Kingdom Come?
A guilty gilt of sweat slides off the bulbous forehead
I use to think at God. Oh how morosely now
do I retchingly recall how I drove over
my knocked-out spouse's blue, endearing, enduring, blue,
splotched face and quivering sexless body.
Paramedics told me it was the usual dum-dum response
of a body in rictus after a near strangulation event.
I swear I arrowed straight from the seminary library,
I told the officer, "go ahead, write it down, I ain't scared;
done nothing wrong myself I wouldn't tell you and Jesus both,"
snaking down the out-back highway lit-up as Lucifer
extending to innocent Evie his evil fist of peach,
my dank crankshaft grinding at the amoral fog
into which I like a Nazi paratrooper had so slyly descended,
my rubber wheels steel-belted and invisibly bouyant,
carrying me undiscovered through it all.
Not the best circumstances, all that just three days ago,
the fairy tale of Good Friday still pasty on my drying tongue.
Prescient as my years of hard-won prayers had made me,
even I couldn't see all the mistakes I was about to make.
Oh Lord, o lousey Lord, and my simpering parishoners,
forgive me.... spiralling my children to strangers,
our dear friends who looked at me and never guessed;
I taught them to worship me after God's goitered image,
and then, all at odds and ends, drifting at speed,
bouncing barbituates down with a stray beer, one handful
too many, until, like Lazarus gone sour, I turned
comatose on the ashen carpeting, a dumped urn of wormy regrets;
just one more stain in the two-star hotel room's history
of blobby emissions. Today, well, I guess I'm better.
Now pinned to the pulpit in a Bulletproof vest,
(did I tell you I recieved a death threat typed at this office,
right here where I slap my mincing madates
on the cherubic cheeks of my lazy cleric clerks? Well, I did.
And still my heart's not right with it, I can't forgive
those who haven't properly executed their sins as of yet,
now can I? Could you? Don't answer. Silence is golden---
I heard that passed between the spatting officers
in the squad car as they pulled me up to Booking.)
I ask you to reconsider the Ressurrection correctly
like I learned to do, straight from God's leaning lip
to my wimpling ear, He told me Jesus was evil,
knew the awful trickster to his snaky core;
His aquaintance with the abyss was everlasting,
his gospel a spastic chant to save his own erring soul,
trying to congeal in peace the ten thousand faces
he himself had drawn and erased between his birth and death.
Maybe those Romans had done our doelike soldier of faith
a favor, nailing him to his final expression,
and not the million guesses at finality his parables assumed.
Our Lord God incarnate plays solitaire with the whole universe, y'know.
Ten thousand faces had our hero the Lord, like you,
the ten thousand faces not unlike your blinking faces
staring there into the abstraction of the nave above,
that kleenex-gleaming, glass-vaulted, sanctuary air
of Heaven sparked with flecks of tinsel, marking stars
that arrow-out the Bethlehem in our Dallas, Texas hearts,
our toasted community of the wounded, gasping here,
burn-victim parishoners to mercy, every one,
as indeed we need to be on this one-hundred degree
Easter sunday. Check your faces, ladies, there's the Lord.
Unpack your compact vanity mirrors, and let your lounging husband
see his own careening demon there, yes, a demon
in each and every one of us, Jesus knows;
see the alarm-red horns peeking past your ears?
See them, see them? They won't melt back to skin or nothing
like the candy eggs you fob off your lambing innocents with,
melting uneaten in your Armani suits and snapped-shut
Betsy Johnson pocketbooks before they're even littered
to the kiddies after church, all your holy goal of extra-credit
generosity reduced to a choclately smear where our worn
hands end, and not much else. Now what kind of blessing
to hand up to Our Lord is that? Manicured, uncuring
fingers knitted in abject prayer again today,
Dear Co-Pilot, we ask you, please, whatever you may
make of us dullard mortals, squirming to sin
on the infinite blue of your homey globe, please don't
crush us too hastily to your downy breast. I'd die
if I had to die , Dear Lord, before I'd gotten just
one more score on my horney, dear Lucy Papillon,
the faded butterfly, my mistusted mistress, delicate,
irridescent, dying in her over-hasty haywire
of father-hatred and off-angles adoration, turning
and turning in her flittering yearn
to please the world and be left alone.
When I saw my honey twitching back of the Chevy....
skipping home from the SMU library, making choice this sermon
for ressurected Easter Sunday, after nipping in nappies
into my mistress' house for a quickie, three days ago,
Good Friday.... I turned into her driveway, following my car,
its hiss of whispering gasses, suggestions
I was too inertly normal to resist. Spectral trees
loomed like shades in the unappercieving headlights
luminescing past the gritty grille, my prison grate
holding back a two-hundred horsepower, fuel-injected lust.
I was Lucy's father-figure who told her what underwear to buy,
and checked the ribald purchase with small, inistant fingers
assiduous as the fabled Haynes Inspector number 17.
My lovely lady Lucy Papillon, the flustered butterfly,
how many hours had we downed, skimmed from conniving Fate,
to worm around and warm our skin-close, closed coccoon
in spendthrift, near-ecstatic flight!
However bumbling our new-wet wings-- they worked!
Remember consummating our tremble-tumbled liason?
Your palpitating lap dance, The Ressurrection!
The Ressurection! a tap dance for the gospel-praters,
breaking the bread and bone at Emmanuel's,
flesh and blood divided like a TV dinner on a tray.
Now I look up and recognize my savior too;
my mortal sin winks at me, wearing its Jesus-beard.
If I were given just one more chance....
Reporter came to see me yesterday, timid, tricksy,
asked me where I got off, polluting the plummeting union
of God and man; let me know, I said, the last time Jesus
gave you a blow job, and I'll holler all my God-spelled gospels
at your ratty, tattered alter, you ass-licking Jimmie Olsen.
Now get the piss out of here, and take your trash with you,
and, no, I don't care how high-profile, either to save or damn me
in the bought and sold wink of the national media,
you think you are, just get. Get! Christ,
an inveterate smoker, had a nervous capacity to unify
the most disparate instances of things, and all the cold
non-things of God, too. Do my parables break into a patter?
Well, consider that the one, final stroke of luck.
If I can sell enough people on the idea I'm Christ,
well, maybe I could step into the stuttering floodlight
Jesus Risen keeps X-Raying on my brain, my hidden conscience.
My conscience, an obscurity even I'd forgot.
Maybe then I could arise at dawn and memorize myself,
a maze of christnesses obsessively traced
into the answer of myself. You know, I feel schitzophrenic
whenever I'm forced to not be the Living God.
My mind like a white lightning Molotov fries itself alive,
each brimstone whiff a sweltered reminiscence
of the God I lied aloud and still couldn't deny,
a broken image of my own internal withering brought to light.
Now I am rising, like Jesus on a white pillar
of Yosemite steam; I rise, I rise....
My darkness spatters backwards at its cracks,
and I rise, rise in lightness among bright lights,
rise, rise, until I am in the light, am the light, all light,
nothing but that out-of-reach simpleness, that absolute blank.
I am made blind in the glare of sin I initiate.
No god wrapped my hand around my young Ryanna's turtle-neck,
I did it! Not God pondering from his inert sphere,
not you, alone and well-fed in your cloned homes,
not the six-pack of alieviating demons who'd howled
my soul though as if it were cheesecloth, or tornadoed up
my riveting memories like hurricaning hosts of ghosts
to churn my attacked senses into a tragic hash.
I know I am not God, or His Jesus next-of-kin;
I know, I know, and will give you the same revelation:
Look on my despoiled loins, my habit for disaster,
sinners, look, peer where a heart inches toward oblivion,
stare these essences to their ashes, and be appalled!
I whipped close to my zeroed black hole, and loved it
with all the loving lashes a bullwhip might make
against the uninhibited darkness of that obsidian,
my own stung, stone heart the universal center.
Like a drunken Hopi, hoping, I lay the tracks in black,
lash myself relentlessly with unforgiving cordage,
cut to stunned emptiness, and in that absence find,
discover once again, afresh, like a confused child,
the horrifying losses I had made mine.
My father never touched my crew-cut head approvingly;
other parts, otherwise. Perhaps that's true;
a shread of verity gives the worst lie some hue of truth.
If I can make-believe I'm innocent, so can you!
The mind is what we make of it, my fellow-man,
my homilies come blustering like Custer, custard-covered
only to be soul-edible to only sweet-tooth you!
Don't you believe me when I swear I am the raving Truth?
I am the Way, the Light, and the Glory. I am the tenth story,
from which, once jumping, treads Down into our only
imperative narrative Road. Ha, ha. Walk with me!
I am the Walker who makes mere gravity my whore,
I have such sure-lightness in my shilling touch.
Oh my paratrooping minions, dive-gliding at my heels
through the taxing Texas heat after my own, my true
paraphrasing parables, look, look into my mirror
and see yourself squinting for the afterlife in my rainbow-light.
Come, come. Oh, Lucy, swished on those sinning satins,
you're divine, your legs conceal the Book of Revelations,
arising and dividing like Satan's wild horns, faster, faster,
I swear you crooning sighs will be my epitaph;
the sheeny aftertaste of my own sweat makes me mild.
Is something wrong? You orgasm at my groin.
There, you're settled now, wing-weary, my monarch-mistress,
and status-satisfied. Yes, yes, I'll marry you after....
No, no, don't cry, don't cry. All better, my divinity?
I've wiped your distorting tears back to flesh.
"Walker, dear," she said, pupating on the pillowy
divan her rotoring thighs subsumed in frightless whiteness,
a white of sinew and renewal. Oh my Whiteness! When I touched
and stroked her emergent from the tomb, my monarch-angel
flying from her cracked chrysalis to the cathedral bell
we'd sighed aloud to pull. "Walker, dear,"
she said, pupating Papillion. "Again."
"Your flushed face is puffed, you know how that disgusts me;
I'm going to trundle to my loving home now, Lucy.
Lucy, next time, make it better." The sporting door
shuts hollow at my retreating back, my cross pin
glinting as I unstick it from my hanging tie,
given me by Lucy with a note: For the bishop.
How many times have I told you now of my arrival?
In my mind I keep coming to where she wallowed
on the gas stain, each asphasic, contorted
fish-mouthing of her drowning mouth an accusation:
"Walker Reily! From this damning shame, no running!
No speed or rearing chase of dream-desire can take you
away. Here's your destiny, the one, the fate
you handstitched against my neck and failing brain."
Wife! Wife! Every time I think about it
the flowing car seems softer, more cloudlike,
my gleaming feet floating through the door
to tap-land on the concrete apron where a chalked,
white, hop-scotch was scrawled by our dawdling daughter.
Oh god, god.....
I know you never abandoned me. I still feel adored.
Now, ah, where was I? This heat is enervating!
I stand accused, and still you come! I arc up
recovered from a suicidal coma, and still you come!
It seems my unending tribulations have laved me,
in name, at least, as the most popular preacher boy
in society's old, corroded high-school heirarchy.
You know, the dilettanting prosecutor, at ease
before his easel of low crimes and high misdemeanors,
would paint my paling contenance with a harsher brush.
Oh God, he might say, how I gloried in the blue, blurred
cord my righteous Ryanna remembers. She got strangle-altered
in the struggle to love unabatingly too, you'll recall.
I'm sure you've read all the papers, and will buy up
my three books, to be put out by Random House this fall,
my season for winnings and windfalls, a choice time
to tackle the passions that nearly strangle one!
How blind to the divine we are, your sinners, oh Lord,
crafted in thy crafty image, we regret
our inability to step back from the plaster finish
and crash the masterpiece to splinters! I, I regret
that my aiming hand was unsteady in the pinch.
Neither my gum-tongued wife nor I knew how
to consummate our finishing. How by the divine
we are squeezed until we are forgiven! Or forget,
our brain-mass a lump of dumped cells, like Ariana's,
my putatative, however unloving, tournequet-necked, wife.
My charming potato sack, my dropping star, my life!
Let's sing, choirmaster, after this fashion,
dink the triangle in rebelling praise, sing high:
"Mine eyes have seen the blackness of Satanic habitats...!"
Oh, when you're down, my listeners,--- on my coat-tails,
child and mother, and wastrel husband, come, come!
I am the Spirit of Christ-Mass present,
an imprecise arbiter of what's nice and not-so-nice;
when you're at the black bottom, come, descend,
follow your plunging heart in my eviscerating wake,
come, come, plunge to its thrubbed nub of nastiness.
Revile thyself! and expel the strength of Spirit;
are you here with me now? It is dark. In the dark,
your nose itched in filth and the fat lack-of-faith
I've described: no savior, no heaven up above,
like in that looney John Lennon song, then you know,
athiest on a tightrope paralleling no earth in darkness,
the death of Life, the death of Hope;
but the death of Death, no, that does not come.
In the trough of the abyss I've lain three bleak days,
the sun or God an unanswering dialtone in my ravaged ear;
an accordian of demonic voices demanded their ribbed hearing,
expanding and contracting throughout the vile Escapade,
and I gave them my whole soul in that blistered,
listening liason with the very Devil. I know, bone-hard,
I know my fractured pact was blissfully consummated
from my gibbon-narrow skull to my cracked nuts, not a jot
of whatever insists on being me omitted, not a jot.
Each assuaging, persuading, suede or harrassing voice
came tri-toned and insinuating: "Why not?", "Go ahead...."
I tried in my trial to deny that denial, but could not.
God wot! I was in a sulpher-crimson brimming stew,
my dick the stirring widget, as with so many of you, too.
When I had her corded against the kitchen sink,
my enormous erection at the small hollow of her heaving back,
vomiting a vile black blood bile, until her tongue
nearly came undone enough to follow her slipping supper
like a starving snake between her bruised, contorting lips,
each syllable of vatic ache she spewed sounded
like my own christian name. But it wasn't,
I was not present, I swear. Who is it who really dies
strapped between uprights in the electric chair?
The guilty man? Or guilt itself? Or is it our own fears
we charbroil into non-existence? I was not afraid.
Shadow of a cat, shadow of a cat, black black black
as the shadow of a cat, I came behind her without a whisper,
simmering in my new wardrobe of sin-wishes....
Slipping in the overspill of my jimmied Ariana's spit-up,
I nearly lost my grip and let her breathe. Easy
to make a mistake like that, I guess, I'm only
a part-time psychopath, not an Old Testament pro
like that yattering Yahweh. And, anyhow, my state of mind
is still no good excuse, I think all that Fruedian crap's
just a sloppy cop-out; even when the demons were in me, I knew
it was my triggering fingers on the jerking wire
I had harnessed at her limp, uninjured neck.
My trying eye does not understand the I of sin.
Doubting Thomas with the halo knocked off,
I speared a tear with my little finger's little fingernail,
from her bulging, suffocated, near sightless left eye,
drank deep its shallow Red Sea salt, and felt myself divided.
I stand birth-wet in the unbearable glare
of my own blistering sinning like the sun.
JIMMY "JAMES THE SHAMELESS" SWAGGERT
I'm ripping this twenty dollar bill in half: take it.
I'll fork over its disfigured sister half when we're
all done here. Ooo Honey, Honey, shaking on the cheap springs
all Primavera against that cheesy flowered print, knees aghast
atop the dimpled bluebells and spattered Jack-
in-the-Pulpits squealing wildfire to your ham-handed,
rotoring and rugged, dry sweat masturbation!
Flail your sweet innards pink alive like St. Bartholomew
for masturbating me; my spanking Jack, a flogged man,
creamed against my satiny, jerking jogging shorts
when I first spotted your sultry ass hitched against
your Airline Highway and rust-sagging whore door Sunday
after the big preachment when I took that sinner Jimmie Bakker
down as fast as he'd had that plastic Jessica Hahn
on the oinking office chair. Hell, his ass was mine.
God had mentioned in my red ear he had a guilty dick,
so I circumcised it, cut his tongue off at the bled bud.
No one like that should be broadcasting to the people about my Lord;
his wife's white eyes black fountains of mascara tears....
These are my wicked ministry's secular resources.
A shameless shaman telegraphing desire on a nickering wire,
all taps and dashes and long undulant pauses.
Yes, yes, that's it. My cloven hooves clicker when you whinney.
Every heaven-minded man's bathed in sin. That's where, dear,
our molten ocean of knowing bubbles up from in spuming spoils,
this boiling pit of blisters I call my holy soul,
a cancer-hankering for the groin and heart unveiled
the total tumor pulsing revealed in an unbridled, raw,
rancerous and pimply pornographic tour de lux! No lie.
Christ himself died naked and afraid. Who's to say
Mary Magdalaine's sin-oiled fingers didn't flex and give
his little suffering man-in-the-pants one last lube?
What unshriven figure did her weeping hips lave and save?
She was a whore anyway, thumbed more times than my
filtched Gidean. You understand. Can you, can you... Ahh!
Blank tears tickle-wiggle past my roaring nose, and I get
the harsh, salt lick of death against my moaning tongue.
Hallelujah! I'm gonna die someday raving and saved,
my doughty boxer's sheeny limbs will roll folded in the Rapture's
swooping shroud, as backlit in heavenslight as an MGM production.
Little Lord who made me, I am but a wad of cotton
waiting to be nimbly picked and soul-raped by your risen fingers;
I kneel in the twister-riven fields until you're here,
UFOing from Paradise among the slashing stalks,
rare, terrified and adored. I won't want to click
my sin-pinned nazi heels like Dorothy and go home, Lord,
I swear I won't. I want to be in heaven with a silk dress
like yourself. But I cannot wrangle back to blessedness
the wayward ears of my mew-mooing parishoners in the pews,
let them wriggle as they will! Down among the dull swabs,
I alone hear the ballooned, importuning, heroic, vatic,
hollow on-high voice of my triumphant God.
Before thy stemming mightiness, I am as a twig!
O how unwell, I reach into the rancidness!
How rancid and entrancing I am, raked flailingly alive
here in the televised tent of my po' south,
evangelizing my crossroads roots. Here I twist and simmer;
everybody all weird elbows and sweat-dank shirt-sleeves
---room for everybody in this christ's-body tent---
I reach out to covet and knuckle your rearing ass....
Some siren of sense is alarmingly rebelling within me.
Jesus the Savior is knocking on my soul's house's doors.
I am ready for the charnel confessional of the truth.
At last, at last....
Daddy spent his time before the war and my birth
trapping furs, "a gettin' the little critters afore
they get the snap on us," as he brayed, and I still can see
the godawful racoon goo on his black fingers in my eye,
punctuating the florid story for emphasis. I see him,
picking pecans in due season, hard labor and unloveable,
playing the fiddle hard for whiskey and merriment,
and fucking mom. He had his crooked finger ditched deep
in every possom pie of our lazy days hamlet,
my little beleaguered, divine, divided, and deciding town
sweet Fairaday. The yokels he'd swindled loved to squint
up at his six foot five inch Ramses face and call him "The Sun."
God, with a bootlegger's simmering snigger, had seen
him baptized as Sun Swaggert, my righteous-assed Daddy.
There wasn't a dirty trick in the Devil's book
he hadn't learned to rue. Darlin', slower now, we're almost home.
His fatal eyes stared past death, stone blue.
I peeped up at him with a drooly infant's grin
from the slick backwash of Momma's powdery collar-bone,
first time, and cried. My first memory is of the briars
in his eyes. Momma chuched my rump and kissed my dew-lapped pate's
sweet-pea pompadour. Where could I hide my innocence
and watery, thunderstruck eyes? He was a big bright man
full of sweat and gumption, never met his like,
nor any doppleganger unlike of his either; he slapped
my candy ass with a bible-hard hand and quoted Deuteronomy.
I knew in my soft-soap bones I had been born to an immoral man.
I myself was the raw result of most degraded sin:
quicker a bit: baby, baby! Your sour rose undoes my crooked worm
flying all afternoons into one evening's ashes!
How could my blanching existence, however white,
however benignly pale about the bleeding knot
of my diapered umbilical and squalling, toothless mouth,
ever justify the spattered blackness of my setting forth?
I swooned, a marooned baby-bit of conscioussness,
against my mother's loving tit and pinched nipple.
There was no way. I had stared into the sun and eclipsed myself.
I, a midnight-eyed ape mendicant still too young to swing
himself out of evolution's tarry jungles, my swamp of self.
And Father's own wild life was set to atone;
Yes, he beat me to the savior's raptured punch
and heard the word of the Lord before speech sneaked into me.
He always knew how to change himself before he got too bored,
contracted the clap, or got L'isiana crawdads down his shorts.
He'd get even with all the quicksand world
that'd sucked him down, dragged his scanty white ass
past the precipice and nearly drowned, in mud,
the slick silvered areofoil of his quickened spirit
in this hissing trash of sex and life! Never, o never!
would he let any of his sin-spawned progeny dodge
the cold knowing of his gospel-doctored heart:
we needed his gracing spate of light to save ourselves!
He looked at Mom over his gilt-edged Old and New Testament
one searing evening at dinner, and let her know
there'd be no more of that "kissing business upstairs"
from here on in, even unto the erected Ressurection!
I sighed into my peas, whacked off in the attic, and prayed.
With Daddy's magic conversion, all the apocalyptic world
had to get its camel's ass into the reviving
revival tent too: none were to be eschewed, or God
Himself would thrash His wavering son Sun
straight down Hell's alley like a flaming bowling ball,
all fire-mottled, there to burn, incomplete, eternally.
Daddy had gathered us in the driveway at dawn
to disgorge his night-attack of vision. We knew....
Momma's face was black and blue with praying.
We would be battering-ram Daddy's little evangelistas,
his heavenly icicles nailed into the Devil's stew.
My poor dim-watt Daddy, I see now, was a sure-fire
hellfire and leather-strap man: whap whap whap
on my little brother's wicked little ass-- never mine;
I was the sunshine angel of our brood that Granma had prayered for
when out popped my righteous Papa; she saw he understood
sin too well to become beatified before the Lord.
But me, well, my powdered neck drifted in from heaven itself,
shiny-clean in my new haircut and perfectly white white shirt.
I gave all the townsfolk their sermons with a smile,
secretly defying deified God himself to knock me off
my pederasted pedestal; I was one hot holy-boy
steam-rolling sin out of our southern gospel town.
Fair-a-day, For-a-day, Fair-this-day, Far-a-way Fairaday,
my little beleagured, divine, divided, deciding town.
Your loony hopes had roped you to God's creation,
lashed like Ahab on his unabandonable whale.
Remember how, at nine, I prophecized Hiroshima
from the swept tabermnacle of my bedroom?
The ashen mushroom cloud bloomed from my small-boy's mouth,
tender as an eyeball one might refuse to eat, or see with.
Too gun-shy to talk Allied English for three days afterward,
I howl my moronic mish-mash of scolding German
and Axis Jap until half the state had made it
to our rickety outskirts church to touch and behold me.
Funny isn't it, how, sometimes, the whole world
shrinks itself to a cheap, tin pinwheel, glittering and flaring,
circling back on itself in a spanked child's little [baby] fist.
My steady hand never abandoned its blessing wrath
to administer any spat of doubt unto my simple people,
staring at my washed and clarified features as a proof
about how the days of future Rapture had come down
to prowl among 'em now. Yes! I was that
condemnifying angel at hazard in their midst;
I was their very conscience in my sunday best,
given a nickle a week to preach them straight,
administer old Sun's sallied broadsides until they loved
to hate their own twisted, purgatorial souls,
unsunned and sickened shit-black without my tongue.
And how they loved it all!
Each sin-grimmace flashed ecstatic to pulpitted me.
Nothing like eternal damnation to wake up the sleepy day,
and really, as we say, put a new curl in your pie-crust!
I recall being rolled awake one meek midnight by
my brother's raspy hollerin' in the next room;
it seemed some beery iron-clawed sin-demon had nabbed him!
I shook in my thin bed, sweating out the August dark.
What could be going on in there in the other, nearby dark?
Was he still quarantined in his skin, to scream
and carry-on like that? He sounded all blood and lesions,
one tortured and torqued voice, all maimed and baying boy.
Each slap echoed out louder than the last had crashed,
like a beaver's damned angry swap! mapping terror
out over the alarming waters-- have you ever heard it?
Miles it carries, they say, and they're right.
I hear it still.... every other night, or so.
But that was coming from my own brother's body and back,
rack after rack of hideous slaps
and whappings; the ceiling distorted with my tears.
I could hear him squeal his prayers bible-page thin walls:
"O Lord, O lord, come and rapture me afore Daddy
ever has such cause to revile me again....I don't care
if I go to hell, just don't let him be so mad again."
I arose at clear dawn to see the blood-vomit at his neck,
his face a knot-- hate and real fear combined there
as he slept, crunched into a curl so tight it seemed
he never wanted to wake up again. I prayed,
there and then, for God to make me a little wicked too,
put some touch of Satan in my makeup, smear my clearness,
so that Daddy's smacking hand could get a little tired
against my face and body first, before he'd beat
my brother to the grotesqueness of a bruised rainbow.
And the Lord did it. And I believed.
But my tired-eyed Daddy never blamed me a lick,
let me carry off every sin as if it was a medal o' honor,
like from the war. My guilt! my guilt! my guilt!
My ruse of bruises won't convince myself---
I am the one who should be undone by what I've done!--
I am the guilty party, and I rock in self-hate,
crushing my sweat-fat head back against the velvet
headrest in my royally on-rushing Rolls.
What argosy of incidents might unsettle me before the Lord?
Those were the glory days; Jerry Lee Lewis, my cousin, and me
revelling in the little pleasures of the flopping flesh:
My life at the pious piano had twenty flicking fingers, not ten.
My own hands and little boy Lewis' happily combined
to play our childhood souls to an amiable blankness.
No, that's not right, but I forgot some spiking hurts,
seated crosswise-ass from Jerry Lee on the sotted lawn;
there we were, a trembling terror of tenors
flying from low to high, rolling the black keys
like drunken niggers with our plaster-blanche palms,
rolling the black keys like the rut-wet whores
on our side of the racket-making tracks, fluid
under strangers' paling knuckles and loving fucks.
Our shoes were kicked off to feel the sweet, wet aspect
of grasses rustling under folding chairs pinned to earth
by the meaty buttocks of the congregation,
First Spellbinders open-air sitting church, too poor
to afford even a rented tent's swaying steeple.
Our wired hearts floated into the uppermost of the air,
winged by our rude harmonies and gospels,
there in the swart, flat field we scrimmaged in,
rummaged this sunday by a million faithful footfalls.
Marooned in paradise by our weird croons
and baptist mass, we gospelled the ringing keys
and made those disintegrating eighty-eights shine
and tremble before a scornful God and all his high pack
of quack magicks and Cecil B. DeMille screen-effects.
How passionately we dreamed to die angel-hearted,
registering our fatal love at the Lord's illuminated doorway!
Heaven was a honeysuckle we could pull down and chew,
no abstract majesty but our fingers could pull it through,
no mere fart of honor in a lackland backwater
like our already forgotten town, but the real deal,
opium-gold and landed among us: each impoverished, pie-fat face
communed with scripture, tortured word by word,
like removing a tattoo, and on each humble aspect
there in the spasmed grass, you could see the scar-shadow
faith had palimpsested upon the prayerful
like moonlight through a torn screen.
How our roused fingers impinged on sound to whorl
all those imploring buttermilk souls flooding loving
from their uneasy chairs into the ghost-crowded air!
The holy ghost itself, down for a cameo role,
broke out upon the parishoners' ecstatic faces
like a sweat; they moaned their own, lonely orgasmic assent
to each trembling tone of our stab at divinity!
Yes, yes, they cried, we are the afterwash of the Lord,
the mudflats and swamps that received drydocked Noah,
the fizzled helium ballons of aereonaut angels
crash-landed in Louisiana, wandering dead drunk
and light-headed at our nearness to God. Yes, yes!
We put off the creamy blazers of the Devil, never
will be his limber minions, or stumble lumberingly
among the downed lines of that master puppeteer,
a fallen luminescence forced by the purposeful Lord
to hold his own black threads above his knotted head,
careering blind-man's-bluff through his perveted dominions.
We made the heat-rich air itself shiver to our fingerings,
like that wild Sally Fletcher at the Corn Pone Fair
beneath the jilting ferriswheel earlier that same year.
For us alone in all the rumored world, the very air
split and lived to the rapidity of our quizzings,
as if we'd asked for nothing other than to know all ourselves,
there in the abject field, honeyed by daylight.
All eyes the stoned eyes of Eternity inflicted
on decaying heads, argent looks that out-shone the dead stars,
gave the lie to all gravestones, and all death's
dissolute dissolvings of the flesh at a flash.
To know and see, truly see, each and every
one of ourselves as we were and as we are,
kneeling there in the field with God himself by our side,
the one absolute we had engineered a syllable for,
the rest made up by passionate guesses we'd timed
our heartstrings to plink out of the cheap uprights
dumb luck had donated beneath our detonating paws.
Our battered harmonics were laconic: lazy
L'isiana's high-powered answer to St. Cecilia.
Our own young notes had spiderwebbed these green folks
up to choiring Jesus' highwire electric netting:
two billion volts straight through the admiring spines,
the small fry swivelling like the million eels
that fattened Mr. Pike's steel net in the bayou
out back; his tobaccoed, cajun-thick accent
the provenence of tongues, inspired Non-Americanese.
Come on, my tender wings! Ascend! Jiggering Jerry Lee and me
would bend and bend, helping each uncertain passenger on-board
our hunching backs as we dazzled the rearing keys
to Kingdom Come. It wasn't easy, but I felt fine;
fine as if my heart had never given out
to anything other than these implorings of the Lord,
Our Father, who art tugging me home by my scrotum.
And now the anxious nails come singing from my wrists;
when I cross them in pain, I get a sightline
viewing the eternal bastardy of God, The Abandoner!
I peer into the soul-ruining firmament until I'm blind.
Eyeless cows plough lowing through the fields,
their bony hips magnetized on new seed;
the ploughman's work-bitten hands dash pure wheat-golds
into the filthy nurturent ruck to make it yeild and breed.
O I was a carpenter of sorrow, and built my sadness true,
the unerring blueprint filigreed vein by vein;
In my house, all sky-blue verity's reduced to muralled pain,
Come hold the shivering brush, push clouds
into the plaster muck, or turn a humped
harried black blot of demon in the white, or make
particular however the haunted paradise you hunt:
I guarantee whatever evil thing you rush to caricature is you.
The child's wind-mastering pin-wheel stays stuck
on dreams and dreaming rainbows in this wind's created wake.
Now nailed, and dying once again, I ache
a waterlogged winter-soul anxious for the summer floods
to quicken and float me quickly to the top!
Of Heart! Oh, revenging, evangelizing heart, stop, stop!
I am whatever color is the color of my blood,
which bleeds, invented afresh, by these kind, expulsed
voodoo wobbly pins I arrow away from my skin.
How shall my charring shame come to its surcease?
A waste of rest to refresh my wreck! Spare me despair,
O Lord, whose source I cannot knowingly unknow,
--I have seen the ripped insides of my own bewildered heart,
the furious, angry engine where generating Destiny carooms.
Kneel by me, jerking Jezebel, weep, cry the fabled tears
that freeze the eyelash and shread the sight. Blindly tear
every wonderment of looking down to our longed-for nullity!
Here in the dark we drink, and we ourselves are ink,
our wanton souls the dry blotters for each sin spilled
by anxious, trembled hands upon the snowy fields.
Pray by me, a crooked man low-kneeled, afeared
in my hot polyesther and thinning pompadour....
Baby, baby, aspen-anxious in the creaking pew,
I'll tear the living God's cradle to flinders to shelter you,
weave a semi-sacred arch in our ruined southern woods,
shaded beautifically now in Proserpina's pagan spring;
I'll set you up as my new Madonna too, a thing all of gold
and enamalled blue, a Byzantine bitch, whose frail
white hand shall masturbate me through the wrenching gale
of all this wicked world's spitting storms.
Come, come. Let us adhere together, and sail in my grand
--luxurating on its mounded pouch of fake leopard skins
like your straining leotards, my friend in christ--
to our Airport Highway Motel Paradise.
Arch, arch, yes, yes, like that, like that, I'm saved....
Let me sop up this pus-sy holy water, spilled
where your manic, gracing hand had raved.
Who wouldn't grind a little gracelessly, and twist
to the the rainbowed aura of your halo when you pissed?
I was, my non-virgin Virgin, slutty Queen,
with your near-perfect lipstick, Carnation #12,
not quite right a little afterward. Small,
hallucinatory blushes blurred beyond the outline
of your cookie-cutter smile. I was, and am,
your most devout and devoted Vouyer votary,
peeking past your wise debasement to my wild depravity.
It seems that my personal Hiroshima, all legs and ass
and steamy profusions of eggy emulsions, to exist,
must be tele-evangelized. I quake. I speak.
I wait, in the abnegated space of the cathode tube,
for the exchanging rain of the flames' flakes
to hiss into my sin-wicked skin as soul-hot ash.
It seems these votive forces are forgiveless of my sins.
My guilt I may not expiate, not by gospel,
not by harried grace, not by the sweet swirls
of knowing notes we pounded on the warped piano,
rocketing Jerry Lee and I, out-facing Destiny and Satan
in the perverted revival tent we inverted to a Honky Tonk.
By none of these escaped likenesses shall ye know me.
I am the guilt of getting-away-with-it personified;
maybe one day I'll be more, be ill, a simple,
willed and living human being without a mounting boundary
I can't find the dirty eraser to efface.
I am the smeared line of lipstick on that girl who blew
me until she herself was blue. I am the target
for which I feel the awful lure. O Fisherman of men!
Drag your swept net however low, however down, and get me!
I shiver in my meek blackness to be once un-dim
to my own electric self. Surely Maureen, or Doreen,
whatever your tongued name is, my pimped up, dear
Madonna-Whore complex with the stereo too loud, surely
my lifting of you into the temporary-Eternal
will have some blistered bliss of effect
on me too? I create the icky sin we stick to
by flying, adult maggots, into each other's fly-eyes:
bumped heads and hearts and groins, all staticy
shynesses swervingly combined in our one minute's shine.
Now, my mopey sweet, to create this freak feast
as a true looming eminence-emanation of the whore-adored,
I shall unwhip these seven crocodile skins, the sins
my Daddy razor-slashed and wired to his sculling
birch canoe way back when, and wear them like a face,
one for each day of the terrified creation, snaked
out of the swamp and history of our putrid damps;
then I shall dance a dance to the murderous Word
like a circus-act, your sweating worshipper here
clowned out of the bayou woods and backwaters, myself,
and I'll pull them over us, still slick-shiney
in the apocalypse-light, like backlit clouds, silver
and mirrored in the rictus-center of your divine eye,
the true object of my aim, or almost, and I'll plunge
in naked abandonment until I uncover your undercover heart,
your bleeding, suffering, roiling, rancid heart,
and eat it out like the Last Supper with my jaw.
WHORE SPEECH, INSERT ABOVE
Aw, honey-baby, when I peer at you,
your dew-boy darling hair goes so cutely askew
viewed through the inverted V of heaving me...
Your swizzle-stick dick sure looks awful lonely
dandled in your ham-hand, darlin', whyn't you just
bounce your horny cornpone ass yonder and stir
my primordial crotch-broth?
MADELAINE MURRARY O'HARE
God bless fornication's force! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
My well-heeled grey matron's bun shows off
my shiny-sheeny shins to good effect, ay? Ha! Ha! Ha!
Pretty Betty Grable of me, huh? I'll say.
Perch my aching legs above this steel steering wheel
and drive me home, Elvis! Doo wop me pop til my top flops.
Ugh, uhh, ugnh. Oh, I'm sorry, Sonny, I didn't mean to speak so
in front of you, to use that toothless dirty-bird word,
God; but I want you to understand you're an animal
or crawling onion with a buzzard's vagrancy-enhanced
turn-the-tide on the vouyered worm brain, a thinking something
to pick out the dead eyes of the nurturant lot with,
an animal, man, just like the sexually mixed rest of us, by damn--
And as your damn dam I oughter know of what I squwak!
And, yes, I know, since I tol' you, Damnation's just a game
we play one syllable at a time in this primal scream scam,
so-self-called Life. Get it? Here's a new tune for you;
tiddly-tum your bum tummy when you sing it, and you'll
feel better, I forswear swearing it, other than with
a ruinous blue tongue, my salty sucker, so-called:
Little Lamb, who made thee,
Dost thou know who made thee?
Whitely do you buck and gasp
And expire upon the grass.
Little Lamb, who made thee,
Dost thou know who made thee?
Little Lamb, why am I free
To create the God who created thee?
You know, don't you, untutored one, that I'm responsible
for every bluebird word that comes pecking at your tow head.
Little boy, and termagant of not, whenever I spoon some jejune
green food in you, at least, you are that not knot I can't unknot,
well, I won't back back from my eternal-maternal charge to teach you
sweet and sure out of all this world's altared whoredom
just what's what, and where that what stops at what's not.
Here, hold the wheel a minute, I gotta light a cig'.
Sheeit! You near reared that fool's-gold El Dorado, boy,
my elvis-headed mischevious princeling, freewheeling
these backward-ass Texas streets, spinning fast back
to the school that'll no longer make you stay and pray
just to get an education; smart's smart-- and that's not.
Leastways, not to my Baltimore-poured concrete stammering
brainstem and swizzle-stick stiff nerveless backbone;
I was a rocking rocket on those cement docksides of quay-graves
a double-barrelled Pelican bagpipe anxious for tripe.
I blacked-out once because I wouldn't shut-up to catch my breath;
if only I could make an audience so catch, heave and tip!
Har, har! You know, double-loved one, my algebra boy,
I couldn't have those scolding soldiers of Christ,
martinets of ministry, naybobs of cloudy hob-knobbing,
knocking your naked knees out from under you to reel kneeling
on the squealing gymnasium floor toward some awful God. Gad!
You're my genetic inheritance, not some other slob's.
Thanks, hon, I got a good drag going now. Let go!
Contrariness is in you too, I do avouch, each ouch
you cause this recalcitrant mother's heart earns a sob.
How joyous when you'll be your own owning tower of oneness
in this sway-backed, wildly wired world of the
perpetually new.... My one egg whirred you upright too,
evolution's goy, self-replicating without God's nod,
a wish mixed with groin's groaning, purloined insistence, dear.
And so now you're here. I love you; you know that dontcha?
This screwed universe can move a lonely heart to sceam.
I tear a damning blackness from my heart and start to dream,
the images a flicker-rash of happenstance and desire.
Maybe you'll listen to others as you grow old
and the acuteness of your hearing starts to go; I don't know.
I don't know. How could I? And that's the plastic
glory of it all: each one of us invented fresh
from the artificial mesh of our own dear doodled imaginings.
I am the spawn I propigate, nothing less.
I am all splashed flesh and wish, a nymphy fish
paddling my four-cornered heart with limitless desire;
what I may dream my weaning self to mean gives me all the excuse
I need to belch and be. Birragh-urp!
Life's a spermy-paisley expressiveness, I insist.
Ayn Rand and me, Lesbos' sisters of the anti-trinity!
What is the religious Want? To manifest the immanent
Individual into the public Something, not to dissolve
our arrival into invisible archival. I don't respect
religion's wry psychology on that point yet;
it keeps me from the parade of things I can be here and get.
Come join the rational revolution Ayn Rand and I spawned,
the founding bitch-hounds! Your religion's all of twigs....
I build my fading eternities faster:
a mass-produced inspiration that includes a universal joint.
What're you? A squirrel? A chameleon too?
My pleasantly plump Proteus riding shotgun
to my ribonecleic essence, sweetie, you're neat.
If I thought you sucked or weren't worth the breath
I nearly lost to get you, would I have you here?
Hell no! Sixty miles per hour over the cliff-face, baby,
and no shreadding gears in regret, neither.
I'd watch you go diapered into the abyss and never blink.
You know how I am; but I take my parenting
with a clear seriousness these painty-waste preacher's boys
can't begin to hanker an imagining for: my each
action has its impact in your bio-reared brain;
your brain is the basic basis of the consciousness-wish
of life as presently understood by those
who bother with any mirror of understanding, therefore
our time together is the everything
of which you breed your appalling all; you see? Sit still,
as long as the taxpayers here demand it, I must
jettison you for eight blue hours a day from my side,
a hurting birth that alienates our intimacies.
When I first looked down on fuzzy you, the red spot
squalling on my church of lurching lap, I wondered
at what new-born notion you would hug to you
to rip your life apart upon; that's the only question.
Everything else is a matter for spastic dandies
who neither build nor burn, but merely cease to be.
My non-God God is me; I am the Deity I elevate!
In America I shall assert my non-irrelevance ecstatically!
How do you explain your life to yourself? Sweet teat-sucker,
my poisoned arrow found me grinning in the target's shadow.
I had lashed my tarred ass to an unfashionable mast
and tarry weary there still. Dear, dear,
it wasn't fate that pinched me to an athiest, but God
hovering stony-loving above the sidelines
in an insanity of paitience, a waiting hail-rain
waiting for the precise aesthetic moment
to reveal His benificent magnificence as we died ugly.
O that arrow of thought struck deep! Its feathers brim
my knocked-in skullcap still. See, Cochese?
We're the wild indians to these slowpoke cowboys
and choose the ambushed height of thought we shall purvey
upon the diminished plains scuffing at our ponies' feet.
Grab the wheel again, Tonto, I need another piffling puff.
Left, left; how much drunken time do we have left?
I'll use the laws they make me pursue against 'em, I will.
I'll unfurl my victorious pinions until light fails,
and all their reaping crop of stolid citizenship
cringes atrophied to dust. I'll do my dessicate best
just as dad who had me on the kitchen table,
prayering the rapist out of himself against my skin.
The fuck! He would tear at the bandage on his scarred chest
and say I stole his heart from Mom and God.
Me, the Temptress! That's a laugh. My tongue's
too widow-withered whetted and sharp to out-harp God;
hard enough to find a man who'll keep near me nowadays.
A foul mouth can out-howl the saintly any day, too fey to growl
when old wolf hunger's at the door anyhow. A parable.
Thank your mommy if you feel a reaching need to pray.
Look too lovingly long at heaven, and I guarentee
that the paster's got his palm wormed down you pants, baby.
Pluck the wings off angels, and let them wrestle on the sill
with the unrested self-testing rest of us, dammit.
The world's changed from when I first kicked into it,
squallin' and shittin', foul at both ends
if you read the papers. But things are different,
people squiggle after their little worm of grub
and shove on without a thanks or a thought. Who thought life
so pitiless for the enganged brain and mind? Not I!
But I guess I was jest better at foolin' myself
in those young days; my glucose-count and intake
must've been a whirlywind few ticks greater then,
I suppose. I just don't know! Words you'll never hear
from that pinned and powdered, periwigged and
gem-jimmied besprinkled pope bunkered down on his
divine acres of palatial Italian paradise.
Money's just a sin unless it fall
from the golden hands of Christ! Har, har.
Irony will have its winning tickle-effect on me yet.
You know that hard-molded statuette atop my desk:
fucking bull and fucking bear? An image of
fruitless gain, fruitless loss: Money is as Not! Ahh,
I can't be as long in the tooth as the eternity I feel.
Do you have your biblical diorama ready for today,
How Pontius Pilate Served Justice in the Roman Citizen-State?
I just love the way you made Jesus look aggrieved.
And remember, don't pray on the sly with the others,
that'll reflect poorly on me. The newspapers'll get it
and rake me ass-ways from Sunday over the Newcastle coals
they'll bring to my public burning. Lucky I'm not stoned,
and you the jew-orphan out to start a Texas cult.
Stranger things have happened, blast it! You watch out,
not everyone who says they love you bleeds enough
to mean it. I have bled. I have established my credentials.
Well, here's the school, and all the yellow buses
cowering against their low white foot of curb;
remember, you are the nurturant Lamb yourself
among these protein-poor puce wolves here,
you're your own solace and sanctuary until the day's done
and I hie you to our groaning home staked on the sand flat
against the harrassing hurricanes the smoking Gulf
moves in huge ruin against us; there we'll play
at our atom by atom perfection, or notions and motions
silly-simple as Newton's dropping a bible
into a dirty pool, and then unwiring his equations
from a thus unilaterally uncluttered mind.
Just remember, God's an athiest, for he needs no faith.
Here, here, your grey diorama's queered
against the misshapen oblong of the turned-down window.
Hand me back my cancer sticks. I don't want to
outlive my wretchedly religious times into an Age of Reason,
that would shorten my horns and trim my grin
too much; an old heiffer like me's got to have
her flowery field to play in. I'll keep on,
no need to pull that long old face with me, Jr,
my loud cowbells dangle in my goitered wattle's shadow
with spoofing usefulness enough still;
I feel real well when I make my world feel ill.
I'll keep on just as long as I can reel assured
that my manure has use, and still stinks in the chapel.
JUST ANOTHER JOB
[JOB lies in a hospital bed, dying of AIDS.]
Here I am, laid naked to the braziers,
thin tin licks of flame spray me open to pain,
my spine's a garland of knotted hurts and worse.
Sunday night, and nothing on the hospital TV IV.
I need some holy words to spur my moans to prayers,
some heavenly-other spliff of righteous insistence
to puff my spaghetti-boil of turmoils back to simmer.
Ah God, drug, drug! I've been buzz-buzzing
for that spastic, ironed-neat nurse for half an eon now;
my rotten thumb crumbles against the button;
my broken hands stain the bedsheets.
With my high-flying dose of roasting AIDS
I've contact contracted that blue biblical ill
leprosy. Yeah, in this day and age. What's the year?
Look at me! tremors of the vast ecstatic float through
my vetted veins no more, no more. Call me Morte.
Morte Totality. Pleased to kick your ass on the way out.
Look at this shithole. Pardon, if my more expressive
rhetoric has tongue-tied me back to agued zero. I'm sick.
No hole of mine does as I would wish it.
Now God has shut widom from my mind
and the portals of understanding open not to my hand,
and wisdom is fleet before me, though I do run after it;
all is clouded in my sight which now sees farthest;
its limits clearly in sight, clouds are drawn before me
and a heavy darkness obscures from me what I might see,
horizons are foreshortened although my steps are tireless
and I lie in a grave's-den opium of ignorance
although I would ask to see all that I may behold.
But God's hand is against me, and his works shut me out;
his dominions rally against me,
and the elements become my enemies.
Where in this is Justice? I can smell what it is
and annotate with a bitter heart its absence.
To give a capacity for love and deny its object....
If God Himself ain't somehow Just, then what's the point?
my reason razors itself into me repeatedly.
And ain't God GOT TO be just somehow?
The seventh son of a seventh son, I learned
to be by rebelling, a rapturous repel
down lofty logic's cliffs, a nordic
sword-saga revealingly reversed. Down
to the gravity-well black hole nadir
instead of ascended into snow-blind heaven.
And if God ain't somehow Just, what's the point?
How else we going to count the ticks on this
tickertape parade? What other way we got
than to know a noble God lovingly unfurling our souls?
God: does her voice belong gonged to the annihilated ages?
Is she a sage that can whisper comfort
to my radiation-washed atomic-barraged sockets?
Pierce the wish, divine the desire, deem clean
the weird deeps of the dream, and THINK before
you answer, oh my how well unwell auditors!
Will your troubled verse last out the rhyme?
You're being insincere with me. Death is all
you get. Forget this prism-window
of jewel-lush Life; its crush-touch is past,
or nearly so, the empty suck of a train gone away.
To be alive and not to lie, that's a challenge.
Am I condemned to repeat the makeshift mumbles
of my sire-soverign, God? Then let them be
true sounds of Liberty! Oh if, if this injustice is His
and I a fish in his ocean of wishes,
shall I not as innocently-unjustly condemn
my wry maker with the crooked implement He's designed?
God's hollow thumb has fashioned a boomerang,
KA-Tang! Whang! I spend my whittled spittle
against his craftily cranked downward and
steel-engineered cranium; oh my porus Lord!
to let your wavery undeserving servent
be poured through your baffle and exit thus!
I am not so crossways-wise as Yourself,---
And oh the skin-mist rain's a prayer
God has flooded against us feeble ones
drowning for that love of another our skin can't supply.
Whyn't you shuttle down on an airfoil, Lord,
and shoot the breeze with your targeted marked-man,
one who has been roused to a beggar's indignation
by your prayer-piss rouse-- I look
at every poor face and see death's injustice writ
therein; every fabulous face of wealth is cankered over
with a deceit of life, a something given
they haven't yet thought to throw away
with last year's diadems and cadillacs
into the glittery trash.... Why have my man's bones
been stolen upright from the stony earth?
They shall lay there again just as soon;
flesh is misery, wherein I apprehend delight!
What's Justice, and how can I feel its scab-plaster
on a skin so ripped open and acid-fragile?
And yet, and yet, some bullet in the brain
is making its hacking exitus, the gun of conscience
revelling in its unrivalled use of explosion's force
to come to some energy of purpose: I'm fucked!
I am narrowed and nailed to my railing life:
my syllables have come to put sinews to this use:
God is unjust! God is unjust! God is unjust! God is unjust!
Yet how may a man imagine his creation
and imagine a justice while living in it,
and still that justice own no home in the Architect?
Great are the sheaves that feed us, and yellow with life.
Great are the moments that meet us, and make us
this life despise. To be Just is to know all things,
and merit each iota to its final place;
to be Just is to know the place of Place,
and to know when the course of things is overturned,
and when they must return; to be just is to know
all potentialities and discern the best,
or discern that "best" is a falseness in Eternity.
What feeling has justice for us, who cry for it?
My hair comes butchered from my ripped-open head,
my face is a wine-cask dark with weeping, flush to busting;
I thrust my hands before me as in darkness,
I search every blankness for hope.
A legless man, I stand, a drowning bruised torso tossed
armless in the tempest that sends these waters above my face;
my raft has surged over the departing swell
and the greenness that hems me in is baleful.
ANTON LE VEY's voice:
And then God, whirly-winded, bespoke
out of his temple-tempest to the pest:
Who's this wondering thing? My claustrophobic creation
whose dumb damned words blacklight my shining design?
Are low-witted and dull-watted you the thing you spew,
Der Mensch in Der Mitte? Hahr, I larf at you!
Pluck up, and stand masted like the man I made you!
I shall ask the questions here, on my real world,
and you, poor doomed plume of flustered dust,
Where were unspooled you when I cement-spit
the splendid foundations of this earth,
its rumored basement of gems and curtained caverns
of crystalline stalagtite might? Tell me,
daring dunderhead and worm supreme, if you know
what you know; if you understand, what understand.
Has meaning heaved cleaving into your hammer-clawed skull,
or is it the murk-mist of insistence merely
rinded like margurita-salt behind your hind brain?
Who settled the roaring sea's sway-dismaying dimensions?
What hand sharped the coral and bladed the triagular wave?
Somebody on the bus whispered that you, yes you,
would know the spasming answer to my God-query
so let's hear it, zit, explain it plain to ME,
let me in on the gimcrack gist of it all, small one,
give me the replete lay of the unland ocean, o Man.
Whose plummet-line zipped past the seas' wet limits?
What divine line appeared from nowhere, repelling past
that place where spinning world and womb had stopped,
giving begotten ground and spermy earth its swollen span?
All mountains that spume up as dust-splash cannot last;
what thing rings kite-string past them to dissipate their peaks?
Where are the roots of the wind's pillars?
Who bludgeoned from naught the cornerstone nut of ground
down into pounded permanence; who engineered its wicked kick,
lullibied all rumor to rucking rest
where stars spur skyward to speak (this is, I mean,
the wicked wick flick of your self, selfless-- for what's
a thing as dumb as you to do with willed selfhood?);
who gave place place so some scarred start could start?
When all the morning stars sang together
and the thousand sons of nodding God shouted aloud,
what besotted face before the infinite presented thou?
Who peered angel-eyed upon the pinking wink
of the reccusive sea's restive entrance, when she veered
jellyfish-floodlight from the drumming womb of sand?
I it was and I alone, know thou, thy great God, alone
(in all the universe of tones the Tone), I alone
who was so moved to discommode surging ocean's
squallorous spread and spry sprawl-clawed-crawl
from its icy gasp and washed swipe at Eternity--
I it was, and I alone, who subsumed its movings in fine fogs,
I alone who stretched a stitched coverlet
of roofless clouds to down its bounding. I alone who said,
This far, o ocean, shall you sway thy ton of suds, no more;
here's land to become a door to halt your waltz,
give your infinite swish its slaking brake, redound
your emerald turmoils in coiling spoils upon
themselves, all in hissing backwash burning as if fire---
roil thyself in vast confusion, ocean, and no
further step shall you steal upon the large.
In all your limp dick-inch of life, punter, have you ever,
my good and growing knowless human, have you ever
arrowed up the dawn from its vault of heart,
or laid red the barbarous target for its arrival?
Did you, ruminative, teach a speech of light to the day-star,
rivering its run of tongues upon bleed-born earth,
or rebel-bell the morningglory from its weak wilt?
Hast thou shaken away the dog-star to its appointed oblivion?
Do not lie to me, but speak out plainly and be plain,
I hear your withering things, your unshrouded shrinks
to blinking nothingness, void moving over void,
your small coward's ice-whispered self-melt, o man,
quavering a snake's nest of shivering quivers
beneath your sheep's bleat-cloak of might's and mightn'ts,
too small and dull a dodge to slow my all-seeing eye.
Didst thou ever slip'n'slide to the sea's one source
or walk awake in the unfathomed deeps, sleepy one?
Doth the gore-loaded lore of all-lording LIFE
unlock at your wicked picking? Does it, must it?
Have the serenely pristine and aquiline gates of dear DEATH,
all a pearly curl of skeleton-enamel above a waste plain,
been thrown Hercules-aghast to welcome thy breathing form?
Have you gone, heart heat-beating, through the soul's wheatfields?
Do your heart's valves saloon-door open backwards
from death to life at your ticking beck? Hmm?
Have you yet God-spotted in you high-res com-sat sights
even the tipsy hat of one of the all-tall doorkeepers
kept at that lowest place of places, or is it all just
a smash of myths and mumbled fables for you still,
fabulous trash? Has your poor comprehension and low-score
SAT serenity ever compounded to blank the vast expanse?
Come, come, you garrolous old lung, fun bunny-girl
or more serious, AIDS-diseased spoiled boy,
tongue aloud the sum total of all you know to me alone
now I've an unvanishing eternity of timeline to spare!
Thy moored core is pourous, o softest squish of wishes!
Speak, speak, and hesitate not to detition's tripping,
tittering, tip-tip, halting and troubling timing--
I'll understand your oogle-bugling ululations well, mortal man.
Can you photon-skate your willed way
to light's first residence, or may you neon-out
the ultimate Not where weary darkness dwells?
Can you take a sunbeam by the hand
or hold all-eternal darkness in your mouth?
Escort a satr upon its twine-spineing path
or beath out of nostrils the universal bulked black
through which its loops its lone way along?
Yes; yes you can, I'm sure of it.
You're no lowly trilobite, mister, centipede-pedalling past
stone muds to a proffessor's lab-table 2,ooo years hence,
are ye? No, no. You're a human man, and know all--
weren't you the thing rich-birthed before the cosmos-smoke,
and don't you exist after its wisped finishing?
Spandexed man: of your screeching skin I hold the measure
and of your every diminishment, I carry the past expanse;
clear squeals of your eeking spit and spirit
flip from the tittle-pip of pipping pipe ripe at my side;
your commodius mind's my small-change purse, slug-bug;
your wide-window view zooms to a luger-sight
narrowed on nothingness compared to my barrenness,
so vast am I.
Have you stepped into the storehouse of the snow
or kept slickly afoot among the proud arsenals of hail?
Who indices the tuneles rumor-mongering of the avalanche?
Who's silver sire of the swept-kiss of this hissing rain?
Who has zephered slipstreams for the holocaust,
or made blank space appear before the roaring downpour?
Who has axed a passage for the high-hurdled thunder?
Who birthed bastard land's aridity to eat up the moisture,
who commanded its derelict loins
to spurt to an annointing greenness before ye,
whereof ye eat sweet-fingered figs in the wilderness?
Can you bolo aloft the Plieades, master-man,
or untie the stars to open Orion's white belt?
Do you, o lame and sour dewdropp drop-kicked here,
proclaim with loud sound-surround the governance of heaven,
or do you put obeyed law into the everythings of Earth?
Who has taught freedom by the destruction of chaos?
Can you stand demanding distorted forms of clouds
to cover-up your foul flux with their weight of waters?
If you bid the limber shins of lightning streak the dark
does it say to thee: "I am ready"?
Who poured airy wisdom into obscure, unscoured dens,
who laced up understanding with the spider's web?
Does the unleashed ox nose open you shaken tent
and consent to serve you without slavery?
Did it stand beside your creaking crib before you learned
how to shackle its wildness with thy cunning?
The stunted wings of the ostrich twitch proudly,
but are they the pinions and plumage of love?
Have you carpentered the horse with his sweet strength?
Have you clothed his neck with thunder,
who says among the battle-trumpets, Ha Ha!
and smells the whiff of war afar off?
Are you stiffnecked enough to dispute the Almighty?
Should he who picks sticking arguments and quests questions
with God Himself, should such a one talk back?
Behold, I am of small account.
What shall I answer thee?
Arise on your hind, hidden, wooden legs like a man,
stand brittle and apart, my little, from the rest
of my mazed creation: you, worm-turd, are a human!
Does your wrecked face dare deny that I, I am Just?
That the wayward tumbleweed turns to my true word?
Are you unhinged enough to put your crossed Lord
at the witness-stand defense's stable table so that you,
blue-suited in thy skein of veins, might prosecute?
Would you crow-crowd me with cried-aloud Wrongs so that you,
silent as a null sentinel, might rise as Righteous?
Do you bowl me to the see-saw's low-tided side
that thee and thine might vaunt up even one mite the higher?
Do you have a mighty arm as God's arm is mighty?
Is your snoring voice coiled in the thunderclap?
Patch your pride, undim your dignity,
robe in pomp, and spark with splendour--oh my little
tittle-bit and wolfed somnolence of utter dust!--
do all as best you may and if you may and as
you may: scatter acid-sharp the fantasic attack
of your planet-racking anger, let your poured fury
undo the wicked and disincarnate the fiber of him,
let it glance kings unthroned into the dirt, let it
look on the proud regent and take no fault of fear,
ignore thy tax and spend no worry, scowl thee
at the broken brow of the high and proud
and humble them to stumbles, throw down injustice,
hide evil in an inconspicuous grave, and shelve
their catastrophed bones in the shattered earth
with your looks. Do this, my mini-kingdom man,
and I'll whirl pirouettes to your great greatness,
bow soberly all day to your drunken mein,
admit like a matted wrestler, crying sweating
to the invisible weight hovering over his pinned shoulder
that your own right hand can grace ressurection
on heal alone your current littleness of crippleness.
Man is in such a desperate case,
churning headfirst into his disappearace!
Yet how fierce a morsel he may seem, when once roused
to the snarling stature of his testosterone!
Who's left to stand aloft against his impaitient measure?
What creature bears the rainbow veins bright enough
not to pale away to extinction in his tincts?
Am I myself to be the animal I send against
his self-titled mightiness, his stumpy lunge
at the greatness he sees conveyed in my being?
I am Leviathan.
Can you mince-meat my skin with whipping fishhooks,
or hood my awful head with the sharp hawk's?
Who will pass over tongue-tied the manyness of my limbs,
or ogle unawed at me in contemptuous silence?
In powerful grace I descend, and graceful arise;
who has scratched by a micron the least scale of my hide,
or pried open the storming portals of my face?
I am all shields, my impenetrable eye sheer flint,
my spiring breath is ice, or charring fire;
stars' cauldrons chuff from my mulling hum;
no stop makes good before me, and inevitable energies
rear me on forever; eternities dance before me
like fireflies; my firm heart weaves lavas
through its rock, a millstone at home
in my grinding ever-onward design, eversteady....
Iron and stiff steel touch me as straw against a strong
thing, all crumples; millions duck at my merest passing,
warheads phase out against my skin as chaff
fritters after the buffalo's passage; the harshest club
is as a bent reed near me; sabres and F16s
fashion my heart for laughter at their launching.
I sprawl in my God-awfulness upon the drubbed mud,
I am Leviathan.
I charge hurricanes out of the chapel-water heart
of Lake Michigan in a wish, whipping its deeps
like cudded fluff in a spinster's mixing bowl;
all trails shine at my going on, and my wake
is stardust; the great river everywhere is made mad white
with the furious apprehesion of my feafulness;
my equationed equal resides not upon the earth,
I am so terrible; forests flatten at my shaking dry;
no part of my magnificence has a single stamp
of the least tremulous timorousness of fear at all,
I am so unassailable and sourceless.
I glare down in infinite and terrible happiness
upon each and every creeping creature of the dust,
even the highest; king of the king of beasts am I,
without a sparring breast to beat my great chant upon.
Omni omni omni;
I talked without understanding of great things
too wonderful to be wondered at, so smashed
is every brimming thing with thy
I had only heard of thee with my ears,
wild tales and fables torn from books,
campfires and stray table-talk,
songs at school, and the passover prayer....
Now I see thee in my very eye,
in my very eye you appear, and I see thee:
Therefore, I melt away;
I repent in dust and ashes.