April 26, 2014

Impatience for Imposters

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
- John 20:24-25

You can walk through walls and do spirit acrobatics
you can come back from a day trip to death
you can haunt us in our daydreams and nightmares

but unless you walk wounded with oxblood scabs
unless you return as once rejected and propagandized
unless you hard code the memory of misery in skin

you are to us only a half-assed matinee magic show
a cheating MacGuffin plot device we groan at and walk out
a Disneyfied ending to a once dark and dense fairy tale

but come to us in your incarnate truth of suffering love
walk with us in our wounded warrior trauma and disease
and we will not only believe but cry my Lord and my God

April 8, 2014


Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 
     who, though he was in the form of God, 
     did not regard equality with God 
     as something to be exploited, 
but emptied himself, 
     taking the form of a slave, 
     being born in human likeness. 
And being found in human form, 
     he humbled himself 
     and became obedient to the point of death —  
     even death on a cross. 
Therefore God also highly exalted him 
     and gave him the name 
     that is above every name, 
so that at the name of Jesus 
     every knee should bend, 
     in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
and every tongue should confess 
     that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
     to the glory of God the Father.
- Philippians 2:5-11

My mind so full of debris and hubris from the wasted day
phone calls unreturned and crumpled scraps of paper
casual conversations with hidden ego stratifications
the self I want to project onto a cinema screen large
as a shadow silhouette miming my own celebrated life

My mind so full like a blue water balloon waiting for
a painful needle prick to burst it open to emptiness
where this small i is no longer my daily migraine throb
and into my hollow skull a new mind pours like wax
filling every sinus cavity, skull crack and spinal tube

Your crucified mind so full of hydrangeas and cuttlefish
the siren of every human voice in full wail and woe
the birth of stars and the death of orbiting comets
the faith of the Masai and the death of Western dreams
the universal background B-flat hum of the holy lover

Your kenotic mind so full there is no room left for you and so
freely you let yourself go like a junkie or grey dementia
until having fallen gorgeously into depravity and death
the only thing left is for you to be exalted and praised
and your mind to fill mine so in emptiness I am full and free

April 4, 2014

Sympathy for Lazarus

He didn’t ask to be a magic trick like some dead rabbit
pulled out of a stone hat with a hocus pocus incantation

he didn’t want to be resuscitated in full decrepit stink
for his mother to see him shambling down the cemetery road

he was resting in peace after taking the dark plunge once
no one should stomach it twice, that long black falling

so Jesus, when I die and I’m put down to earthen solace
or after my ashes are scattered into entropic chaos irreversible

do not force me to go through it again like brother Lazarus
raised to face more time in suffering and second death

let your tears be so you may let me go as we all must do
grieve your best friend fully and without recourse to power

raise me then beyond time to your un-nameable dimension
where decay has died with all fear of losing myself and you

has been buried in that old entombed world where I still walk
like Lazarus already dead yet alive and yet to die and rise