Goodbye, Charlie

Rage. Bullets fly, blood,
Precious blood, flows unstinted.
Twelve people lie dead,
Bereft of all but meaning,

And the bells of Notre Dame peal fiercely,
Clouds part and the gates of heaven
Swing ponderously open.
“Sweet Jesus,” says St. Peter, eyes rolling, “here they come!”

This poem was inspired by a cartoon by Tommy Dessine.


Enfant terrible

After reading the October 2013 issue of Poetry.

What vanity is this? Asks the enfant terrible
His latest work selling in the triple digits

I’m not so different from the butcher’s boy
Bloody apron askew, half-smile on his face
Or the preacher’s grace in desperate ascension
The ladder fixed firmly on the gutter’s curb

So hard to tell the weeping from the laughter
At such an angle; let’s call it even
Mr. Joyce, in his second coming, inventifacted words a-flail
Would smile at such sanity, clean as a whistler’s boy

Sheep or swine, it’s all alike; I see it now for no reason
Not so much the parting of the fog as the clarity of it
Curse the winter if you like; it won’t leave
The Stars by which we swear such oaths

But fizzle in the end of all creation
A-twitch with whimsical eternity

The Word

A Sunday morning meditation.

And Jesus said, “Eat me, and
In holy oneness I will reside in you.
I am your grisly lamb, which you have conjured
From your love of blood
And carnal loathing.

“Look, you can be called holy
Even in your cannibal lust.
You can turn love on its tail
And pour scorn from its spigots.

“For I am made in your image and likeness.
Did you not know me from my scent?
I have said it: I am the son of man.
I am your loving spawn.”