Baptized, before, without the choice,
But this time, consciously, of Grace—
Unto supremest name
There’s the free-thinkers
all huddled in a group,
and then there's the sheep
these are your choices.
Penchant for camaraderie.
At art school,
if you’re not building a 3D shit-christ
you’re a heretic.
In church, the same
for doubting pontiff’s motives.
The brain dizzy and budding.
The heart flooding extremities.
Sometimes beer and pizza
have divine connotations.
Sometimes a bus is brimming,
so you wait for another
with a few empty seats.
I like a look of epiphany.
When I order café mocha
at Starbucks I imagine
three magi watching from a table,
lurking behind newspapers,
the tips of their crowns
peeping over the Arts section,
At night I swat the air above my head
in the event of celestial tailing,
a pursuing star singeing my split-ends.
I am not The One,
though I met The One
at a sports bar
ranting about baseball salaries.
It’s not about the money.
It’s about wading in the shallows
pretending to walk on water,
being someone you’re not,
someone who already did this trick
to thunderous applause
and shouts of encore,
but a good shaman moves on
with the act,
does something with a monkey
or a box of white doves.
The Elevated Train Will No Longer Be Turning Left
On some days your life is just life, not to be
bandied about like some prenatal thing
with fur or feathers, bits of crusty glue
in the eyelashes.
The casual dash of gazelles
on the Serengeti remind you how grace
must be worked at, slaved over
like a stove with two burners gone,
the front two, where macaroni and cheese
were prepared, but that last dose of
hemlock, that philosopher’s tea invades
which tastes a lot like charcoal, goes down
like pudding, gets shitted out a lot like
shit, but sometimes the smell confuses
The wealthy who’d suicide before
admitting defeat from a stranger, the poor
too self-righteous to murder anyone
but their children. The middle class
I'm almost completely certain it's something
in the glands, lodged in the belly,
you Heimlich yourself on the porch rail,
jettison a lung, bits of spleen, your high school
reunion invitation, maybe you'll survive the night,
the productive cough of salvation, and strange
how redemption feels more like a punch in the gut
than redemption, the ability to just digest
your breakfast, free of theological exegesis,
The Chicken and the Egg Debacle
What about the secretary Dora
with her tight pants snuggly hugging
her round copper box?
I think of her
when I drop a pencil, though my wife
spends time figuring why I spend
so much money.
I didn’t see you there
among the apricots.