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3.22.2008

Saturday: Holy Week

Not less than a millennium
Has heard the hue and cry
Of the scattered people of God crying
Out to the dark heights.
Now more than a millennium
Has passed. Remembering,
Still I beg with promises and flattering
(as though it is not already done):

Yeshua yeshua come down
Oh, come down
And make of our sinning an unholy crown
And wear it and bear it
Where we have no will
But to nail and embed it
With unholy skill.

I’ll awaken the watchmen
Alert the high crier
Between garden walls
And the city’s high spires
Where statues rise up with cold cuddleless faces
Where pedants and peddlers take their various places
From the castle’s closed rooms
To the cold catacombs
In the wombs of the walls
Where the bones are all sleeping
I’ll beat out the baritoned sheeps’ gentle bleating
‘tween benjamin’s gate and the boards of the bridges
That span the great gorge breaking earth’s trampled business

And there in the corners
And there in the caverns
Inside the squares and the tucked away taverns
I’ll advertise you with the loudest to-do
With a bellow balloo
A hoot hock halloo
You you, the cross-cracked criminal
Christ
Who shouldered my slough like a beam
And burned off
All my wasted dust

This, I know, is a must.
The one right necessity.
You have told me.


Yet see how quickly I forget (ignore)

And join the shouldering crowds in their haggling
Committing myself to the shoddiest gabbling
With sweet-scented ears and mellifluous graces
All of the strangers with their pretty faces
the wandering souls cockily so alone
In their sugary dens and their sugary homes

it’s murder or mayhem
here in the cock pit
where the birds with their feathers
rustled worn and weathered
with the games
sit and aimlessly circle
each other
against the pit with their fingers all stretching
the dimers and dollars
‘gainst the border they’re pressing
to make known their bets
let the bookie make do
for the betters and voyeurs
casting lots under you.

My, I cut quite a figure
Sluiced in the midst of them
Clotting and clung to them

Far from the memory of you
Trapped on that totem pole
Stretched like ship’s laundry
Amast
And awaiting me
And my forgotten promise
Of declaration


I’ve yet to learn the meaning of this word:
grace


all the stars in the sky
select my attention
from the masses that pass
down below
and the moon in its moaning
and lone dereliction
attracts my affection
with its tide-pulling stone

so the lights of the night
with their wavering fullness
do make of my milling
a pilgrimage holy
so the dark that surrounds
makes me more and less lonely
for the contrasting calling
of the heavenly hounds

yes, in this dark, in this silence
both sin and commandments
subside, just as I, careless of I
and what I must do
and what I have done instead,
watch you glowing and yellow
not yet risen, but rising
across the vast and the cool
desert sky.

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