Thursday, April 30, 2020

Conversational Jonah

Jesus standing
beside your shoulder
beside your furtive glance
God is with you
like a toothache

without what
would make you feel
vulnerable, exposed
testing and training your let go muscles

what in your life
would you feel
humbled, silenced
Test and train
your let go muscles

I wish my voice was better
I never smoked
I was a better father of my first two
I wasn't pale and freckled
I could be more generous

I cared more about the gospel I used to believe
I didn't have such a predictably aloof and self aggrandizing father
the coffee here was tasty
people could and would not work for money
smart phones did not emit ionizing radiation

habituated behaviors
and responses to
living on auto-pilot
characterizing the overwhelming
proportion of self

if you really know me
then you wouldn't really love me
I want you to love me
therefore I won't let you
know the real me

          Throw this guy overboard so we can enjoy conversing again.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

As the proverb goes

every time I think
of you I churn cream
like wringing your nose
as the proverb goes
just an unpleasant
petty policy
wonk high on ego


choking the life out
from those bringing gifts
your highs are too high
your lows are too low
but what do you say
to those tenured clowns
with no competence


cats they are, choking
coughing, meowing
the plagal of tone
nine with our ears plugged
with our eyes blinking
from the burning stench
of their shite bemoans


but please correct me
instead of pressing
mute on their TV
please excuse me too
I'm the one with no
ability to
regulate volume


please forgive me
oh gracious master
who cares so much for
the sheep of his flock
who tends to their needs
and does not call them


oh listen kindly
you who think highly
of his innocence
and benevolence
oh good and kind lord
bring some recompense
to this narcissist


stop being such a
goddamn curmudgeon
senile introvert
incompetent prig
passive aggressive
snob who loathes children
as the proverb goes


Saturday, April 25, 2020


Thousands of them crowd together
Most are not wearing masks or keeping at least six feet apart
In defiance of the Governor’s orders

Some people are carrying long guns to this “stay at home” protest
We know who’s hoarding all of the toilet paper

Covid-19 overwhelms hospitals
In overwhelmed hospitals, people die
You can save lives too. Please go home

I’m proud that in my state there was such a small turnout
I hope they all get sick and die

It truly feels like a gut punch moment where no matter what we do, there’s a minority
determined to make sure millions of people die

We are in the middle of a pandemic
These people disgust me

Your haircut is not more important than people’s lives
If you’re participating in these protests, you’re part of the problem

Lockdown effects me and my life, so I go to Madison to protest mean bad Evers
I’m a moron who should die

You know how they use helicopters to drop water on forest fires?
Trump said that bleach kills the virus, and this is way deadlier than a forest fire
I wish we could blast each of these fuck faces to the moon

It’s like a where’s waldo for idiots
Lots of MAGA, camo, and guns

Spot the trump impersonator
No social distancing. No masks
These people are absolutely nuts but whateves

Saturday, April 18, 2020

ZOOM Carefully

It’s very strange out there
The quarantine is confounding us all
So don’t dwell on conspiracy theories
Watch what is trending
Focus on the facts and data
As they extend each governing ordinance
One more month
One more phase
Before phase two
To reopen
For business

Social distancing is working
Not touching your face will bring relief
Wearing a mask will mitigate the communication of disease
Hand sanitizers are working
Curbside pickup is helping
We can see that the curve is flattening

Begin at the center
ZOOM carefully
Pay attention to the structure
Like a rorschach technique
The Chiasmus unfolds the synchysis
Pay attention to the pattern
ZOOM carefully
Work your way out

Beyond the aetherband
Miracle unicorn juice in the making
While microbreweries are converting
While RT-PCR tests confirm that people in general are fools
And so will each check signed by the POTUS
While normality is live streaming

To maintain the right proportion of serfdom
For monitoring who will stay at home
We all need another extension
And as many more as are needed
And many more are needed
To prepare us all for immunization
From the virus in one host to another
Infecting our minds and futures
Distorting what is reported
To stabilize the strategized reflation
Beyond the fourth wall

Sunday, April 12, 2020


In the end was the Death
and the Death was alongside those not seen
and the Death was a god
He was alongside the Most High God in the end
Some things were appointed to him
and without him nothing unseen could be appointed
What was appointed to him was dead
and those dead awaited vindication
Their vindication was in being raised
and being raised
Death and Hades are needed no more
There was a man sent from the Most High God
whose name is Jesus
He came for his martyrs who bore witness for vindication
that all might be loyal to him
He was the judge and he came to witness their judgment
The final judgment that vindicates the dead provides eternal life for the many
He was among the many
and the many were appointed through him
and the many knew him
He descended to his own
and his own gladly received him
But to all who did not receive him
who were not loyal to his name
he declared them to be destroyed
who were born mortal and not of the Most High God
And the Death became perdition
and was thrown into the Lake with Hades
where those not seen are stripped of glory
the one-of-a-kind garments which their father grasped after
full of majesty and authority
Jesus witnessed to the last enemy and cried out
Where is your sting?
Where is your victory?
For the fullness of life his martyrs lived
The rest received one stone upon another
For the curse of the Torah was declared through the dead
But mercy and eternal life through Jesus of Nazareth
No one had ever been raised from the Death to the Most High
Death robbed them of their wedding garments
so they would not enter into glory
Jesus made this known

Saturday, April 11, 2020

On Pascha

This is the one who comes from heaven onto the earth by means of the suffering one,
and wraps himself in the suffering one by means of a virgin womb,
and comes forth a human being.
He accepted the suffering of the suffering one
through suffering in a body which could suffer, 
and set free the flesh from suffering.
Through the Spirit which cannot die he slew the manslayer death.
This is the Pascha of our salvation: 
this is the one who in many people endured many things. 
This is the one who was murdered in Abel, 
tied up in Isaac, 
exiled in Jacob, 
sold in Joseph, 
exposed in Moses, 
slaughtered in the lamb, 
hunted down in David, 
dishonored in the prophets. 

This is the one made flesh in a virgin, 
who was hanged on a tree, 
who was buried in the earth, 
who was raised from the dead, 
who was exalted to the heights of heaven. 

This is the lamb slain, 
this is the speechless lamb, 
this is the one born of Mary the fair ewe, 
this is the one taken from the flock, 
and led to slaughter. 
Who was sacrificed in the evening, 
and buried at night; 
who was not broken on the tree, 
who was not undone in the earth, 
who rose from the dead and resurrected humankind from the grave below. 

This is the one who has been murdered. 
And where murdered? 
In the middle of Jerusalem.
By whom? By Israel. 
Why? Because he healed their lame, 
and cleansed their lepers, 
and enlightened their blind, 
and raised up their dead; 
and therefore he died. 
Where is it written in the law and the prophets: 
“They repaid me bad things for good and childlessness for my
They planned wickedness for me saying: 
‘Let us tie up the just man because he is a nuisance to us’?” 

What strange injustice have you done, O Israel? 
You have dishonored the one who honored you, 
you have disgraced the one who glorified you, 
you have denied the one who owned you, 
you have ignored the one who made you known, 
you have murdered the one who gave you life. 
And while you were rejoicing he was starving. 
You were drinking wine and eating bread; 
he had vinegar and gall. 
Your face was bright whereas his was cast down. 
You were triumphant while he was afflicted. 
You were making music while he was being judged. 
You were proposing toasts; 
he was being nailed in place. 
You were dancing, he was buried. 
You were reclining on a cushioned couch, 
he in grave and coffin. 
O lawless Israel, what is this new injustice you have done, 
casting strange sufferings on your Lord? 
Your master who formed you, 
who made you, 
who honored you, 
who called you “Israel.” 

You were not Israel. 
You did not see God. 
You did not perceive the Lord, Israel, 
you did not recognize the first-born of God, 
begotten before the morning star, 
who adorned the light, 
who lit up the day, 
who divided the darkness, 
who fixed the first boundary, 
who hung the earth, 
who tamed the abyss, 
who stretched out the firmament, 
who furnished the world, 
who arranged the stars in the heavens, 
who lit up the great lights, 
who made the angels in heaven, 
who there established thrones, 
who formed humanity on the earth. 
Ungrateful Israel, come to trial with me 
concerning your ingratitude. 
How much did you value being formed by him? 
How much did you value the finding of your fathers? 
How much did you value the descent into Egypt, 
and your refreshment there under Joseph the just? 

How much did you value the ten plagues? 
How much did you value the pillar by night, 
and the cloud by day, 
and the crossing of the Red Sea? 
How much did you value the heavenly gift of manna, 
and the water gushing from rock, 
and the giving of the law at Horeb, 
and the allotment of the land, 
and the gifts given there? 

How much did you value the suffering ones, 
healed by his very presence? 
Give me a price on the withered hand 
which he restored to its body. 
Give me a price on those blind from birth 
whom he illumined by a voice. 
Give me a price on those who lay dead 
and who, four days later, were raised from the tomb. 

His gifts to you are beyond price 
yet you held them worthless when you thanked him, 
repaying him with ungrateful acts; 
evil for good, 
affliction for joy, 
and death for life. 
On this account you had to die. 
Therefore, Israel, 
you did not shudder at the presence of the Lord; 
so you have trembled, embattled by foes. 
When the Lord was hung up you did not rend your clothing, 
so you tore them over the fallen. 
You disowned the Lord, 
and so are not owned by him. 
You did not receive the Lord, 
so you were not pitied by him. 
You smashed the Lord to the ground, 
you were razed to the ground. 
And you lie dead 
while he rose from the dead, 
and is raised to the heights of heaven. 
The Lord clothed himself with humanity, 
and with suffering on behalf of the suffering one, 
and bound on behalf of the one constrained, 
and judged on behalf of the one convicted, 
and buried on behalf of the one entombed, 
he rose from the dead and cried out aloud: 

“Who takes issue with me? Let him stand before me. 
I set free the condemned. 
I gave life to the dead. 
I raise up the entombed. 
Who will contradict me?” 
“It is I,” says the Christ, 
“I am he who destroys death, 
and triumphs over the enemy, 
and crushes Hades, 
and binds the strong man, 
and bears humanity off to the heavenly heights.” 
“It is I,” says the Christ. 
“So come all families of people, 
adulterated with sin, 
and receive forgiveness of sins. 
For I am your freedom. 
I am the Passover of salvation, 
I am the lamb slaughtered for you, 
I am your ransom, 
I am your life, 
I am your light, 
I am your salvation, 
I am your resurrection, 
I am your King. 
I shall raise you up by my right hand, 
I will lead you to the heights of heaven, 
there shall I show you the everlasting Father.” 

- Melito of Sardis, A Homily On Pascha1
writing between A.D. 160 and A.D. 170

1. These selections are from Melito of Sardis. (2016). On Pascha: With the Fragments of Melito and Other Material Related to the Quartodecimans: Translation. (J. Behr, Ed., A. C. Stewart, Trans.) (Second edition, Vol. 55, p. 80). Yonkers, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press.