Showing posts with label Familias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Familias. Show all posts

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Tonsured for Christ

 


In the midst of the congregation the praise of Christ is hymned because of you, O Reader Joseph. Through your life at the kliros, the humble path to exaltation is made manifest, illumined with the transcendent beauty of angelic melodies. By your constancy and loyalty, standing in praise and prayer, the way of salvation is guided and guarded for us. In keeping vigils, you brightened the path leading to our unending joy. Therefore we celebrate your light-giving and holy memory, and we cry aloud in one accord: Intercede with Christ our God that our feet would be made to stand dutifully in all divine allotments of service, with our hearts stationed on Him within the Great Congregation of ineffable praises, so that we, too, would be kept from straying onto evil paths and all attain the unity of faith and the knowledge of God’s unapproachable glory. 
















Saturday, March 13, 2021

—S-E-L-F-C-O-N-T-R-O-L—

 

 


I’m working on it

Nibbles of taste buds at a time

don’t seem to be as effective

as jawbones lopping off lengua

and knitting it back together

with toothpicks


Bite your tongue, they say.

I have, many times. 

See this stitch?

And this one, ad infinitum?

If you pick these sutures apart

I bleed, too.


And so would she.

That’s why I wear the beads of her hands

of gold and white,

elasticated and easy to snap,

suffocating my skin every day.

We actually feel pain, you know.





Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Sincerely

























Dear Katie,


I’m listening now

Twenty two years of vibrations 

And six hundred thirty six miles of string unwound

Now your tin can is touching my ear


I hear that you don’t trust God to change you

You’re not alone

Life feels lonely and powerless

When everything hangs on obsessions of ideas


I heard what you said about fear and depression

But phobias are products of actual organic illness 

You also were not the only person depressed in that household

Everyone was depressed along with you


I heard what you said about needing change and happiness

You’re much stronger than you think

Not many are resilient enough 

To carry such burdens as yours for forty years


I heard that you had a tumor

It’s shocking to learn about that now

Having never heard about it before

Is anyone surprised that David cared less?


I heard your foot was in bad shape

Another summer of fun ruined because of it

Even though you’d like to blame others

The kids were not safe or happy around you, so get over it


I heard that you’re moving to Cedarburg

That sounds like a lot of work to prepare for

Packing last minute sounds emotionally draining

Are you sure you’ll be pleased with any house they can afford?


I heard you really want to choose the house or see it ahead of time

But what if no one can read your mind or satisfy your expectations?

What if everyone is exhausted by your manic depression?

Wouldn’t that be painfully ironic, if true?


I heard you wanted to go home to your mom

That’s another seriously depressing thought

Things were clearly so bad that you just couldn’t stop entertaining

More depressing, imaginary desires


Then there was Jonathan

Did you know he was a drug addict then?

Did you care that he needed help?

Just imagine how worthwhile a drug addict teenager must have felt, too


I heard you mention twice your need to be “productive”

You need something to replace what you dwell upon obsessively

You know, things you can’t change

So you can blame God for not changing you


I heard you mention burnout

You sound exhausted and hopeless

Consider how everyone else feels too

Especially those you blame and whine around incessantly


I heard you want to live, work, and be happy?

Well then, what are you waiting for?

But don’t forget the list you left behind

With dozens of reasons for why you can’t work or be happy


I heard that no one knows the truth about your health or desires

And no one talks to you, and you’re not allowed to talk to them

That’s another depressing thought I can forgive now

Brought about because of your extreme mental illness


I heard that you’re scared, and concerned about anger

You want help but you’re not allowed to ask for it

And you’re “probably” not supposed to accept it

I call bullshit


I heard that you felt hopeless and did’t have help

You had no recourse, and couldn’t talk to anyone

But I know you gossiped to everyone all the fucking time

I call bullshit again


I hear that you wish you could start life over differently

If you could you would surely choose another destiny

Surely, Satan is to blame, or David, or God

They all work overtime, so they all qualify


I’ve really been trying to listen to your prayer

And what I have gleaned is this

The Lord did come to your heart and redeem and restore

Now it’s your turn to pray for whomever


Sincerely,

Whomever






















Friday, October 4, 2019

Between the liens



I wear my emotions on my sleeves
I'm as transparent as it gets
What you see is what you get
Correct me if i'm wrong

Whence did I receive rationalizations galore of righteous indignation?
I got my foolish zeal from you
There I inherited my infatuation for justice

And my great pride?
My boldness in the face of evil?

My extraordinary self-confidence?

All from your example
My phobias come from her 
My pushiness from her
All empathy from her 
My pity from her
My cunning—all hers

Nobody knows as much as you though
She was severely mentally ill
You were completely and stubbornly sane
Her illness would manifest a complete manipulative two-faced bitch at calculated times
You were just a self-aggrandized asshole caring more about the prized stallion more than tony the pony

She received treatments for a time, and then adamantly refused because she was fucking crazy
You never received correction or ever accepted therapy though
Your excuse? 
You didn’t want to lose your kids

Your excuse?
There were no counselors Christian enough for you
Your excuse? 

Secular psychologists couldn’t or wouldn’t empathize with you
Her excuse? 

Does she even need one? 

She was sick
Her natural personality was triune
The frenzied wrath of a father, the fleeting wind-likeness of spirit, and passibility of the son all wound together in one flesh

She was fucked up
She was literally insane most of my life

But you? 

You’re a prized stallion
You’re a former athlete 
You’re a soldier and patriot
You’re sovereign and national
You’re a prophet, priest, and king
You’re a martyr, shepherd, preacher
You’re now a doctor, too

A man after God’s own heart
Look at what you built
Look at what you defended 
Behold what you have sustained 
Your career of presuppositionalist herem had much success
Like the late great Mr. Pink

Sipping communion at home until his dying day because no one was as prized as he was
No one sustained what he had
Not one soul on earth fought tyranny and built walls of estrangement as high as him
Praise Obama 
Remember that letter of her excommunication that my brother and I wrote? 

Me neither
I remember you writing the whole thing and telling us to lie for you to the session 
Remember how good at chemistry, and math, and history I was? 
Me neither

I didn’t have to be
You either left the answer key lying around or you were too busy building God's kingdom to follow through with love and attention
You left all that for an insane woman to take care of—absolutely brilliant

Why did I become an addict at age fifteen? 
She bought me cartons of cigarettes

Bribing me to steal from you

You modeled resentment and bitterness
You sculpted an image of war propheteering
You recited the grace of God's Law
You delivered the real goods nobody else would
You denounced all cowards for their pablum

Whose habits do you think contributed most?
Perhaps that's a false dichotomy?
The great irony of puritans is that they can’t r/e/a/d
The great tragedy: they insist they can

Because they know they’re clever
And they truly are
They wave their God-in-paperback around in ways that would still make John Knox proud

Upon the first blast of the trumpet
Against the monstrous regiment of women

She received the capital punishment you thought she deserved

To which is added
The contents of the second blast

You became sovereign and she became homeless

Death is right here—Be sober o soul, and read between the liens










Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Memory Eternal (my wings part two)



All day I played Wings Part Two on repeat
I didn’t want to hear anything else
Just tears poured out whenever I imagined
You were the light and the way they only read about
I didn’t start the day expecting it to become this way 
I left the post office and opened your purse
I hadn’t seen your face since I was nineteen
And now all I could see was your smile
I wish I had seen it in person since then
I remember it, but from too long ago
I wish I had just one more glance
Or better yet, one hug and kiss
And one for Alison, my angel, too
And one for Jadon, Eden, and Gaius
Or better yet, to spend a whole day with all of us together
To welcome you into my own home
To share a meal or two together
To hear your voice resound
To gaze at your smile next to me
To even cry together
I’m sure there would have been lots of tears
I would have been there holding you in my arms 
But I wasn’t ever given that chance
A son can dream, can’t he? 
I miss you so much
And yet I don’t even know the you in the driver’s license 
Other than what my teenage self last recollected
I’m so happy to have received your little notebook though
I immediately recalled your distinctive cursive handwriting 
It didn’t change a bit over the last two decades
Maybe my strong opinions about cursive need to change
And your faith in the Lord didn’t change either
I can imagine a certain someone still asking, “What faith?”
Forget about him
His faith only has a dozen followers
But yours has the hosts of heaven 
“Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord
To what end is it for you?
The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light
Read verses twenty one and twenty two
God himself is saying these verses!”
I didn’t want to read anything else
Just tears poured out whenever I considered
You were the light and the way they only read about
I couldn’t leave the post office 
I stayed parked far beyond my fifteen minute sign limit
Just weeping and praying
More weeping than praying though
Eventually I went to work and didn’t accomplish much
Because I was thinking about your smile and your cursive notes
What an incredible sight to behold
Such a sincere and childlike faith
Not even the most severe tempests of life could loosen your grip
“Hate the evil, and love the good
And establish judgment in the gate
It may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph
The prudent shall keep silence in that time
For it is an evil time”
You held on to the very end through an evil time
Which began when he divorced you for another
I wasn’t in a good place to know any better at that time
So please forgive me
And recovery without you was much needed
But now that nearly two decades have passed
All I could recall from him was the mantra
You were to blame, not him
You ruined everything
He needed a secretary
You were demon possessed 
You were the problem
He needed a virtuous wife and never had one
You abandoned him
You were not merely ill
Because illness wasn’t a just enough ground for him
Yet from what the Sheriff mentioned over the phone
According to others in Aberdeen, you were still known to be mentally ill
And in ways just like I remember you being
But that simple, sincere smile of yours still catches me off guard
And your handwritten notes still overwhelm me 
You remained filled with the faith of a child all these years
“Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live
And so the Lord the God of hosts shall be with you”
Yet I had no way of knowing this sincere faith of yours all these years
Because you were nowhere to be found
You were remembered as the self proclaimed victim and martyr, abandoned and unloved
And no one taught us how to consider some validity to that
Tears just pour out because I now realize
You were the light and the way they only read about





















Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Anamnesis (my wings part one)




I remember my first thought being about a can of soup
Everything changed with my birth
Or was it a shot?
 The docs were oblivious and Merck never made a peep

I remember the sandwich bags
The drenched vivas
Flies in window sills
Roadkill and raindrops spreading disease

I remember a holy man driving our Sunday route ahead of us
Just to remove diabolical obstacles 
So we could make it on time
And spare us all your bitching and carwashing 

I remember covering my face from fumes 
The greasy plaid couch pillows
The lysol spraying
The chlorine cleansing

I remember the eyes closed
The wiping of faucets
The crossing a brass fluted transition
The holes you burned in carpets to save the kosmos

I remember the video games and chips and soda
The weight gain
The weight loss
The bitching about a brother stolen

I remember the money borrowed from dad's wallet
Traded for cartons of newports and camels
So you could look him in the eye
Saying truthfully it wasn't you

I remember the sleeping all day
The shopping
The hoarding
The careless starch flamethrower that looked "nice"

I remember which one were you that day
You'd leave randomly
You'd return randomly
You'd smirk and bitch and provoke

I remember it takes 45 minutes to microwave a frozen lasagna
You never prepared meals for us
Dad pressure cooked chicken and boiled brussel sprouts
Peace and quiet was at Boston Chicken

I remember you never really cleaned
You never educated
You never really cared
Until it was always too late

I remember the blinds closed in every room
During the missionary trip to South Africa
The pensive panic with little kids
Bitching back at you to let us pay our water bill

Which one of you cared afterward?
For years I wished one of you cared about me
I searched but never found her
She never tried to reach me either

It took decades to wish that one would find me
Had I been found within the last few years
We would have taken care of her
I wanted her to know them anyway

But it's not all bad news I'm remembering
I also remember that God became what we are
So that we could become what He is
Including every one of you, who was no guardian angel

Since God is the one who vindicates
Who is the one who condemns you now
If He who is risen knew you and loved you most
Sandwich bags and all