Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus

Kyrie (revision)2


Recommended Posts

Sunlight filters

softly, through

stained-glass

sturdily lead-lined

medieval windows:

scarlets, ochres, azures,

and a single lambent ray

now falls, no it points

to the altar and the crucifix.

 

What is this Judean

criminal doing in France?

 

The Minister says

we need larger newer windows

displaying gallows and guillotines,

gas chambers, electric chairs,

more progressive engines

of State disapproval.

Tear down these old cathedrals!

They are old, he says: put up slabs

of modern democratic concrete,

and let the falling rain and filth

of all the coming years

drip and stain like tears

running through mascara.

 

Jesus bar Joseph

lived before concrete and barbed wire,

son of his father, a carpenter,

yet we never hear if he was any good

(Sothebys: a chair made by Jesus!!!)

But if he was a useless Mama's boy

why would Peter and Simon, fishermen,

hard-bitten seasoned seagoing men,

why would they listen to him?

Maybe J was the proto-union guy

with a sideline in miracles.

 

Or it could be the job was boring

for this young Palestinian Elvis,

could be that Mom and Dad were a drag.

People happy or resigned to their work,

people like you, for example, or me,

we rarely start up new religions.

Not that he did, no, that came

centuries later. J was just a local Jew,

born into it, went with the territory.

 

But this boy had a way with words,

spun a number of catchy parables,

improved the quality of wine at weddings,

showed himself to be a catering genius,

and then rose Lazarus from the dead!

Woo! That was something:

must be a story behind that one.

 

About then, he'd ticked off the Pharisees,

got up the noses of the local authorities.

O, the downward slope, the end of hope:

always the same old, same old Middle East.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose!

 

Rome, like imperial America today

didn't know WTF was going on

and dispensed with Jesus, politically,

just as Ambassador Lodge was to do,

the Pontius Pilate of Vietnam.

 

Carpe (Mister) Diem.

 

Wash, wash, wash your hands,

wash your hands, wash your hands.

Wash, wash, wash your hands,

ear-lie in the morning!

 

Why do the natives bleed so much,

and make such awful noise?

 

Geopolitics

then as now, means

local myopia.

 

What did Rome think she was doing?

What does America think she or maybe he or it is doing?

 

I think it doesn't know what it's doing.

 

We'll get to that. First we need

to work our way through the Middle Ages.

Why? Because it's there, it gets in the way.

 

Stunted people, right little shortarses,

Popes and Kings and peasants,

a thousand years of lamentable hygiene,

protracted physical and mental torture:

 

Well, that should do it.

 

The world that we know and live in

is formed of myths and the nonsense of the past.

We have learned so little, and we seem intent

on creating even more lurid stark scenarios

to make our transience seem important.

 

We have become a widescreen stereo movie.

 

I wouldn't mind so much if it was a good one

with a little understatement, wit and intelligence,

instead of all the bombast and the bomb blasts,

the adolescent violence, the lust disguised as romance,

but it isn't. Now smoothtalking TV politicians

indolently, inexpertly, steer the speeding ship

into patiently waiting icebergs.

 

 

 

 

Original:

 

Softly sunlight

filters a way through

these stained glass

sturdily lead-lined

medieval windows:

these scarlets, ochres, and azures,

and a single ray

falls, no it points

to the altar

and the crucifix.

 

What is this Judean

criminal doing in France?

 

The Minister says

we need bright new windows

displaying gallows and guillotines,

gas chambers, electric chairs,

more progressive means

of State disapproval.

Tear down these old cathedrals!

They are old: put up slabs

of modern democratic concrete

and let the rain and the filth

through passing years

become public tears

running through mascara.

 

Jesus bar Joseph

lived before concrete and barbed wire,

son of his father, a carpenter,

yet we never hear if he was any good

(Sothebys: a chair made by Jesus!!!)

But if he was a useless Mama's boy

why would Peter and Simon, fishermen,

hard-bitten tough young seagoing men,

why would they listen to him?

Maybe J was a proto-union guy

with a sideline in miracles.

 

Could be the job was boring

for this young Palestinian Elvis,

could be Mom and Dad were a drag.

People happy or resigned in their work,

people like you, for example, or me

we rarely start up new religions.

Not that he did, no, that came

centuries later. J was just a local Jew,

born into it, went with the territory.

 

But our boy had a way with words,

he told a number of really tight stories,

he could improve the quality of wine at weddings,

showed himself to be a catering genius

if only with fish and loaves of bread --

but then he rose Lazarus from the dead.

Woo! That was something:

I'd love to know the story behind that one!

 

About then, he pissed off the Pharisees,

got up the noses of the authorities.

Then a downward slope, the end of hope:

always the same old, same old Middle East.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

 

Romans, like imperial Americans today

didn't know WTF was going on

and dispensed with Jesus, politically,

just as Ambassador Lodge was to do,

like Pontius Pilate, later, in Vietnam.

 

Carpe Diem.

 

Imperial far-sightedness

then as now, translates

into local myopia.

 

What did Rome think she was doing?

What does America think she is doing?

 

I think she doesn't know what she's doing.

 

We'll get to that. First we need

to work our way through the Middle Ages.

Why? Because it's there, it gets in the way.

 

Stunted people, right little shortarses,

Popes and Kings and peasants,

a thousand years of lamentable hygiene,

protracted physical and mental torture:

 

Well, that should do it.

 

The only world we know and can live in

grows from the myths and nonsense of the past.

We have learned nothing, we seem intent

on creating even more lurid stark scenarios

to make our existence seem important.

 

We've become a widescreen stereo movie.

I wouldn't mind so much if it was a good one

with a little understatement, wit and intelligence,

instead of all the bombast and the bomb blasts,

adolescent violence, lust disguised as romance,

but it isn't. Now mongoloid celebrity politicians

indolently, inexpertly, steer the weighty ship

into patient waiting icebergs.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.