April 12, 2014
Apr 12, 2014
Death Is Death
All my Christians on Vimeo, smashing their tambourines, trying to maintain speed through the Book of Revelations
like a tiny hurricane makes its way through a stifling afternoon, trying to whip through a morbid endless loop and die just one more time.
At Teen Jesus, we talked for hours after the five-hundred-mile trip, each of us frantic with road exhaust in his separate teeny hollow—wondering, accusing, faltering.
How will I be saved?I pressed the question into the palms of the next day when the shuddering sail strapped to shoulders and crotch rose me up
and higher up, struck me wooden with angelic panic—as all the pretty counselors beamed and waved.
All my Christians now, decades on, they’re trying to take the whole thing private.
They’ve wheeled the founder out to reach and rally us across our devices . . .
To hell with your money, Savior. To hell with your little stone door that leads out and out but never in.
The Door that Leads In and In But Never Out
It’s possible to fashion a passageway, but not one that leads directly
to the room where they keep the ancient children.
Without the pre-existing condition called a door, there’s no way
to access the finer mysteries. It’s possible to make a conveyance,
but to construct the kind of pre-ambulance required you need sharp tools,
restraints and some non-conducting material.
There’s a boy who stands where the door should be.
He seems so certain, posing with his secrets intact,
ready to compel us forward. Do we trust him?
He bears no mark of God or country, no signs of madness
in the width and whiteness of his eyes. But the hair self-yanked
into its peculiar shape betrays a preoccupation with idiocy.
What would a medical professional say to the work of not knowing?
That it’s impossible or temporary or just in our heads?
And now that we who were born in the trees can detect a squall
in the open sea, open as it is to you, to me, to both of us, to the rats
tugging rugged paper boats up and down the beach
beneath the bleached, unconscious moon . . .
Suddenly, the Guards Return to the Priest Called “Stout Cortez”
It is a conqueror’s light. I’m sure I’ve seen a conqueror’s light
in the eyes of these ancient children perched on the cliff
of a new world. The ones for whom the order “to survey”
comes in the same urgent, whispered tones as the instruction
to fail and fall. The edge of the cliff extends endlessly
out over the infinite valley. Would they smash to the ground
if they fell or simply float there, forever?
Without a sense of the language of the place, without hope of trade,
the route back congeals like a scrape in skin.
Hurry up. Return to your life. The limpid, fresh lightning
you see by in bursts threatens the ships that brought you.
If you spot a conqueror limping, he’s still got his weapon. Keep on.
If you spy a conqueror asleep in the crown of a tree,
he’s simply striving to follow the sun. Keep on. Keep on.
Magic evolves here into something swifter, more “in time.”
But progress? That’s another matter. It’s like you can’t keep anything
inside your body anymore, not protein-rich bugs
nor suicide fruit, not the bark of a tree nor your sketchiest prospects,
not even fate. See how the moon retches up its most sober tea?
Stout Cortez, you summon the world with your violent melancholy
and your arms comply like two exhausted armies.
It is the music, the striking childish music, of Let fly.
While we have you...
...we need your help. You might have noticed the absence of paywalls at Boston Review. We are committed to staying free for all our readers. Now we are going one step further to become completely ad-free. This means you will always be able to read us without roadblocks or barriers to entry. It also means that we count on you, our readers, for support. If you like what you read here, help us keep it free for everyone by making a donation. No amount is too small. You will be helping us cultivate a public sphere that honors pluralism of thought for a diverse and discerning public.
April 12, 2014