Thursday, January 27, 2005

Psalm 10: A Psalm of Anger and Dejection

“Why standeth thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?”

Pt. I
Oh God,
Where are You now?
Another fine mess, and all the rest.
I am of the opinion,
Ethereal Father Figure of Ultimate Value Judgment,
that You definitely exist
but have gotten too busy
to tend to me.
These times are difficult
and, lo, I am alone.

(Is this language Psalmy enough, God,
is this the way I am to
speak to You?)

Pacify me soon.
This grammar is not
the grammar of God
that I know.
I wish to praise
and to share Joy
and some measure of Peace.
Give me one Godly thing
so I can keep practicing
(it’ll work if I work it,
fake it til you make it,
and all that rot).
One thing, God,
to convince me
the night will end.

Pt. II (less of self this go)

The poor, God, You’ve met
them. They daily come
to You by thousands, young
and old, by deficit
of food
and by surplus
of dirty water.
And You are called just.
(Please explain.)
Recent years, and all
years past,
propose a solution
to living as:
If you steal, steal big.
Our prisons are not
populated by
Chief Executive Officers.
But, God, the boss of
Krispy Kreme
makes $720 an hour.
(Remember the thousands of
poor I mentioned who die from dirty water.)
Also, God,
I presume You need
no reminding of
high rise filing cabinets
full of the disenfranchised.
And also…
Well, God, look at it,
this filthy world.
There is Wickedness,
Vile as any has been.
It is hiding in every
neighborhood and
slum and
gated community.
It is a swift
and efficient
murderer of hope
and goodness and
(real & imagined).
In the churches
and office buildings
and the crackhouses
and hospitals
a losing battle
seems fought.
And why do You
stand so far
Come and avenge
me of the cynicism
You’ve built into me, God.
Every few weeks I
try to get up off
the floor and remember
who You are
but, honestly, God,
this world and,
some of Your
people in it
are kicking
my feeble
You have heard the needs
of the humble and will
prepare their hearts and
make them hear You.
Am I not humble
I don’t think I
can think less of
myself without
If breaking further’s
what I need to
be whole
then fucking break
Or blow me out of
this dark glass
and take me home.
-that the person of earth
may no longer oppress


We die, we die.
First we go wet,
& then we go dry.

Psalm 9: My Bile/God's Judgment, (for Inauguration Day)

[1] God, I know I’m supposed to spend time praising You. I remember this sometimes and feel a familiar guilt, a superstitious notion that things won’t work if I’m not doing it (praising). I apologize for not doing so more. I should think more often about the way I felt when I first approached the Rockies. [2] I recall a sense of enthusiasm and of hope. “Here is something Good and Pure,” I remember thinking. Those mountains force me to encounter You. I don’t know if it’s because of their daunting beauty or their size and scope or maybe just their close proximity to outer space (which is where we’re taught You live).

[3] This weekend I was in the country on a hill with a large collection of warm and bright Young People from several uncommonly thoughtful Baptist churches. For the time I was there I felt confirmed in my faith that Your kingdom can be built here on earth. I remembered my conviction of the victory that Your people are waiting for. [4] I believe (though I don’t always feel convinced of it) that the right things I’ve done- few and far between- have been successful because they’ve been ordained by You.

[5]I heard that the pastor of some of these young people preached a sermon recently entitled “The Greatest Tragedy of All.” It was about the Tsunami. Stop me if You think You’ve heard this one before. Apparently the “Greatest Tragedy” was that most of those people who died weren’t Christians (he probably said they didn’t “know God”).

He’s a funny fuckin’ guy, God, I just don’t get the joke.

I read the 9th Psalm (the one in the Bible, not the one I’m writing). It suggests some interpretation for the Tsunami from the same sort of point of view.

[6] If they (the people who died) were enemies of Yours (which I just don’t imagine) then I guess You put a pretty definitive stop to that. Their cities are gone and with them much of their history. [7] Apparently they were going to destroy You. Isn’t that the Old Testament rationale? Enemies of God destroyed by God (or by God’s human tools)? That way, see, we can have a binary vision of good v. evil and dismiss the mass dead. Like when You let the bad Muslims destroy the World Trade Center because America loves Fags.

That’s fucking stupid.

[8] If Your standard of judgment is righteousness and You’re as harsh a judge as Falwell claims, then the United States would have been snuffed in its colonial infancy. But instead the prestigious forefathers of this proud nation gave away blankets infested with small pox.

Just to clarify: You do know, don’t You, that nefarious shit like this has been done for thousands of years by people claiming Your name and that of Your Son.

[9] But, see, it’s my understanding that You will harbor oppressed people. And that’s a little contradictory to the idea of slaughtering a bunch of poor people. (Bear with me here, I’m trying to believe this.) [10] And I understand also that those who know a bit about You trust You and that You’re kind to people who are trying to figure things out.

Am I on Target so far? I got these ideas from the Bible.

[11] This is the You in which I believe. A Good God who loves and wishes the people to do likewise. To feed hungry people and house people without homes and to Act Justly, God, and not kill people. That’s the You I’m interested in telling other people about. Me? Not so big on the deathly destructive version of You I’ve heard so much about.

[12] And if You’re the killer I’ve seen You painted to be, why isn’t my country dead yet? You love humility, right? And kind of despise hubris, am I right? How, then, do “we” win wars, this prideful ugly nation?

[13] If You’re who they’re saying, America should be really fucking afraid. We should be begging Your mercy (Well. We should be doing that anyway, right, fear or no.) and apologizing to the families of so many dead and poor and enfeebled humans.

And also we ought to be busy draining the funding of our killing machine and absolutely pouring that money into selflessly easing the suffering of the world around us.

Because- ooh, what about this? - what if You have chosen the U.S., and just love this place. But! We keep fucking up, just like Israel did so much in the Old Testament. Maybe we should, like I said, work on rectifying the wrongdoing we’ve perpetrated, but do so recognizing all the times we should have failed in our endeavors but just didn’t somehow (I mean, ask logicians, they generally think Hitler would have won the war at the rate he was going).

[14] But You have spared “us.” Like You’ve spared me so many times, times when- looking back- I can’t help thinking You made the wrong decision. But You’ve done so, redeemed little ol’ unredeemable me, so that- I believe- I could recognize Your wonder and pass it along to the people I know and simply Rejoice at their own recognition. How good! How prolonged the realization of redemption!

Dr. King knew of whence he spoke, Bless him.

[15] My enemies are usually internal, as You know. But in spite of how much battle I do with them, I realize they are bound up of themselves.

[16] I mean, hey, You made me and I’m fucked up. And like my man Lenny Bruce said, “If it’s flawed- if it is dirty- the fault lies in the manufacturer.” And we humans like to acknowledge You according to Your punishments. But I wonder if You didn’t punish me preemptively by supplying this self-loathing in accordance with all the shitty things I’ve ended up doing in spite of contrary options.
Just sort of riffing here, God.

Let me take a breath: Higgaion.

[17] I fear that I simply accept all my misery as a given only because I secretly hope all the bad people will suffer, too, and all the empires (like ours here in the U.S.).

I don’t want anybody to suffer, God.

[18] We, here in the world’s wealthiest nation, have allowed poverty to not only persist, but flourish. I have a hunch You’re keeping score in this regard. That makes me want to hide. Because the People (of whom I so falsely fond) will not remain in a state of death.

[19] God.

(Here’s my thing.)

God, please don’t let the human sense of self-preservation win. Don’t let believers get sucked into the vacuous masquerade of individualism and narcissism. We’ve traveled very far down that road hence and we have only done good there by freak accident.

I’m asking You to remove the potential for those accidents. I think that’s the best way to change our course: Stop allowing us to benefit from base selfish behavior.

[20] I believe You are great.

Well, change us then. Make us right.

God, as dangerous as it is, I’m asking You to make us humble.

As in:
Humiliate Us, God. It’s the only way I think we’ll be saved.


I’m collecting friends, fast as I can, before I make sure this is all over. Have you seen me lately?