Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Psalm 22

Eli, Eli,
lama sabacthani?
Matt. 27:46

Am I now forgotten
and overcome with
my fantasies of loss?

can you even hear me

In the morning I wake
with Your name on my lips
like "Mother."
At night there is a
darkness in the basement
echoing my voice.
Yet I maintain that
You are Holy
& have inhabited my praise.

My Dad seems calmed by his trust.
You have been a bandage
to his recent orphaning.
This faith is his vocation
but mine is doubt,
doubt confounding all
and inviting their disgust.
And why not?
Oh, look at me:
a laughable waste,
good only as a punch-
line cautionary tale,
good for a head-scratch
& a shrug.
The people all I know
would say,
"Oh listen to his death-wish,
his hastening of apocalypse!
If he's so sure, et cetera."

Still and all, I know
that You were the
very author
of all my hope.
I had little choice
but to learn
Your greatness early.
I am ripe
for Your re-education.
Loss is on my face
always
and no person knows to listen.

The grief of death
[and of getting up to go to work,
and of riding the bus
or shopping for groceries
or walking to church
and seeing the way-laying tragedy
of all the people I might meet]
has surrounded me.
The undiluted pain of
breathing
has bitten me on my
legs & in
my chest.
The pouring out
of my stupid fragile heart
has turned to white noise.
My bones are made
of heavy water.
I don't remember strength
or how to speak.
You have watched me into
the dust of death.
Is this the sound
of dogs licking at
my seeping wounds?
Have I hated myself
into stigmata?
Tell me.
My bones wait for me
to relate your answer.
My beloved are eyeing
my books and guitars
thinking this is
goodbye.

But do not be far.
Hurry to calm me.
Move to stop these growing nicks and cuts,
stay my love from the alleys.
Spare me the mundane
by the power of the miraculous.
I'll speak Your name around me
and point at You.
You have taken note of the sickness
of the ill,
and haven't hidden from them.
But when those Last Gasps
and Why Hast Thous
have sounded
You have known.
I'll tell the ones
who know but doubt
and retell your comfort
to the darkness.
Your heart will live among us.
And maybe in Your comfort
my world will be overcome.
That world is Yours.
It cannot be ours
as we fear and rail against
this death
but cause so much of it.
And I, the least of this,
will serve You,
and You will grow me
into much.
The faithful will come
and exclaim
that this is Your work.

1/3/06

in insufficient memoriam:
Carl Peercy
Mildred Peercy
Michael Dahlquist

9 Comments:

At January 4, 2006 at 5:41 AM, Anonymous natalie said...

To read that in the morning is beautiful. Know that I have spent the past few waking nights with your name on my lips in my prayers; I will not forget you. It would be impossible.

Please email me back soon and let me know that you've read my reply and that you are okay. I love you.

 
At January 4, 2006 at 7:33 AM, Blogger Marissa said...

Strange. Last night I dreamt that you had died. I woke up with an empty feeling in my stomach I still can't quite shake. I'm either concerned for you or I drank way too much coffee last night at the Rainbow (probably both).
We miss you and all your crazy antics. We are (I am) very anxious to see you again.

 
At January 5, 2006 at 7:13 AM, Blogger Trav said...

I've never read a piece of work that mixes bitterness and despair with passion and love quite this well, and yet does it in such a way that everyone who reads it will read it in a different way.

This post, this whole project, is begging to be published. Seriously.

 
At January 5, 2006 at 10:58 AM, Blogger Dave said...

I've been waiting for this one for a while. Everyday, I checked, hopeful. Because I knew that you could capture the feeling so perfectly.

You have far exceeded my expectations. This may well be the best poem i've ever read. And don't shrug that off as exaggeration--i take (other people's) poetry very seriously.

Peace and grace to you, my distant friend. Surely, goodness and love will follow you, all the days of your life. And at the end of things, far down the road, you will dwell joyfully in your Father's house forever.

 
At January 5, 2006 at 7:32 PM, Anonymous "jenny" said...

i still miss you.

 
At January 9, 2006 at 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I weep for you, dear boy.

I weep for us this early in the morning, when work and medication has thrown the schedule astray; has caused nightmares one can't wake up from.

I'm trying in this back-peddled way to envision the world he could see best if he was alive today. I, sometimes, think, even with all the bullshit (we emit) in the way, that I can see it. Uttering it makes me weep some more, so I stay quiet, mostly.

I'm learning to regain some confidence to speak. Please be strong as well.

"If you wait another day, I will wait a day."

 
At January 11, 2006 at 11:12 AM, Blogger Devin&Enda said...

I'm with Travis. You must consider publishing. As a marketing professional, I know your gift and originality in thought is rare. You would publish quite well.

Your words stir me.

Love and miss you.

Ali (and Jerry)

 
At January 17, 2006 at 3:28 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

Marty, your posts are always great. But right now, its time for a shamless plug for my site.

Top 5. Go now.

www.kcouri.blogspot.com

 
At June 11, 2007 at 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

reading this makes me realize why we got along so well so fast. you write the words that eat away at my soul, but i could never say. this is beautiful. I will read it again and again.
juli

 

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