window to good and evilThis is the poem that so many asked me about during a recent poetry reading at The 827.  Come read your poems there too, every Wednesday evening at 7:30 – 9pm.  While there, take in the NETI exhibit.  When I say take it in, I mean TAKE IT IN!  Like a poem.

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Slept

The world enters me through my senses.
I feel it from the inside of my hand.
The throngs of every human from the beginning of time
contained in every breath.
Like the rain that comes in January,
cold spraying on my face, bent backward, open mouthed.
The welcome dread of winter calls to me
inviting me into the future
(as if the future were a thing that could invite, like a ripe peach).
What is it that makes the future happen?
Is it merely the inevitable, irrevocable continuation of the past?
More breathing, my heart beating in my stomach, my innards sloshing gently,
As I lay in the stillness of these thoughts.
I’m sure something will happen tomorrow,
Earth shattering, stunning, catastrophic.
Yet we can do nothing to stop it because it hasn’t happened yet.
We breathe as if it may not happen,
And pretend that nothing will be different.

My face has changed so slowly, years befalling,
And yet it seems as if it’s always been this way.
But it hasn’t.
It became.
I became.
But have I become more of who I am, or less?
As I know more, am I getting better?
The part of me at peace about such questions
is also half asleep.
But the part that is awake is ready for a fight.

So what would Jesus do?
And where do questions like this come from?
Were they born into the palm of my hand
and nurtured as it moved over my lover’s sleeping body?
When Jesus was upset did he lie awake at night?
When he was crucified, was it not his greatest pleasure,
to take upon himself the sins of the world, none of which he actually committed?
Surely at that moment, there was no doubt in his mind that he was the Son of God.
I mean if he had any doubt then what the hell are we doing?
And yet, we always imagine him in torment, hanging on the cross,
But really, how cool was that?
I’d feel pretty good about myself, wouldn’t you?
How often do we wish we’d thought of that ourselves?
Like buying stock in Microsoft early on.

What is this weight of the world?
If the words and images of poets and artists can’t bring us closer to the truth
then what is their fucking purpose?
If by knowing all there was to know,
If I could hold all the knowledge of the world in the palm of my hand,
Like Jesus did except without the smart-phone,
would a ripe peach taste any better?

If Adam had handed Eve a headless serpent, asking for the Apple, would we be okay?

When waiting in the tomb, after taking back the keys of death,
And before the stone was rolled away,
what do you suppose our Savior did?
Jesus Slept.

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