Happy Birthday, Gunnar Ekelof (September 15, 1907 - March 16, 1968)
A suburban couple, off-the-bottom-shelf drunk on brandy,
leans over a box TV, take turns pounding its sides
until it goes black as a Sunday night barber shop
with a bloated yellow-green corpse on the floor.
And on the roof is the returned Jesus... finally, goddamnit.
And Jesus is back as a teen... jeans and black T-shirt.
Yes... sandals, too. A little carried-away on meth.
And there's a girl up on the roof with Jesus,
rum-breathed, cute in a scoop-neck little black dress,
Jesus fucking Christ, I hope you got a rubber.
I sure as hell don't want to calve-out next spring.
Blood starts to pour off the top of the suburban TV.
It's playing a sagebrush, au currant, western movie
with a cast of complete unknowns off failed soap operas.
The undressed, hip-flabby suburban wife is whipping
her husband, a blister-nose college philosophy teacher,
with some black tights discovered in the family car.
Suddenly the local priest is at the front door,
crazy-knocking with wet, just extricated-from-mouth,
tobacco-specked yellow dentures... screaming,
I have come with holy awkenings, my children.
The suburban couple invite the priest to watch TV,
serve him a block of salt, a sack of rancid fried chicken.
And attic mice screech as Jesus and his new girlfriend
shudder-kiss-grope-kiss-gasp-moan-yelp, get real sweaty
under a strawberry-colored moon. And the girl says,
This is way-cool-raggedy, dude Jesus, but
you ain't my type and this is just on a dare.
And Jesus feels precisely like a burning desert motel,
like a guy who can wear a shroud, do some healing.
The couple take turns pointing at the TV.
The priest eats all the kitchen table flowers,
Hell is inside us... and outside us like dog vomit
on a lovely piece of sheer pea-green cloth.
The wife and husband notice that the walls are convulsing.
The priest lowers his pants, fiddles with aluminum leg braces,
As it warns in Revelations, it's a barb wire world.
Just look at that western movie on your TV.
No one notices when teen Jesus comes inside to use
the mirrored shower next to the master bedroom.
Got some nasty roof shingle burns on my ass,
the girl tells stoned friends at the water tower park.
The kids use cell phones to take group pictures:
fumbler-gazes, purple faux-hawk hair, yellow-ooze ears.
Yeah... the parental unit's entertaining Father
Mud-Drying-Sun at the house. You know, TV and snacks.
Signals in the night: dust-stirring flies, flickering asylum light,
vampire westerns on TV, leaky breast implants,
rich folks at the back doors of lonesome desert town
pawn shops, mercy available only by email,