Heaven Is the Definition of a Ghost Town

by on September 13, 2020 :: 0 comments

The first time poetry was read in church, a youth minister
asked if I knew Nine Inch Nails as if they were Christ’s love
and read a confiscated The Downward Spiral lyric booklet.

I remember evangelical sweat pits, a trimmed gold goatee,
Big Red ruby sunglass lenses. Did he see the whole world
through blood?

Reading “Heresy.”
“Someone dreamed up a god and called it Christianity.
Your God is dead and no one cares.”

Broken, given to a dead god, he asked: Tell me what you think.
I picked palms for splinters but saw donut crumbs and Dr. Pepper sugar.
Who could swim with holes in hands? Maybe we all will walk on water.
Like music, nails didn’t kill Jesus. They helped Him hang a little longer.
All I could think was that Jesus doesn’t need prayers, he needed prayer.
He prayed, died alone. He prayed, God ignored. No one cared.

Repeating “Heresy.”
“Someone dreamed up a god and called it Christianity
Your God is dead and no one cares.”

Eyes all red, he spoke again, whole heart on his tongue.
“Would anyone die for this?”
Red shades, he wanted to crawl up a cross to show off
it’s easy to die for sin songs and hear music of God’s silence.
Indifference, that’s God’s music-just as good as dead.

Repeatedly reading “Heresy,”
someone dreamed up god and called it you die, no one cares.
Maybe he cared to keep words to begin a religion
of industrial music to bet on and beat on a dead horse
to bring on doomsday as music already plays.

No one cares. Do you care? Does God?

Someone dreamed up God is dead but God never bled.
Maybe Jesus knows and knows He could have returned
but now He’s in Heaven, as useless as all dead
suffering God’s songs all about Himself.

Maybe Jesus traces unheard prayers into hands, deep, wide, and holy,
listens to Nine Inch Nails, knows Trent Reznor’s haircut was a miracle,
misses times when water was wine while angel choirs sing so loud
prayers die at Heaven’s doorstep like day-old newspapers and remembers
when people gathered and listened but He had no songs because
He wasn’t dead enough for music to speak for Him.

Maybe Jesus remembers when He was heresy,
when all around him were bodies full of blood
before ascending to dead ghosts we pretend don’t watch us
and thinks He could have sung that someone cared enough
to dream Him up, to send a dove, but kept silent.
On nine inch nails, His body bled for a world in red.

editors note:

Coffee, Bun, or Buttered Toast! (Read another of Tyler’s mad missives, posted on his poetry page, it’s about color recognition. Check it out!) – mh clay

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