Posts Tagged ‘Salvation’

Trivia Night

Hunched buffalo snorting
hot breath from the curved
end of an aching back.
A pair of twittering birds
fill the air with nonsense
The three waves confined
spread the reviving
spirits of the watering hole.

This has been our religion now
since we were born again.

In this banished kingdom
of polished dark wood
warped from over exuberant
lapping hyenas
we are the lions. And every
we gather to hunt.

Some old, some new.

Some still licking wounds
from last week. Nobody thought they
would come, in the cold
weather of a New England Thanksgiving.
They must have four wheel drive.
Their young cub sits sheepishly
and drinks coke. 

He is coming of age. This is his story.

The lady of the lake is there to remind us
of the dangers of smart phones.
Of roaring too loud and giving away our hands.
It is as if only a handful of us can hear her
as the busy wilderness continues to churn
around us.

We bend in anticipation, coiled and ready;
our sleek bodies bowing to the sun.

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In this time it is easier to melt
than to break.
The humid air of an Autumn midday
is a heavy, blue saxophone note.
In every abrupt transition
the pressure is felt.
I am dying to break.
But instead
I melt.

In my sweat I feel anything but good
but I know I am meant for this.
The constant stirring of the pot
I’ve been hunched over all day.
A hearty beef stew
Is my hope for sainthood.
A plump uneasy martyr
Who works
to feel good.

I am impressed by stained glass
but not by God.
It is good to be felt,
and seen, and heard.
They are a mirror to me,
a fragmented mass.
I sit,
they tell stories
about this time.

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Bend to me as you pass my way
before you hold your head aloft
in the skyward clouds of soft
puffy silver hair.

With your hands feel my decay,
the weight of wrong
skinned burdens, and a strong
robust despair.

Do not think your mercy pays
for my freedom’s origin,
the residue of Moses’ sin,
and a fragile type of unfair?

It will not be just to stay
on the road to salvations cross
just tell them of my fortunes lost
when you make it there.

My purpose is to divert your way
from the dangers up ahead
and I’ll be replaced once I am dead
by a sign post marked “beware”.

Even now I am turning gray
from the ages I’ve been here
so go quickly the other way
before you start to care.

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Previous Entry Found At: http://veritasexlogos.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/stories-told-to-be-forgotten-vii-the-intruder/

The darkness was pierced suddenly by the sliding open of the channel between Clay and the father. Inside the cramped iron maiden the thick dust could be tasted but not seen. Clay let out a choked whispered prayer for forgiveness later rattling on uninterrupted about the plethora of sins both new and previously omitted or more likely forgotten. The father sat in silence out of disbelief or perhaps even shame over his fellow man’s emotionless enumeration of his adventures. When silence finally returned to the chamber the father groaned and pulled from his vocabulary the one word Clay did not expect to hear.


“No I shant have it, your my guest. Well, my father’s guest. Take a seat and I shall fetch the tea.” The foppish man waved his arms hysterically before retrieving his spectacles from his pocket. He seemed old in motion but youthful when still – his dress reflected something of a by-gone era but his angular features and beardless face made it look modern and stylish if not slightly outlandish. He wore a navy blue bowtie and suspenders over a plane white dress shirt. He had draped his sports coat over a antique looking chair before shooting off into the kitchen.

“I think we have some misunderstanding.” Elle pleaded while still standing.

“Nonsense. I see things all too clear. My father, like all men, has given into the nature of our kind and found himself a youthful mistress. For what other reason would you be in his study without a stitch of clothing on.” He paused as he fiddled with the oven. Elle searched for the proper words to say, to come clean, to admit to her sinful night and beg for this strangers forgiveness. But before her heart compelled her to speak, he continued.”


“You cannot be forgiven. What you have done is completely contrary to God’s will and you have done it more than enough times to make a habit of it. Until some way of education can be devised to purge from you the taste for sin I cannot in good conscious forgive your sins.”

“Is it a sin to give into your nature?”

“To be a beast?”

“To be too human?”

“You cling to your beastliness for justification but what of the other side… the higher side?”


“This explains why father was so happy before he died. Even as the Alzheimer’s gripped his mind he kept saying: My soul has ascended. The old man was all doom and gloom ’til that moment. He would shuffle around this house finding solace in antiques and books from exotic places. It was unnatural. A man cannot go that long without a woman’s touch.” Something in the way he spoke brought comfort to Elle. The man wanted his father to be happy, and if that belief kept this man afloat than why bother his bliss with such a trivial matter of detail.

“I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name.”

“Pierce Fletcher. Yours?”

“Elle Scardenelli.”

“A beautiful name, for a beautiful woman.”


“Even Adam, before sin gripped his bones, was undone by a beautiful woman.”

“You quote scripture to suit your purpose, but you throw out the rest. Even the devil can quote scripture for his purpose, Clay.”

“I need this.”

“For what, Clay? To write another one of your trashy novels.”

“With your grace perhaps I can make them more than trash.”

“You’ll have to ask the Lord about that issue. I have a higher side to worry about as well, and it will do nohting but poison my spirit if I forgive you on the grounds you have provided.”

“Then educate me. What is it that I can do to atone?”


“I write novels. Well, sort of. Father said it was always a waste of time, that I would never be like Homer or Shakespeare, so why bother? Unlucky to be born at such a point in history were all understanding of art has lost. It takes a civilization of immense culture to produce such a writer. By we’ll never know if we don’t try, right? I want to write something great, something sweeping, a definition of our time and place.”

“What will it be about?”

“Haven’t really gotten that far yet. I am taking a trip for inspiration.”

“Where to?”

“I know some monks that might take you in.”


“Yes. They live a secluded life up in the mountains. They offer a retreat for spiritual travelers looking to come to the grace of God. I believe one of the brothers there was a writer like yourself. People go to him for teachings on the written word.”

“And if I don’t go. You don’t forgive me.”

“That’s the deal.”

“I suppose the fresh air might do me some good. Where is this place?”


“Kentucky.” The foppish man replied without missing a beat.

“Kentucky?” Elle prodded further.

“The trappists have a monastery down that way.”

“A monastery?” Elle tried to imagine this professorial type in robes.

“A trappist monastery. In New Haven. Its called the Abbey at Gethsemani.”


“You want me to go to a monastery. In Kentucky.”

“Only there will you find salvation.”

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view previous entry at: http://veritasexlogos.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/stories-told-to-be-forgotten-part-v-a-ghost-caught-in-the-wind/

The massive bronze gates yawned like the mouth of some epic beast. The soft aromatic breath of some ancient deity pouring forth as an invisible insurmountable tide. The ghostly visitor pushed desperately against it using its loot as an anchor. The wind could not be trusted to deliver him, but the soft melodies of a molten hymn could. Grabbing the oars of sheer human will the ghost emerged from the rain and into the light of the Cathedral.


He was in the light that made everything appear old. Massive columns whose size could not be perceived but only felt stretched from the floor until it met fantastic arches. In this way each massive column was woven into a network of colossuses. On the backs of these Atlas’ an entirely different world hung. The ceiling was a solid but churning blue with aspects of gold. A sudden flash of her eye as it opened in the dark took control of his mind. His mind raced away from the blue onto the gold capitals and down the ribbed nave ceiling trying to escape the burning memories.


The natural fluidity of the architecture brought him to rest on the altar. Its bronze fixtures provided some rest. The soft music suddenly ceased. Unperceivable silence followed for a time unknown to both the ghost and his watcher. Appearing at once from behind the altar he revealed himself to the ghost and at once bone, muscle, sinew, and flesh were thrown back upon him. Simultaneous strength and burden returned and the process was half completed.


“Why have you come here, Clay?” First the flesh, now the name. Clay felt the odious return of normality. The father had known him since a boy. ‘Clay’ meant an entirely different person to him. It meant the boy who ceased going to mass after confirmation. It meant the boy who had too often questioned the authority of the elders. It also meant the man who had a peculiar bluntness that manifested itself in his dutiful participation in confession despite his seeming disbelief in God.


“Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been 1 month since my last confession.” His voice sprung forth like an answering machine triggered.

“Hold your horses, Clay.” The father moved toward him, down three stairs, and across the floor to his side. “I’m not even wearing my vestments”.


“I do not have the time for your superstitions. Clothes do not give people special powers.”


“I am not saying it does. But like a fire fighter needs a uniform, like a policeman needs a uniform, or like a soldier needs a uniform, I need my vestments. Besides you are lucky I am even here. Why don’t you go sit in the confessional and I will be there shortly.”


Without waiting for a response the father disappeared once more leaving Clay alone with himself. Stepping into the confessional he immediately greeted by darkness. In his mind he could feel the kudzu growing rapidly as it devoured the feast of memories. All he needed was this one act and he would be free to put his greatest work onto paper – or perhaps his greatest travesty.  




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A saint wrapped in only barbed wire fence
proclaiming a scorched earth prophesy
Salvation, a virgin steel’s test,
is the garment of her seduction.

Going forth to feel her brailled softness
Divine revelation, her skin’s theology,
Makes exclamation rhyme with silence,
My hands, her education.

An embrace, God’s recompense
for a failing man’s unity
binds skin to skin, breast to breast
a sacrifice, a reproduction.

Our scars match, God’s word written on flesh
A law, the savior’s love, a covenant refreshed.

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It occurred to me recently
That dreams are for those who can pay the most
Over a bowl of sugared cardboard
And fungal toast
In my sublet apartment
With more rats than ghosts
In the morning the sun hits the trash
And the local man, who smells likes booze
And lives under the over pass
Emerges, and we wait to watch him see his shadow
Because, if he does, then alas
There will be 6 more weeks of winter

Winter is a fresh coat of paint
Except for those who can’t afford clothes
Who pray that perhaps a saint
Or some other wraith with gold
Can revive some distant and faint
Recollections of a life put on hold.
It occurred to me recently
That food doesn’t fill the hungry
It struck me in a dream
While I excavated a dungy
Moss filled basement
Where some prophet had gone to die.


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