Saturday, December 25, 2010

my favorite Christmas poem, ever

The Gospel According to Walter

We passed the the open Bible around & waited.
Round robin, & it was my brother Walter's turn.
He knucklebrowed the passage, grunted, then began
"Yeah, here. Right here it says. Shepherds in the fields
keeping watch..."
he what it was he wanted.
The angel of the Lord shone around them
They were terrified, but the angel said, Do not be afraid

Who the fuck's he kidding? Don't you figure
them guys would blow their cookies when they saw that?
I mean, you really ever see an angel?
Listen, they got the eleven-foot wing spans.
And talons on 'em at least this big.
With shit like that you do not mess.
Fer chrissake think about it: here it is
the middle of then ight & these poor bastards
freezin their cullyones off when wham! they catch
these mothers hoverin' over 'em like fuckin'
Huey gunships, goin' whucka whucka whucka.
Think about it: a buncha roaches like you & me
feeding in the kitchen in the middle of the night
when, whunk! goes the landlord's eyeballin' flashlight
& us there grooling just begging to have ourselves
be stompt & squished when this wingspans croons:
Do not be afraid. You gonna stick around for that?
Whucka whucka whucka & some fuckin' floodlight
saying: Go thou now & catch some stable action
in yonder Bethlehem. Who, me? You're lookin'
at one first-class heart attack is what"
He stopped to catch his breath, his impromptu exegesis
on the Sacred Text & the Sublime fulfilled,
then wiped his hand across his brow & gave the book
a spin. Eddie popped another beernut into his mouth
& winked, as if to say: "Okay numbnuts?
Didn't I tell you so?" The others stared in disbelief
at Walter. Walter leaned back on his elbows
& stared back hard. He was having
the last word on this one if it killed him.
"You heard me," is what he said, "I said a wingspan
at least eleven fuckin' feet.

-- Paul Mariani
Salvage Operations 1990. page 37

(don't lie, you know you've thought the exact same words; I know I have!)

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