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Heresy Is Such a Harsh Word

Mood: vacation-starved
Drinking: room-temperature water

I’ve been having discussions lately, email discussions, with a pastor named Mike from Alabama. They’ve been friendly discussions. Honest. Surprising, even. And yeah, I’d go so far to say they’ve been refreshing. With the exception of my friend DZ (who is also a man of the cloth), I haven’t had very many refreshing discussions with reverends over the course of my life.

Mike-from-Alabama asked me an interesting question the other day, and I had so much fun answering it, I thought I’d go bother the Internet with the results.

He asked, “If Jesus was sitting across from you, what would you ask him?”

I thought I’d have a million and one instant questions zinging through my head, but it actually took me quite a while to come up with a few that I felt like sharing. (Some things are better left in my head.)

So here are my top 20 questions for Jesus (and yes, I’d actually say the F word. It’s not like he hasn’t heard it from me before)…

1. Have you disowned George Bush yet?
2. Are you ever surprised by the depth of human depravity, or did you get used to it a long time ago?
3. The American Church: Modern Pharisees? Which is to say, if you were here today, would you overturn some tables?
4. When you lived on earth, did you have a dog?
5. Which pisses you off more, people saying “JesusFuckingChrist!” or people who use your name as a cloak of self-righteousness?
6. Are you really a virgin?
7. And in a related question, what’s the real story about you and Mary Magdalene?
8. Do you ever regret the whole “free will” thing?
9. Was David a “man after God’s own heart” because he was such an honest mess?
10. Gay marriage. Pro?
11. So when are you coming back, exactly? Is it a wait-and-see-how-bad-it-gets sort of thing, or do you already have it scheduled?
12. Why do you love me?
13. Did you think we’d do better than this, or did you expect us to fuck up the world this badly?
14. Faith. Hope. Love. Shouldn’t you have said that Love was the hardest?
15. Scarier political climate: Rome, B.C. or Washington D.C.?
16. How badly have Christians misquoted you, over the centuries?
17. If you were in a band, would you be the lead singer or the bass player? (And what would you call your band?)
18. Two thousand and six years later, have we completely missed the point?
19. What does Heaven smell like?
20. When it all comes down, in the end, will you give me answers, or will you leave me forever wondering?

-Lo, who thinks Heaven smells of violets in the rain, freshly-baked bread, horse barns, and Boy’s neck.

Pink Strip

Mood: Over it
Drinking: Diet Coke with a dash of that magical vanilla

Pink Strip

Blame it on the genes.
They’ve betrayed you.

Curvaceous Helix Traitors.
Deoxyribonucleic Renegades.

And if you think proteins and
sugar phosphates
can’t have an
ulterior motive, a
sinister agenda, the
last laugh, you
have not done your homework.

It’s a biochemical mutiny,
and you’re walking the plank.

Blame it on the boy, if you want.
He double-crossed you, too.

Malefic Civilian Informer.
Treacherous Morrissey Fanboy.

You should know by now
that you can’t trust a man
with magnets for eyes. He
carves your initials
into his arm
just to infiltrate the psych ward
to find you. It’s so bloody, it’s almost
romantic. But then he doesn’t just
push your buttons, he
threads a needle and sews them
right into your skin. He’s a card
carrying member of Nicole’s
Black Cotton Mafia and you
are his heroin moll.

It’s a Dark Boy conspiracy
and you need witness protection.

Blame it on Jesus. Everyone does.
Isn’t silence a breach of good faith?

Deficient Deity.
Inadequate Savior.

Just when you’re ready to seek
and to find, that’s when
he goes into hiding.
He goes into stealth mode,
radio silent.
He goes incognito.
He goes away.
(It’s almost like he wants you
to beg for it.)

So you do.
You get down on your knees
in the bedraggled back bathroom
of Andy’s Chinese.
You assume the position
and you say “Our Father,
pretty please.”

Then you wait for heaven
to crack wide open
and spit out an angel
but you’d settle for something
smaller and less brilliant.
You’d settle for an answer.
But all you see is the ceiling
the white paint falling in flakes
to reveal a yellow sheen
circa 1973
hidden underneath.

You start to think
the colors in this room
have formed an alliance against you.
White is never as innocent as it
first appears. There’s always a secret
seeping through like a yellow disease.
And this pink in your hand,
so nauseating
so Pepto Bismol
so far from pretty.
You never did like the pastels.

So you’re left with the pink strip
and the absolute absence of
divine intervention.

is busy.
Boy is oblivious.
And your genes, well,
they’re just too dangerous.

So you blame it on yourself, finally.
You make such a good villain.

And villains don’t make good mothers.
(The defects are hereditary.)

-Lo, who knows that not all poems can be taken at face value and not all Morrissey fanboys are treacherous.