64 – Revelation

I think this probably relates to Sects in some way – that’s the only story I have in which the Christian god might reasonably appear. It’s indicative of my predilections that “something about gods dying” could fit into any of three different projects I’ve got on at the moment. The distinctions are more a matter of tone than anything else. I have a tendency to repeat myself, as you may have noticed, reinterpreting and restating an idea until I find the very best way to express it. And I read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials when I was twelve, so the idea of someone wanting to kill God got a grip on me early. The Chick Tracts were right, guys – reading to your kids really does turn them into Satanists!

Nah, that’s a joke-lie. Besides, we should all be so lucky as to have our kids become Satanists; every Satanist I’ve ever met has been a really decent person. They’re generally very chill, aggressively nonjudgmental, and willing to get deep in the weeds on metaphysical questions, which I like. They’re also great in bed, in my experience, and your suspicions are correct: there is a higher-than-average likelihood that they are into some kinky business. But they’re super concerned about consent and free will, that’s the whole point. However ironic this might seem in the public perception, Satanists are among the last people you might expect to rape you. Unlike, say, US politicians, who at this point stand about a one in three chance of having to sweatily apologize for fondling a child.

The morning arrives with a falling dove.
It spikes itself on the church spire –
once the harbinger of holy fire,
the first ironic sign of war above.

Gods always die like that – and all gods die –
where do you think they get the new gods from?
Through the strings the ancient animals come
to lay their eggs in dead gods’ mouths and eyes.

The dove and then the angels – bigger birds –
flew into pieces when they hit the ground
and all around the world a cry was heard.
Not from the throats of angels came that sound,
but from those erased by the holy word:
“Your heaven may be lost, but ours is found.”

Check out the rest of the 100 Sonnets

Desert Desires

In the morning:

I send a song to you. I choose it carefully.

There’s always a reason.

I’d tell you if you asked;

no one ever asks.

I only seem to do this for one person at a time –

it’s my way of courting.

Like leaving flowers at your door

A mouse corpse on your mat

I did not make it; I simply caught it.

Dead things say “I love you.”


Around 10 AM:

I light incense in two places around my apartment,

and I ponder rituals that could accompany this moment.

Like everything, I insist on doing this backwards.

I crave faith, conviction, a sense of meaning

I cherish catechism; my fingers naturally curl to count a rosary.

But though I make the moves on hands and knees,

though I see things and hear voices,

though I go through all the motions of the martyr,

I never pull the trigger

because I still don’t feel a thing.

Around 1995:

Religion was like any other fantasy world when I was a child

Jesus was a hero but not as brave as Ged,

A lot whinier than Frodo.

No cool powers.

Woo, he makes fish appear and walks on water?

So he’s a shitty Aquaman, is what you’re saying.

No one divided the Bible from Bradley and Bradbury

So it just seemed like it had too few dragons to me.

My first memory blinds me — the sun on the water in a copper bucket

that also contained me.

The bucket was just big enough for me, and the water

and the infinite light of the sun.

I could never see how this world needed God.


Every day since sixth grade:

I loved her all wrong, then and now —

Far too close in all the wrong places.

Like tongue-kissing a goddess

Like bringing frankincense and myrrh to McDonalds

Like living all my life on my knees

Before the sixteen-year-old girls we were.

Over time it’s become a genre

A color I paint in

One of the shapes that shows up again and again.

If you knew her, you could never miss it —

She’s in every drawing, every story — or something like her,

the pieces of her I stole, and kept, and tended

in my dirt-floor basement heart.

The garden I grew there spawns each day

mycorrhizal homunculi with her eyes.

They tug at my arms, whisper in my ears

Beg to be drawn, to be cherished, to be beautified

To be loved, forever.

To always be loved.