the gospel (John 18:1-19:42)

For over 20 years, Jim Perkinson has been riffing on lectionary selections in spoken word mode and often presenting the same at worship services of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church just outside downtown Detroit. This is the second in a series of collaborations between Jim and Tim Nafziger putting this poetry in video form.

the gospel (John 18:1-19:42)

jim perkinson

god weeping 
broken bottle slivers 
on the cheek of time
blood cheek dripping 
in roses of divinity
under the fallen street lamp
god is a broken light-shard 
of shattered moon 
in the midnight of neon
a swallowed sun
giving birth 
to black burnt words
and charcoals of ghost 
sucked like a water pipe 
of lost manhoods
god is smoke ring solitude
the profile of dead factory pipes
incinerator ash falling 
on pale skin
the dream of stars 
in the orange night 
of city
and the eyes 
of sleeping mothers
hearing moccasins 
on the path

the wail is low
the howl is heard only under the skin
the groan is your own
the taste is flesh
the touch is bone
the shiver is red
the wind is hawk
the owl is waiting
the rib is broken
the treaty is gone
the father is underground
the finger is cold
the ear is dried channel
the tongue is choked with nothing
the head is cracked
the arm is slack
the leg is bent
the back is supine and down

and god came, small as a mosquito
with hope on its wings
until you slapped it down
and now you are left
with just 
what will you do?

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