plowing the garden of gethsemane

plowing the garden of gethsemane
by TC
“He remembers the box, made of oak,
With the lock, very secret and odd,
And spreads through a floor the stroke
Of his feet in the iron bond.” -Anna Akhmatova

it got cold
as i waited for the cab
swaying towards the computer
since my feet are pot roasts
sliding across a kitchen floor
i misread a stapler
for a pack of cigarettes
and lock into midnite
nitemares of brush and pail
i punched and punched
as they grafted skin
from behind my ear
nitemares of whole poem and flying lozenges
while i finally pet krisna’s horse
i stain the shaky church pew
dried blood brown
and find some rechargeable batteries
in a porch boot
cleaning my nails
with the edge of a christmas card
the bayou floods blemished fence
for in the living room a fish slept
nitemares of passing dolorous cloud; vice of youth:
often i will wait for you to speak
while i shudder in a time frame
and move like this
from monday to movie theater
spend the rest of my night in a dune buggy
designed by a demi-god
who lives behind the creek
the strawberry seeds hum
from the burdened guest
to the autumn home of an echo
i take off my shirt and toss it on the floor
so soon
a dog comes to lay on it
my desk chair squeaks
as though a song about arizona
is being written in the next room
yes, i can apologize
like low flying water bags
like any venus / jupiter
glistening in a hand unheld, see
i’ve got this new contentment
that won’t attract flies
or expect some moment of pure awareness
i hope you gloss over
like the prayer of someone sleeping
blowing nite past their many legs
so i guess i
should just start a new sentence
in the calm eye of a window
and shiver behind credit card alley
for the latest “us”
i lock our lives in a travel trailer
and disappoint myself
each month
as love is just
some inventive guilt
that lasts
longer than lightening
i guess i just
showed up to apologize tonite
say i’m sorry
for december
the rest of your life

0 thoughts on “plowing the garden of gethsemane

  1. This is an inversion of the Christ story, beginning at the end, short of Easter, and ending near the Nativity, rolled through a host of contemporary images. The stapler, related to the punching procedure of grafting skin, evokes the Crucifixion; also, possibly, the pot roast feet relates to those swelling from being nailed to the cross. “I take off my shirt and toss it on the floor” seems like the Christ figure of the poem disrobing himself before heading for Calvary, for a dog to lay on, demythologizing him further. The “dune buggy designed by a demi-god” is another updated demythologization. The poem contains “nitemares,” one “of passing dolorous cloud; the vice of youth.” This is a very mortal Christ, who has suffered many ordeals compromising his dubious divinity–to the degree he apologizes to us “for december,” his being born, “maybe the rest of your life,” as though he were responsible for our ordeals, not our salvation. The salvation he experiences, in the middle of the poem, is only “this new contentment that won’t attract flies or expect some moment of pure awareness,” non-elevating, in the midst of death, which he hopes we will “gloss over.” A defeatist, existential, personal, and digressive version of Christianity, which rings true for many of us.

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