God Back from Exile in Hell: A Clown’s Ventriloquy

The messengers of God were frisking and shaking,
and grubbing around, and turning inside out and upside down
heaven and earth. A terrorist. A coin box. A bottleneck shrimp creel.
To crucify me or tear apart my limbs with four stallions, and…
So I fled and hid in hell. (The hero can’t die until after the curtain fall.)
For some reasons scriptural, that musical translation
of silence into sound, they never even venture near the hedge of hell
at least when they could be espied. (Each by the other.)
They said I’d killed God off their brethren rolling lamb-meek
on the rocking boat tossed like the liquid waters of the wave,
when I just told them to swallow and digest the pill on their own,
and they did so for their flu, that seven-day illness.

I waited in hell, eating icecream by the fire,
listening to the rain outside, the sounds from heaven and earth,
like low murmurs of an old half-heard radio talk from the past,
popping bubbles on bubble wraps, and sightseeing the hellscape,
appreciating the design, the architecture, the texture, the color,
the meticulous details, the disgraced brother of the baroque.
It was a wait long like time for die-hards die very hard
and I prefer peace and good food to rock poetry translated,
war, house-burning and all acts of arson, illness, starvation,
and such things–a clichéd list of cruelty and misery one mile long.

Long livers have their last days. I returned after many such deaths,
their bodies scattered dry and fleshless, looking less dangerous,
their bairns bad still the same but the blood of their fathers
tired now in their veins. No man-hunt of no use this time.
But I felt still unsafe, so I tried my luck: I said I am God.
Silence, many didn’t hear; silence, many didn’t get;
and me, many didn’t believe, and those with most flesh said
I was God back from exile in hell. (They didn’t know that man cave.)
Many who didn’t get the irony worshipped me. Me unconcerned as ever.

[A solitary stranger back in one lonely corner rubbed
where his throat should be, as if itching.
Those words seemed gushing like musical notations out
from his mouth. He shouted a silent shout: “That son of a girl,
a’s snatched my throat!” The clown started, and muddled, he fled for hell,
but he didn’t know where hell was. He ran and ran, enquiring as he ran,
but nobody knew hell, and they thought him crazy.]


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