I. The Party No One Has Time For
Heaven is the party no one has time for —
Now that hell’s no longer a serious threat.
There are far more important things to work on;
There are far more important people to be seen with.
Heaven is a high school gymnasium with cheesy balloons
Where God shows up and waits for a turnout
Better than last night when nobody showed.
Heaven is a band with a myspace page
That gets a thousand comments
Every single day from bots.
Heaven is an uncut birthday cake
On a card table with bright blue tablecloth
Surrounded by empty rental chairs
In a room with a cheap disco ball.
God made a banner;
It said welcome;
It had a rainbow;
Each of the card tables
Had a centerpiece with electric tea lights.
It just wasn’t a good night;
God didn’t look closely at the calendar;
He should have paid for professional advertising;
He should have added more side boob to his flyers.
Because love is not a compelling enough reason to dance.
II. Your Invitation
You’re invited to my wedding feast
And you can ghost me
Or send me a cute emoji
Instead of showing up
But if you do that,
I’m going to invite Patsy
Who sits on Carrollton Avenue
And has pretended to be pregnant
For six consecutive years
And has methy-looking teeth;
And also my buddy Randall
Who tries to be cute with his sign
Saying his spaceship crashed
And he needs spare parts;
He plays air drums and air guitar
With his dog under the bypass.
And up in mid-city, I can ask Billy
Who looks like he’s about fourteen
Until you see his fifty year old face
And gangrened toenails.
I won’t forget Mabel
Who fights demons on every square
Inch of sidewalk and thus protects
All of us from Satan;
And a cell phone
But she’s still asking for blessings
Because anything can help.
Maybe Carrollton Avenue is actually where
I should look for my twelve;
Jesus didn’t go for the influencers;
He walked along the beach
And found some dirty fishermen;
They didn’t have platforms;
They didn’t have inroads
With the people who make things happen.
They only got famous
When rich Romans made a strategic decision
To paint chis and rhos on their shields
And suddenly the global magnetic field shifted
And Jesus started getting retweets
And people wanted him on their podcasts
Because they thought he could add value,
And he was able to monetize his brand
And his poetry chapbook became canon truth
Which is a pretty surefire way to get
Graven images of you in pure gold
Put in the front of thousands of houses of worship.
I wonder if he gets disgusted at all the statues of him
And all the people who confuse institutional power
For the weakness of being abandoned by
Every single friend you have
Even your best friend who denied you three times
Before the crock crowed
Till you’re jacked up naked with spikes in your
Hands and feet, feeling cramps unlike
Anything I could ever imagine;
Whatever power is,
If it doesn’t come from the rage
Of a God who was murdered by his biggest fans,
If it doesn’t scream at the sky
Saying fuck you Dad for letting me die;
If it doesn’t win solely through poetry
That lacerates hearts with diamond-saw precision;
If it can’t defeat its most ruthless enemies
By moaning “Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Then it’s not the real Son of Man
And I don’t want any.
I know you have oxen to prove
And newly wed spouses to fuck
And you need to see about buying fields
Since things are so busy right now,
But I’m having a wedding feast
Or internet dance party
Or even a two minute Live video (with just breathwork)
And I want you to come.