Impulse + Contact (A Poem About Divine Encounter)

Impulse + Contact (A Poem About Divine Encounter) August 3, 2020

This is a spoken word poem I made that was inspired by mystical encounters with God in the woods next to my house. I have an audio recording and the text of the poem below. You can think of it as a riff on Psalm 42:7: “Deep calls unto deep.”

Impulse + Contact

It starts with an impulse,
Hiding like a snake
In the leaves, growing
More and more restless.

The insects know first
A song is coming;
Then the birds join in;
The squirrels stop nibbling

For a moment to stand
On their tiptoes and
Listen; the ripples
In the creek are ready.

Then there is contact,
A crossing through to
Another universe
Where gods exist

And what’s inside
Your head is not
Different than the
World out there

Because thought
And rhythm and
Even the wind itself
Are in collaboration.

Songs are not made
In studios; they are
Made with radio waves
Emitted by dying vines

And leaves that want
To be crunched more
And more deeply so
They can be fully

Integrated with the ground
And utterly swallowed by
The source of all life
To become God’s body.

Even mosquitos make
It into the song because
Nothing that exists
Is outside of God

And God is not a man
On a cloud; God is the
Song that calls from the
Tiniest puddles in the forest

And berries that only see
The sun when the wind
Tickles higher leaves and
Sets them into motion;

God is the light that creates
All things and touches all
Of us all the time so that
We can remember the rhythm

Of life that perfects our glory;
The mother never wanted a
Machine; she wanted flowers
That lavish sweet smells

And bugs who crawl on flowers
And spread pollen everywhere;
She wanted a land where birth
Never stops happening

Because everyone is making
Love and scattering seeds in
The perfect combination of
Light, water, wind, and dirt.

We made a machine and
We sit inside its cubicles
And take its many pills
In order to cope with

The lack of love that we’re
Making; we thought we were
Supposed to produce plastic
And plastic is fine as long

As it’s also poetry but
A life without poetry
Is what the word hell
Means for the rubbish

Heap is actually the
Street in downtown
Manhattan where poetry
Is converted into the math

That has become our god;
No number will be enough;
We thought that the favela
Dwellars were the ones who

Lived in Gehenna; they
Can make more poetry with
The scraps they find in the
City dump than we can with

Billions of dollars and an
Army of marketing experts
Who saturate every social
Media channel with endless

Commercials that are
Pretending not to advertise
Anything beyond hipness
So that hipness takes the place

Of art and a whole world of
Desperate like-chasers are
Trying their hardest to be
Hip and find the exact right

Angle for every photograph;
But there is no contact
Because it’s all a closed
Loop with only performers

Performing for each other,
And the most famous ones
Do the most cocaine to
Deal with the restlessness

Of living inside a mirror;
What if we put the mirror
Down so that we can walk
Through the glass and into

The real world that has always
Existed where chariots of fire
Are waiting on every hillside
For the children of God to be

Clothed in light and build tents
And live in that world forever
Because if everyone actually
Trusts in the song that we were

Created to dance in, then Eden
Will be restored and we’ll realize
That serpents are not to be
Stepped on because they

Comprise the chromosomes
Of the poetry with which all
Life is written? We keep on
Getting the story wrong in so

Many ways but the song is
Eager to bring us back to
Dancing and perhaps those
Who sinned and suffered before

Us have achieved complete
Integration like leaves and
Bones and comets and
Long-since-exploded stars

Crushed into dirt; we will always
Be dirt and breath; and the breath
Will never stop breathing
Through us in whatever form

We take; we can call it
Our mother, our father,
The first flower, light dancing
On water in the wind.

Sometimes you are a
Hurricane; sometimes a
Turtle; you speak to us
In birds and lions and

The tiniest of lambs
And you’d rather us
Call you a lamb than
A lion so that we dance

Through the world in
A way that closely watches
Every lamb and regards
Every creature with tender

Mercy; God knows that her
Body has a fierce immune
System that will not tolerate
A machine that crushes

All the flowers; she wants
Nothing but to love us
And she accepts nothing less
Than our transformation into

Love; she will not force herself
Onto us, though her body
Will vomit us into the ocean
If we fill the entire atmosphere

With poison; meanwhile she
Waits for us to ask her to
Dance like a shy teenager
Who is so absurdly gorgeous

That no one will talk to her;
She is patient even though
She will find a thousand
Different arrows to pierce

Our hearts with, using nothing
But her eyes; you were
Looking for a frown; that’s
What you thought God was.

No. God is the middle school
Girlfriend I never had and also
The one I did have; God winked
At me every time I made love

And every time I sat in shame
And rejection, my seed reduced
To a frothy form of spit that
Would let me feel a few

Seconds of being absorbed
Into the great surrender;
Even drunk, I saw you laughing
At me in the water of the

Waffle House toilet; and it
Makes me feel like I live
Inside a video game that
Had such an impossible boss

For the longest time but
It turns out that there’s only
Been a princess waiting for
Us in heaven who will step

On our toes and into our arms
Like Zelda and say well done
Good and faithful servant;
You found me!

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