Wikipedia Poem, No. 383

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“In our period they say there is free speech. / They say there is no penalty for poets, / There is no penalty for writing poems. / They say this. This is the penalty.” Muriel Rukeyser, 1968

ONE

incense-perfumed ritual   a staple of evil it traffics 
in 
    awe which is a closely related emotion 
          to terror stories 
         it wrestles 
         with me 
  the same mystic horror story it wrestles with its richness of 
exorcists 
of symbols and incense-perfumed ritual 
       a staple of 
evil it 
wrestles with 
the same material for 
    horrored epochs it 
wrestles with 
     the 
same the most mysterial horror catholicism 
      its richness of evil traffics in awe 
        which is 
a closely related 
emotion right up through a fox’s 
     current 
terror stories it 
         wrestles with the terrible iteration

TWO

     like the young pope beginning on friday 
          and showing 
on sunday and showing 
         on 
sunday 
         and showing sunday 
and showing 
   sunday and 
showing 
on 
sunday and showing on 
sunday 
    and showing sunday and 
        showing on 
sunday on sundays and 
      showing on sundays 
  and

THREE

   little-respected american the 
church 
conservatives and a bridge 
between 
church conservatives 
and 
a bridge 
between 
  establishment 
        led by the 
          orange vatican the church establishment led 
by the name 
pius 
florida hopes 
      he will be a telegenic puppet and a bridge 
between 
    church 
conservatives and a 
bridge between 
          church 
        establishment led by the name 
              hopes he will be 
a telegenic puppet and 
    a bridge between church establishment and conservatives and a bridge 
         between establishments

FOUR

law is but his 
belief turnt out 
an unlucky 
number 
      the new pop-culture literate he’s hooked 
     on cherry coke zero he’s hooked 
      on 
   cherry coke 
zero he’s hooked on cherry coke zero he — well he’s 
     hooked on cherry coke zero he’s hooked 
          on cherry 
coke zero he’s 
     the president now 
   is 
        superficially novel: he’s 
        hooked on cherry coke zero 
he’s hooked 
      on cherry coke zero he’s hooked on cherry coke 
       zero he’s hooked on cherry coke zero he’s 
     hooked on cherry coke zero he’s hooked on cherry 
coke zero he’s hooked on cherry coke zero he’s hooked on 
      cherry coke zero he’s hooked on 
cherry coke zero he’s hooked up

FIVE

  now meet 
people where the 
faithful compromise lays 
faithful 
   compromise 
that the 
faithful compromise 
that they are but a bridge 
but without compromise that the faithful compromise 
   that they are but a 
bridge but a bridge but a bridge but withdrawal bridge but with a drawbridge 
          but 
without drawing too sharp a point and he’s pulling 
          himself 
   up not to meet the people 
the faithful compromise 
that they 
are but withdrawn and ecumenicism     lit af
       it must not meet people where 
         the faithful lay
compromise is that they are 
        but a bridge but a bridge 
but drawbridge but drawbridge 
but withdrawn and 
ecumenical; 
he must not 
a bridge be

SIX

break the seal oh confessor spurning 
      the nun who raised him sees an orphan 
is an 
        orphan 
          as an 
       orphan 
is 
        an orphan 
   as 
a 
tyrant he has 
an orphan is an orphan 
eats 
a 
         tyrant has an orphan in his eye
   he 
has an 
orphan's offal 
         as a tired tyrant 
      as an opal 
as an orphan 
as confessor spurning 
        the 
seal of esuli, rifugiati e sfollati de mezzo america 
the curia’s influence he’s a 
       tyrant he has an orphan    priest confess

SEVEN

only god says you have a terrifying 
crowd in st peter’s 
         square hope 
for 
a terrifying will 
never be close to 
       one’s 
fellow man 
forget man forget man forget man 
forget man 
      forget man forget man forget man forget man 
  forget man 
      forget 
man 
forget man forget 
        man forget man 
         forget man forget man 
   forget 
man forget 
man forget 
man 
forget man 
forget man forget man forget 
man forget 
  man forget 
     man forget man forget man forget man forget man forget 
man 
   forget 
    man forget 
man forget man 
    forget 
  man forget man forget man forget man 
forget me

EIGHT

only as a furious shadow on the 
balcony shoot video for dramatic
maneuverings 
         church maneuverings 
      church movements and 
appear 
only as a 
      furious shadow on a balcony 
which elevated social media platform 
         a 
   visual 
maximalist         explore 
the 
drama 
of finding god through 
         isolation
church maneuverings
church movements 
appear only as a furious 
    shadow on 
     a balcony

NINE

     disjointed art-house vacation 
this moment that’s what the 
young pope 
is 
     but 
it’s 
what the 
young pope is 
but what is the young 
pope but 
      a pulpy and disjointed art-house 
       vatican of pulp and joint  
it’s what the young 
          pope is

TEN

it’s weakest the closer it sticks 
set 
pieces it's
weakest the closer it stands set pieces it’s 
weakest 
the closer it sticks 
      to 
its narrative intrigue 
narrative church impresa 
         with histrionics and 
      mustache-twirling and 
bombastic weakness
        the closer it 
       sticks to its narrative weakness 
       it sets its weakest pieces beside its epic 
      histrionics grown like a mustache

ELEVEN

young pope — he 
actually 
    calls himself that — 
i am the young pope 
       — 
i actually call 
myself that 
— 
    i 
put no 
stock in ether 
drafted to seduce 
a jealous meteor 
there’s an absurd 
       subplot in which     this
italianate conscientiousness actually calls 
       law stand with me in the puddle
as 
christ the vernacular 
      is lowered and i know it 
    sounds insane 
     if not 
blasphemous but it’s sacred and appallingly weird 
this
kind of 
  holy 
anger 
our eyes 
cycling 
cold lightning an abandoned child an orphan an opal a tyrant         faith 
a kind of misanthropy no one loves 
which is why i’m prepared for 
everyone

One thought on “Wikipedia Poem, No. 383

  1. Outstanding and astounding. It reads like a mystical experience embedded in psychosis–but whether the insanity is outside or inside remains unknown. Very unique voice and powerful lament.

    Like

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