Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Praying drunk

Poetry class has inspired me to write some poetry. I use to a lot when i was in my teen angst filled days of high school and middle school. I never really shared my poems because they were too deep, too real. But our professor has said one thing every single day of class: we are more than less the same. We all share the same basic human emotions, the particulars and situations differ. So my poems are still dark and real. I find most of my inspiration for writing and most everything else comes from the hard, painful stuff in my life because they teach me the most. We need the bad to make the good mean anything at all. The opening line is from 'Praying Drunk' by Andrew Hudgins:

Our Father who art in heaven, I am drunk.  
Again. Red wine. For which I offer thanks.  
I ought to start with praise, but praise  
comes hard to me. I stutter. Did I tell you  
about the woman whom I taught, in bed,  
this prayer? It starts with praise; the simple form  
keeps things in order. I hear from her sometimes.  
Do you? And after love, when I was hungry,  
I said, Make me something to eat. She yelled,  
Poof! You’re a casserole!—and laughed so hard  
she fell out of the bed. Take care of her.

Next, confession—the dreary part. At night  
deer drift from the dark woods and eat my garden.  
They’re like enormous rats on stilts except,  
of course, they’re beautiful. But why? What makes
them beautiful? I haven’t shot one yet.  
I might. When I was twelve, I’d ride my bike  
out to the dump and shoot the rats. It’s hard  
to kill your rats, our Father. You have to use  
a hollow point and hit them solidly.  
A leg is not enough. The rat won’t pause.  
Yeep! Yeep! it screams, and scrabbles, three-legged, back  
into the trash, and I would feel a little bad  
to kill something that wants to live  
more savagely than I do, even if  
it’s just a rat. My garden’s vanishing.  
Perhaps I’ll merely plant more beans, though that  
might mean more beautiful and hungry deer.  
Who knows?
                I’m sorry for the times I’ve driven  
home past a black, enormous, twilight ridge.
Crested with mist, it looked like a giant wave  
about to break and sweep across the valley,  
and in my loneliness and fear I’ve thought,  
O let it come and wash the whole world clean.
Forgive me. This is my favorite sin: despair—
whose love I celebrate with wine and prayer.

Our Father, thank you for all the birds and trees,  
that nature stuff. I’m grateful for good health,  
food, air, some laughs, and all the other things  
I’m grateful that I’ve never had to do  
without. I have confused myself. I’m glad  
there’s not a rattrap large enough for deer.  
While at the zoo last week, I sat and wept  
when I saw one elephant insert his trunk  
into another’s ass, pull out a lump,  
and whip it back and forth impatiently  
to free the goodies hidden in the lump.  
I could have let it mean most anything,  
but I was stunned again at just how little  
we ask for in our lives. Don’t look! Don’t look!
Two young nuns tried to herd their giggling  
schoolkids away. Line up, they called. Let’s go  
and watch the monkeys in the monkey house.
I laughed, and got a dirty look. Dear Lord,  
we lurch from metaphor to metaphor,  
which is—let it be so—a form of praying.

I’m usually asleep by now—the time  
for supplication. Requests. As if I’d stayed  
up late and called the radio and asked  
they play a sentimental song. Embarrassed.
I want a lot of money and a woman.  
And, also, I want vanishing cream. You know—  
a character like Popeye rubs it on  
and disappears. Although you see right through him,  
he’s there. He chuckles, stumbles into things,  
and smoke that’s clearly visible escapes  
from his invisible pipe. It makes me think,  
sometimes, of you. What makes me think of me  
is the poor jerk who wanders out on air  
and then looks down. Below his feet, he sees  
eternity, and suddenly his shoes  
no longer work on nothingness, and down  
he goes. As I fall past, remember me.

And here we go....

'Our father who art in heaven, I am drunk.'
Being drunk is different than being an alcoholic.
Yes of course. We can all agree.
I hope none of you have to be in that place,
Some of you might though.
Why are you looking at me?
My alcoholism rears its head as a different vice.
We all have those, we can agree.
Dark, so dark.
Alone, so alone in the heavy darkness.
Just a little more and the morning will shine.
As the light falls through the window, I am still alone.
The darkness comes from within,
taking little regard to the world passing by.
So alone in the darkness, alone in the knife.
Stop, you're hurting me.
But you won't listen, how can you?
When I am you, and you are me.
When the subject of fear becomes the object.
When object of fear becomes the subject.
This is my own perfect addiction,
My own drunken prayer to a God that is not there,
Wash my tears away with yours,
Crying for salvation.
Wash away my blood with yours,
Given for a world of misery.
Save me, oh God!
Save the world that hungers for your love.

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