This Poem has at its background, a set of images created by the photographer Andres Serrano. The particular photographic image that feeds this poem depicted a crucifix in a glass of the artist’s urine.
The stuff that shocks the Bourgeoisie
fails to register with me,
Though it isn’t that I am made of jade
but rather that I’m knit
from dry woolen mitts, old carpet bits,
powdered-lighting rod and TNT …
Before you hint at something crass,
Wave your hand before the grass
and tell me that He knows
Hold a bag
of empty sky,
If you’re cruel, you’ll whisper:
“Is the air within your lungs alive?”
Oh Dear …
This shocking ever present now
is more than I can take:
Just tell me that the world is real,
and I go reeling, stealing, feeling
into bedazzled whelm.
But you can see I’m joking.
I do have ordinary sense
and know the shock that comes
With this, our modern age,
twined vulgarity and rage that makes
the daily waves.
So, Do you want to shock me ..
I’ll go for that photo
of a tortured Jesus
in a bag of pee …
Let's see …
There are those shocking kidneys
straining poison from the blood
in an ever going miracle where
excess minerals and crud, escape
into the miracle of saving urine!
Then, there is that statue
with the little copper quills, in his little copper wrists --
What kind of man would sculpt this thing,
or better yet, What kind of MIND
would leave a trail of bloody surreal memos? --
A testimony to a 3-D God, stapled on a tree
and littering the ages
with the thought
that God knows pain.
Just the same… there is that fact of placement,
Mr. Serrano and friends,
Your knack for shock is trifle lame.
Try a crucifix in semen or in puss*,
or better, stab the thing in us
And still – you wouldn’t touch thy tyranny
Jesus does each day ….
wading through the garbage of our lives.
Next time, if you want to rate
place him in a bag of hate,
or shame, or stale erotic lust …
Pride, more obscene than dreams
or … For your chilling nod to Hell,
place him in a bag
of “I don’t care”
But I don’t think
or the world
are ready for that.
*While I wouldn't recommend placing crucifixes in much of anything, it would be hard to find two materials of greater glory: one the conduit of life, the other – evidence of healing.