Saturday, November 12, 2016

Jack Scott writes

Jesus Girl 

In my far youth 

it never crossed my roving mind 
I’d meet a Jesus girl with Mary child 
just east of Alcatraz, 
smiling wistful at the warden doves, 
too fat, too zoo-content 
to loft the olive branch 
and navigate their mission 
away from San Francisco Zoo: 
what still lives? is free? 
anywhere, anywhere at all? 
A quest Noah might once 
have set them to.

Ark afloat in sea of concrete, 

ribs parallel in permanence, 
greenbronzing in the briny air, 
spaced wide enough to see the animals, 
close enough to keep them there.               
Outstretched San Franciscan palms enfolding 
captive ones, and twos and threes, 
whole families.

I’d never conjured such a lovely girl 

before I came upon her, captive of the cages, 
nor met her in my masturbating mind 
in my far youth during the first rains 
when floods were drenching sweats, 
while Atlantis thrived, submerging, 
long before this dry and sunbald Sinai.

I never dreamt she’d come with me 

and end up sleepless in a Monterey motel 
embedded with a blinking neon
shuttered by venetian blinds, 
drifting on the Styx in depthless fog, 
this Jesus girl with Mary child.

Her redemption was enough to tip us all 

from such a tiny boat too small for three.
To save her from saving me, 
the two of them as well,
it was my first task to not drown 
then try to turn the craft around. 
My hand at first outstretched 
across two continents: double double beds,
the furthest rims of flat and antique earth 
to help her hold  the far, sharp edge, 
to keep them both from slipping off 
and dragging me along, 
I held her hand till dawn.

The Marychild, asleep at peace 

within the virgin’s rigid arms, she,
 humming as if it were a vice, 
singing were a sin, 
the child aglow between us 
with halo of ticcing neon.

She spoke with her husband, god, 

beckoned at his glow in foggy light 
and opened to receive him, 
the father of her child: 
her only proof of purity. 
She, dark, without a hole of light, 
refusing rudder, fighting oar, 
we, strangers 
close as peanuts in a roasting shell.

I held tight to her who held the Marychild, 

to hold the baby safe.
She begged the loosening of my grip, 
to share salvation with me in eternity. 
I preferred that Jesus come to us, 
then follow him in all this fog.

That Jesus was a carpenter

confused her in her Trinity
even when he drove the last nail in 
as she stood surrogate for him 
upon the cross she chose to share. 
It hurt to see her bleed so freely 
from the wound within her eyes. 
I tried to pull that spike from her 
while she, herself a bony cross, 
was wrapped like shroud 
around her Marychild. 
I probed the wound and could not heal it. 
She believed god had begat her child 
and Jesus was her brother. 
Thus: her fractured Trinity 
which took all her glue 
to try to hold together. 
One and one and one, that’s three; 
ask any Christian, he will tell you. 
Plus Jesusgirl and Marychild
is five to any atheist or Muslim. 
She broke her silence 
in search of mentor or convert 
feeling need to tell her truth:

Her brother was her lover, 

the father of her child, 
got to her before her god; 
though in her mind 
it wasn’t god got sloppy seconds 
because she wouldn’t dare do that to him. 
Because god was number one
must mean her daughter 
was stepsister of God’s only son. 
But Jesus was her lover, too; 
all the nuns said so, 
as did her memory. 
She was having trouble 
holding all this in her mind at once 
and, so, was spilling over. 
I was being careful not to get 
any of it on me.  
When contradiction pressure 

had its way with her 
she had her way with me 
till I was shriveled with her willing, 
though not as missionary, 
probing for the splinter 
broken off so deep within her 
prolonged within stigmata, 
beyond endurance, far from prayer 
while she was working steadfast 
to assert  her own conversion 
by converting me, 
scuttling me to save her soul 
in her ceremonial font 
blending her catharsis 
with my ritual baptism.

As an encore, she changed 

the costume of her self. 
She fought and bit in the half-light 
evoking all her darknesses and spells. 
Her eyes began to roll around, 
her language lapsed to tongues. 
She cradled me in turns, 
schizophrenically, I suppose, 
a descriptive term at least,
while gently rocking Marychild. 

The Jesus that was in her

wanted to come out
and the woman that was in her 
wanted him to come again, 
wanted me to be her Jesus, 
but only in the dark, 
but the neon kept on burning, 
for the mother made ayearning 
for the lover to forgive her, 
to love her and  her child 
who was her brother’s, 
not her god’s, 
a canker on their family tree.

Finally she let me in  
to exorcise 
thorny Jesus with my tongue, 
my sharpest knife when reason fails, 
probing out her brother’s prick, 
that rotting splinter, 
from her once and future virgin cunt.

I did my best to love her, 

but Jesus got there first.
Noahs Art depicts all the animals on the ark in a Naive and colourful way by artist Marie Jonsson-Harrison
 Noah's Ark -- Marie Jonsson-Harrison


  1. In Genesis 6-9, the ark ("tevat") was the vessel that saved Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives, seven pairs of all birds and "clean" animals, and pairs of all other animals from destruction by the Great Flood. It meaured 300 X 50 X 30 cubits (450 × 75 × 45 ft; 137 × 22.9 × 13.7 m) and was made of gopher wood. Talmudic tractates "Sanhedrin," "Avodah Zarah," and "Zevahim" relate that, while Noah was building the ark, he attempted to warn his neighbors of the coming deluge, but was ignored or mocked. The medieval commentator Rashi climed that its construction took 120 years in order to give the sinners time to repent. Seven days before the deluge began, God told him to enter the ark and put lions and other beasts to protect them from those who tried to stop his family from entering the ark while God, or the angels, gathered the animals and collected their food. The clean animals made themselves known by kneeling before Noah as they entered the ark (or, alternatively, the ark itself decided by only admitting single pairs of unclean beasts and allowed seven pairs of the others. According to Sanhedrin 108B, Noah did not sleep for the entire year aboard the ark since feeding and caring for the animals took all his time; for their part, the animals abstained from procreation. Precious stones as bright as the noon sun provided light, and God ensured that food remained fresh. Refuse was stored on the lowest of the ark's three decks (or on the top deck, and then shoveled into the sea), humans and clean beasts lived on the second, and the unclean animals and birds on the top. The flood lasted (according to Genesis 7:11 to 8:14) one year and ten days. When the waters receded and the tops of the Mountains of Arafat were visible, Noah released a raven, but it never returned. Ravens are carrioneaters and could thus survive on floating carcasses. (Later commentary claimed the raven accused Noah of wishing to destroy its race and at first refused to leave the ark.) Then he released a dove, which, unable to find food, returned. A week later he sent the dove out again, which returned that evening with an olive leaf in its mouth. Waiting another week, he then sent out the dove again, but this time it did not return, indicating that it was able to survive on its own. Jack Scott was not the first, of course, to link Noah and Jesus. The First Epistle of Peter compared Noah's salvation through water to baptism. In the 3rd century St. Hippolytus of Rome made a detailed case that the ark was a symbol of the anticipated Christ: he claimed that the bones of Adam were taken aboard, along with gold, frankincense, and myrrh (the Magis' gifts to the infant Jesus), the ark's door was on its east side (the direction from which Christ would appear at the Second Coming), and that the ark floated aimlessly in all four waters, thus making the sign of the cross. A century and a half later, the "City of God," St. Augustine of Hippo made the dimensions of the ark correspond with those of the human body, which is the body of Christ and, in turn, the body of the church. His contemporary, St. Jerome, equated the dove and olive branch with the hope of salvation and peace.

  2. This is, sadly, the week that Leonard Cohen died. Like Jack Scott, his poems and songs often revolved around the tensions of sex and secularity, often mingling the two. Noachic imagery was a recurring motif, especially the dove and the raven. One example is in the first stanza of "Dance Me To The End Of Love":
    Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
    Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in
    Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
    Dance me to the end of love

    His fascination with the subject, however, is as old as his first book, "Let Us Compare Mythologies," in "Prayer for the Messiah":

    His blood on my arm is warm as a bird
    his heart in my hand is heavy as lead
    his eyes through my eyes shine brighter than love
    O send out the raven ahead of the dove

    His life in my mouth is less than a man
    his death on my breast is harder than stone
    his eyes through my eyes shine brighter than love
    O send out the raven ahead of the dove

    O send out the raven ahead of the dove
    O sing from your chains where you're chained in a cave
    your eyes through my eyes shine brighter than love
    your blood in my ballad collapses the grave

    O sing from your chains where you're chained in a cave
    your eyes through my eyes shine brighter than love
    your heart in my hand is heavy as lead
    your blood on my arm is warm as a bird

    O break from your branches a green branch of love
    after the raven has died for the dove

    Or "The Dove" from "Stranger Songs":

    I saw the dove come down, the dove with the green twig, the childish dove out of the storm and flood. It came towards me in the style of the Holy Spirit descending. I had been sitting in a cafe for twenty-five years waiting for this vision. It hovered over the great quarrel. I surrendered to the iron laws of the moral universe which make a boredom out of everything desired. Do not surrender, said the dove. I have come to make a nest in your shoe. I want your step to be light.

  3. 👠👠👠👠walk walk fashion baby


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