Remember this, When dolls start speaking to you from the nest stuffed deep inside your own throat. Remember vanity, as worked by hand in the lace hem of a tiny dress; Remember never to seat a Gypsy next to a mark, and to preside with grace, charm, and engraved silver service.
Listen to this, she'll say, from between the feathers of birds hooked by wires to dying Christmas trees in burning houses. Listen to this--don't be a ninny and ignore this warning when she chirps in your ear like broken glass-- Baccarat or Waterford.
Girls love cats, horses, dolls, and attics filled with bird cages and unexploded ordnance. Listen to the water fountain my ghost animates the flow of, and line up your darlings along the window sills. Seat the priest with the diplomat, Arabian with alley cat, and remember this, as the afternoon wears on: I owe no explanations as to what birds think about dolls that talk, and the girls who take them to bed like said prayers. ______
There's a door charge to get in to Right Reverend Randy Tulsa's Old Rugged Cross Mega-Church. One tenth of everything on you, as well as one tenth of everything out in the car, back at your house (both the main and the summer "cottage"), and whatever you've got squirreled away in the Caymans. God sees it all, brothers and sisters.
Come on. Come in. If there's a cover charge, you know there's a band! Check out Miranda and the Trinity! She's got the pipes, brothers and sisters.
You make me so happyyyy such love makes my heart soarrrrr... Jesus is my boyfriend I could never ask for more!
How about Miranda, let's give her a hand! What a testimony! All right now, let's talk about prosperity a minute. God doesn't want His children scrabbling around without a nickel to their name. Would YOU let YOUR kids go hungry, have to sleep outside, or drive a three year old compact? NO! God wants you to be prosperous. Here's Tiffany to talk about how tithing leads to riches!
(Tiffany does her thing. Miranda sings Ripped Jesus Is My Strength. Then Randy Tulsa takes the stage to wild applause.)
Yes, friends, God loves you, is proud of you, wants the best for you! And no matter what you've done, God forgives! Take this man over here! (Randy Tulsa whirls around and points at a pew off to the left, in front. Randy's finger is like Judgement itself.) The man he's pointing at is smeared with gore and is wearing a hockey mask. Randy thunders: Have you lived a life steeped in wickedness and sin, brother? The man looks around from behind his mask, seems uncertain, then nods nervously. Randy roars: Have you scorned the ten commandments? Have you forgotten The Lord in your life????
Hockey Mask Man begins to tremble, dropping the knife as his shoulders shake. Randy Tulsa strides with purpose down the steps to the man and lays hands on him. Randy, taken with a sudden ecstasy, sings out: Are you ready to repent, brother? Are you READY to be FORGIVEN by His almighty LOVE? The crowd is into it, swaying and shouting "Amen!" Randy Tulsa waves the nearest of the congregation into a group hug with the gore-soaked man. Randy beams and exclaims: You are forgiven, son! It's like all that sin never happened at all! You've been through the wash cycle of Heavenly Love! As an aide gets the man's address, cell number and estimated weekly pledge, Randy re-takes the stage.
But what is THIS???? Again he points like an angry Old Testament prophet, but this time toward the back of the mega-church as cameras swing around to capture it all. Heads turn and necks swivel, but no one can tell what Randy is pointing at. He resumes: Outside, the unsaved! Homosexuals engaging in behavior the bible tells us is an abomination to God! Devious foreigners slipping into our country to destroy it! Lazy welfare cheats living off of our backs, rioting in the streets! Will YOU pray with me now, brothers and sisters? Let's bow our heads while our wonderful Youth Bible Camp teens come around with the offering plates.
Jesus has the kindest eyes like a lifeguard watching over me So powerful, but gentle, too And Omg, Kimberly, he's set me freeeee
As everybody files out, Randy Tulsa stands beaming at them benevolently, thinking: Pay up, you dopes, I owe my fucking dentist a bundle! ________
I dreamed of you last night. (Yes, after all this time.) Everyone was floating, dancing, flying, and yet you were melancholy, and the world kept turning behind
Us where we posed. What does "I love you," mean? Is it glorious in the morning, or as idiotic as childhood pictures we cringe to see? Still, who else has seen you
In multi-form, and been proud to say it? Dreams are shadows, no matter how bright-- and I don't celebrate what's happened to us both. Here is the curse of compound eyes the dragonfly knows--everything is on every side, never distinct, never absolute between blooms and motes.
I dreamed of you last night. (Yes, after all this time.) On rising you were gone and not gone; I saw all that I cherished about your face, your skin, your fire, but also the ashes, the waste, the blight. The curse of the dragonfly is to see ahead and beside, but never clearly, and--in singular blindness--not at all behind. ________
Jubilant Bob loves you and describes this love in tiny notes on the backs of postage stamps which he then uses to send you empty hatboxes.
"Within, infinity," the eeny little card reads.
Jubilant Bob hates it when you sleep with a boyfriend. He hangs himself in the vestibule of your building, making it awkward getting to the mailbox. Inside, a minuscule note folded multiple times explaining his despair.
You and your boyfriend look at each other, sigh, run upstairs, do it, then hate yourselves, but not that much. Love is strange.
Jubilant Bob revives, finds you with a girlfriend, writes a best seller about his near death experiences, both from the noose and from you. Bob requests his royalties all in pennies, using some of them to weigh down roses he leaves for you on the stair.
Will you never have pity? Will you never stop fucking around?
Jubilant Bob gets religion, forgives you as you stand there blinking. "Oh for fuck's sake, Bobby," you say, stamping one boot on the pavement. "Wake the fuck up." He thought you were better than you are, hates it when you curse, and keeps a microscopic cameo of you under his tongue.
In the vestibule, his fans, your lovers, and enough flowers for a parade or a funeral. Go on, marry him. File a sharp tongue on his stupid postage machine. Let him feel you up every Sunday.