Ward Notes: 12/25/99

People Are Always Finding God Prison Gift Shop

 

Ward Notes: 12/25/99

Madness and divinity
Smitten teenagers
Strolling hand-in-hand
Within a labyrinth
Wearing the reflected glow
Of grimy turquoise walls

And it came to past
In those days, Harold
Revealed his degree
All must surrender
Their tacks to him
So they might be
Stuck in a crown

I saw three ships
Come sailing in
Sailing in, sailing in
Sailing fast across the
Waving desert, a cross
For the deserted ones to bear

Shepherds watched their socks
By night, but I do not wear socks
Only slippers clinging to the floor
Shuffle quietly on thinning soles

Mary, Joe, and a local smart ass
Hung out at the table with
Lowly burden beets
Not a single bed for them
Waiting at the Inn
Maculate misconception

Three wise guys arrived on camels
Don’t get many visitors here
Buzzed inside the heavy doors
Tense conversation
Rapidly collapsing into tears

In the ward Jesus is
Common as restraints
Patients bump into him every day
In fact, for quite a little while
I myself was Jesus
Treading on the earth
In beauty grace
Then they adjusted my meds

Magic in a paper cup
Eat this, child
My body
Drink this, child
The sacred orange juice
Wash the blessed tablets
Down your gullet

Heaven hostess twinkle
Like some poor, misguided star
Oh come oh come Emmanuel
Do you hear what I don’t?
Here and now

In the ward, Jesus
Is just another cat
Who thinks he’s Jesus
We don’t make a fuss
Accustomed to celebrity
I saw Elvis once
Retching in a lavatory stall
In-between each spew
The king was crooning
Lonesome tonight?
Waaafff
Lonesome tonight?
Waaafff
I thought to myself
Yes, I am

Nestled in the safety of
A shatterproof case
Radio pumping
Carols out
Ward so fl at
And colorless
Hard to stay awake
Sitting, smoking, staring
At the slow descent of snow
Thick as a curtain of gauze

Angels are more common
Than playing cards here
Jesus would feel right at home
Mystic fi re burns within
Eyes that gaze on Satan
Perfectly empty and alone

Joy to the world
Ivory, Dawn, and Dove
Every other soap
You need to wash
That pain right
Down the drain

Evan and Nate sure sing
Evan and Nate sure sing
Evan and Evan
And Nate sure sing

Alistair McHarg