"It's Been My Death Since I Was Born" and "God Is Good And Tiny And New (maybe)"

It’s Been My Death Since I Was Born

Please don’t listen
to my face, it’s
rarely if ever
eloquent

grimace for delight
smile for choking
tears for wisdom

I can’t translate

content for defeat
sneer for desire
blank for thought

but can hear your

concern

plainly

my laughter
reads as

mouth on barrel
razor hovering
rope to beam
one foot off
     the ledge

On many days
you might be
right, just not
today

My body the
more reliable
narration

still for anxiety
bent for struggle
flail for distress
shudder for fear
curled for mourning
hidden for dangerous
     especially to life

My throat holds
all the evidence
you could ask

The only answer
my face holds
will be in its
disappearance

 


 

God Is Good And Tiny And New (maybe)

but not completely

God was there
at my birth
I knew their name
at least the one
my family chose
to use

No matter
They and I
and I and all
were good
and all in all
were loved
could love
all of it

What we didn’t
know then is
that we
god/the world
were all in
the process
of dying

The burden
of us/the world
is by the simple
act of breathing
we are reaping
our own harvest
and any god
worthy of all
is to be in a
constant state
of decay, but
never the relief
of ending

Their recompense
is gifting us the
exit they cannot
find for themselves

Their wrath
is born in
the fact that
some
of us have
deigned to
take even this
from them
have reared
golden calf
taken up their
scythe, stolen
as to who dies
and when

Their dismay
is that they
never saw it
coming, their
own image
distorted to the
point that they
curse the reflection
their guilt is
not wishing
to stop it

Their resignation
is that the love
that they and we
and all in all
is dead and
their solution
lay in the
looking glass
god has found
a way to kill themself
and mourns that
would never
even notice
if they did

omniscient

before

Ashem

them/us

anew
for a millennia

their congregations

other than our prayers
final

too many

questioned

caring

warped

we

 

 

Paulie Lipman

Paulie Lipman (he/him/his) is a former bartender/bouncer/record store employee/Renaissance Fair worker/two time National Poetry Slam finalist and a current loud Jewish/Queer/ poet/writer/performer. His work has appeared in the anthology We Will Be Shelter (Write Bloody Publishing) as well as Button Poetry, Write About Now, The Emerson Review, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, pressure gauge, Protimluv (Czech Republic) and Prisma: Zeitblatt Fur Text & Sprache (Germany). Their first collection of poetry, from below/denied the light, is now available from Swimming With Elephants Publications. Paulie recommends the Audre Lorde Project.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 08:56