Sunday, January 7, 2018

Cleansing

Occasionally, one must be cleansed.
Sure, you could wait on a bench at the train station for Jesus to return,
surrounded by clergymen offering judgement and asbestos underwear.
But Jesus,
in white shirt and tie,
running the afternoon shift at Chicken Barn,
would take you aside from your deep fryer duties and tell you--
cleansing should be a private thing,
a personal thing,
not subject to "likes" and "shares" or other public scrutiny. 

Come, get still within yourself.
Lay out the things you'll need:
the towel,
the candles,
the knout and the noise-reducing headphones. 

Concentrate on necessary rituals;
the curly fry placed upon your tongue,
the orange soda in the tiny dixie cup.
Find the kernel of eternity and meaning inside the absurd and the preposterous.
What I'm saying is, look within.

Take the cloth and the sweet-smelling detergent to the tabletops
of your personal dining room.
Prevent disgusting build-up of
lies,
conceits,
aggressions,
and wild profane outbursts.
Stop sleeping with everybody who asks.
Make today a changing day in your life.
Turn off Dr. Phil.  

In the end, there is no "end."
You'll need to repeat this, like lines in a stage play,
but lines that change with each new performance.
Buck up, Bo Peep.
Jesus stands ready with company protocols and his wonderful crooked grin.
His hair is long, he likes the extra crispy sandwich, 
a good joke, women, kindness.
Present the clean crescents of your fingernails to Him.
Approach your duties with pride.
Go home, empty your mind, forget the hectic lunch rush.
Be at peace.
Do it all again tomorrow.
__________

8 comments:

hedgewitch said...

I love this Shay, and I am speechless. I am not personally attracted to Jesus, but as described here, he can't be all bad. And the ending is wise, indeed. I also love the curly frie. You are on a roll of late, and that's always medicine of the most uplifting and cleansing kind for the rest of us.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Shay--Another wonderful poem to welcome in 2018. You made me look up "knout." Thanks for the educational tidbit. ;)

Sherry Marr said...

Like Joy, I note how your poetry - always brilliant - has taken on new heights and depths since you retired, and we are the fortunate beneficiaries. I love this poem, especially "his wonderful crooked grin". Love the elevating of daily routines to ritual. Cool.

Cloudia said...

I too love this, Shay. One of your best - well, a NEW best, I'd say. SO many great couplets and wonders - too many to choose 1, or 2, or 3.

Incidentally, for others who did not know:

"knout
noun
1.
(in imperial Russia) a whip used to inflict punishment, often causing death.

verb
1.
flog (someone) with a knout.

angie reinspired said...

Hands-down the best poem I’ve read today. Don’t ya kinda wish life could be as perfect as that one perfectly crunchy curly fry all the time? But from God —to Dolly Parton’s lips (not jugs) “If you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain 🌧 🌈 😘😉🎁❤️

said...

I love the one-word title, drawing out "Clean Sing," as if that's the first directive in how to cleanse yourself. Start with the song you sing. That's good advice.

"offering judgement and asbestos underwear" ... Ha. That's awesome.

"cleansing should be a private thing" ... So true. It's just not really going to happen if people are watching ... especially if they get off on your repeated failure.

I love this:

"Lay out the things you'll need:
the towel,
the candles,
the knout and the noise-reducing headphones."

I wish:

"the curly fry placed upon your tongue,
the orange soda in the tiny dixie cup"

I'm craving tiny portions of orange soda now.

Great line: "Find the kernel of eternity and meaning inside the absurd"

"Stop sleeping with everybody who asks." ... That's really as good a place to start as any.

"In the end, there is no 'end.'" ... Right on. I like that.

I love this:

"Jesus stands ready with company protocols and his wonderful crooked grin.
His hair is long, he likes the extra crispy sandwich"

Kerry O'Connor said...

Take the cloth and the sweet-smelling detergent to the tabletops
of your personal dining room.

Good advice, friend. This is a how-to that is really in touch with the 21st century milieu.

Toni Spencer said...

Take the cloth and the sweet-smelling detergent to the tabletops
of your personal dining room...super advice. I also love the communion, the fry and the Orange soda. This is the Jesus I know, the cool unjudgemental Jesus who says to all, love one another.