Featured Poem 1/7/02:

PATERNAL CHALICE
Let's restrain their wishes a bit because what
we see happening is not right. How could it be
that they pretend to be equal to us, their makers,
who can incorporate immense distances, who
know and see everything?
    
 – The Creator, the Shaper and the Ancestors, Popol Vuh

Shalt I fail to punish them for this,
Yahweh demands,
or on such nation
fail to exact vengeance?
   
  – Jeremiah, 9:8

With the ponderous voluminosity
with which a heretic
is condemned to be burned alive,
the catechism
preaches
that the road to heaven
is paved
with obedience
to the Decalogue
to the Ten Commandments
to the Law of God
to the cracked Tablets
that the forgetful Moses
etched
misunderstanding and misunderstood
on his way down the mountain
upon seeing himself
astonished like a poor prophet
sad like a troubled patriarch
impotent like a stone idol

And I read


I.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.
because
the images of bodily and spiritual
sores
embodied
in those who have not what I have
in those that suffer persecution for being the Other
in those who are not me
simply are not good religious capitalism


II.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
it does not matter if you have no idea
what he
who perforates your teeth to make you talk
who electrifies your genitalia to make you forget love
who pulls your nails out to soften your convictions
who disappears you to glorify the motherland
wants from you


III.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
like all other religious celebrations
with parade included
divinely planned
with the greatest aim
so that the big shots enjoy themselves and
the poor get depraved and
the women get used and
the children get abandoned and
all forget
in violent blood-bathings
the deafness
that hardens God's infinite justice


IV.

Honor thy father and thy mother
without the doubt
with which Christ wailed on the cross
thanks to the hangover caused by the paternal chalice
without the rape
that Mary suffered at the hands of the non-paternal spirit of God
without the divine schizophrenia
that forces God the Father to divide into three to have someone to love


V.

Thou shalt not kill.
that is
not the exploiters to whom God affords power, arsenal and legions
not the sinners to whom God designates his representatives
not the lost whom God has anointed to guide us to salvation
not the beasts whom God delegates to disappear humanistic ideas
no
not those
but
the different, the other, the defenseless, those who are not us
those, yes
indeed
yes, and with forgiveness in confession on top of everything else


VI.


Thou shalt not commit adultery.
that is
not desire the corporeal beauty of others
not explore our own humid continents
not ejaculate, except as a rational being
not imagine angelic wings splashing in pleasure
not love
and thus
choke in the seminal tides of
prostitution and
rape and
sadism and
incest


VII.

Thou shalt not steal
no
not from the poor banker
not from the forsaken landowner
not from the hungry priest
not from the disarmed general
not from the obscene politician
but
yes from the rich factory worker
yes from the squatter
yes from the famished parishioner
yes from the armed civilian
yes from the naive voter


VIII.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
as churches have done
in the river of time
in order to create false miracles
in order to create new devotions
in order to create tragic acceptance
in order to create spiritual traps
in order to create intellectual persecution
in order to create hatred
and maintain power


IX.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
not to covet her
just like
Eve
Mary Magdalene
Bathsheba
Susanna
Tamar
the woman of the feminine Holy Spirit or
all the lovers maintained by the Borgia Popes
and the Eleven Thousand Virgins
have been coveted?
not to desire her
just like
the woman
dressed in sun
standing on the moon
crowned with twelve stars
will be desired when
desiring is simply not important any more?


X.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's belongings.
┐could it be those
that the church has already amassed
that look better on me, for me and with me
that the free market offers to the highest bidder
that nation leaders liquidate in foreign banks
that civil servants secure to endow their prostitutes
that colonizers appropriate as a reward by divine will?


┐XI?

Like a heretical relapse
I close the catechism
acidly
mumbling to
God's divine omnipresence
that
"NO"
is a word
not worthy
of the infinitely loving soul of the Creator.


© 2001 Rino Avellaneda

 

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