Ghost

casper_in_live-action

(google image)

I am your friendly neighborhood ghost,
like Casper.
You see me every day.
I do what you do,
even Christmas shopping.
I wear normal clothes,
don’t smear myself in feces
or wear a burlap sack.

I look normal,
but I’m not.
I’m lost
flying in and out
of reality
thinking thoughts
no person should
grieving,
raging,
wanting vengeance
for the loss of
the  one who will never return

Hating Jesus,
hating people who want me
to embrace him
as my Lord and personal savior
I don’t want a personal savior.
I want my husband back.

I am your friendly neighborhood ghost
don’t mind me
I’m not really here

Bad Jesus

Paul false prophet

(google)

Bad Jesus
hang out in the parking lot
Bad Jesus
no scholar, but he is smart
Bad Jesus
tell you he loves you so
Bad Jesus
want money
and you’re his mark

Bad Jesus
make you feel
so special inside
Bad Jesus
mold your body, mangle your mind
Bad Jesus
take you away from your family
Bad Jesus
say only he can set you free

Bad Jesus
bring you enlightenment
Bad Jesus
say he’s a genius
Bad Jesus
smell you in the ocean
like a great white

Bad Jesus
If you see him,
run for your life

Jesus in the Glass Elevator

Jesus in the Glass Elevator (Erica Herd)

Jesus in the Glass Elevator (E. Herd)

Have you had enough
of gold Jesus in the Glass Elevator
looking down at you

Have you had enough
of shiny TV correspondents
bloviating on the blessed lives of celebrities
before you brush your teeth

Have you had enough
of lawns that keep growing
that you can’t afford to upkeep

what’s the grass for anyway?

Have you had enough
of 15 flavors of Triscuits, including:
Original
Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil
Reduced Fat
Hint of Salt
Rosemary & Olive Oil
Dill, Sea Salt, & Olive Oil
Roasted Garlic
Fire Roasted Tomato & Olive Oil
Garden Herb
Rye with Caraway Seeds

Why fifteen?

Have you had enough
of too much
enough of hearing “amazing”
when it’s not

enough is enough

Jesus Was a Surfer

Last night I watched King of Kings on the Turner Classic Movie station (TCM). I hadn’t seen this 1961 film since I was a kid–it was one of many religious films we used to watch at Easter time, along with Barabbas and The Robe. My mom always remarked at what a handsome Jesus Jeffrey Hunter made. Being a very pious child–I wanted to be a nun for all of third grade–I took these films very seriously.

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(google image)

Watching the film was a surreal experience. Narrated by Orson Welles, the performances ranged from wooden to campy. But most remarkable was Jesus’s appearance – dark blonde with piercing blue eyes. Kind of like a surfer dude. Rip Torn who played Judas Iscariot was also surferesque. I kept waiting for Jesus to say, “Gnarly waves, dudes.”

White Jesus isn’t anything unusual, as the role in most films has been portrayed by Caucasian actors, including Robert Powell, Max von Sydow, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jeremy Sisto and Jim Caviezel.

Sarah Griffiths wrote an article in the Daily Mail entitled “Behold the Face of Hollywood Jesus: Artist merges images of actors who’ve played Christ to reveal the ultimate look of the messiah.”  According to retired medical artist Richard Neave, Jesus probably looked more like this:

real jesus

Daily Mail

Sarah Griffiths goes on to say:

Dr. Neave’s team studied first century artwork from various archaeological sites, created before the Bible was written.

From these works, they hypothesised Jesus had dark eyes and likely had a beard, in keeping with Jewish traditions at the time.

The Bible also offered a clue as to how Christ wore his hair – short, with tight curls, unlike many Renaissance depictions, for example.

This comes from a Bible passage by Paul, who wrote: ‘If a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,’ suggesting Jesus did not have this hairstyle.

When I was a kid, I didn’t question the omnipresent blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus. But it seems odd now. As recent as 2015, Ewan McGregor was cast as Jesus. Why not an actor of color?

I enjoyed watching King of Kings in spite of the casting, but it seems high time we start diversifying.

 

Jesus Man

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(photo by Taber Andrew Bain)

Jesus Man
holds
red sign
with white lettering
above his head,
it says,
JESUS!

He doesn’t
say
a word

Until today
with his fliers.
sign on the ground
I’d never seen it
out of his hands

jerking his
hand forward
machine-like
at each
commuter
trundling down
the ramp toward
subways 7, N, R, Q,
S, 1, 2, 3
“Jesus!” he said

that’s all,
“Jesus”

I shook
my head no
when he
thrust it at me
was I
shirking off
The Lord?
my final hope,
perhaps, my only
salvation?

So many fliers
cast off on
the dirty ramp
so many feet
on it
each day

Is Jesus
in that piece
of paper
in that red sign,
in that man’s hands?

If Jesus is love
he is
everywhere

 

 

Jesus Hates Commuting

I thought it was only me and thousands of other working people, but it turns out that Jesus hates commuting too. How do I know? Well, he appeared to me on the NJ Transit bus the other day.

He was a tall African American with chiseled features, wearing jeans, a button down white shirt and Birkenstocks.

Before sitting next to me, he removed the soiled coffee cup and food wrappers wedged in beside his seat.

“How can you stand this?” He said.

“I don’t know, Jesus. I guess we just get used to it.”

“And the mildew and dust?” He said, coughing.

“The same. If you don’t mind me asking, Jesus, why are you in New Jersey?”

“Trying to convince Governor Christie from running for president. Not sure I succeeded.”

We sat outside the “teardrop” NJ Turnpike toll plaza for almost thirty minutes. It was 9:00.

“I have to be somewhere at 9:30,” He said.

“So do most of us,” I said. “Can you fix it?”

“This is beyond my powers,” He said, shaking his dreadlocks.

I thought to myself, If that’s the case, then we are royally fucked. I didn’t think Jesus would approve of profanity.

Jesus sneezed.

“God bless you,” I said.

He looked at me quizzically.

“Oh, sorry,” I said.

“Are you late for work every day?” Jesus said.

“Not every day, maybe every other day.”

“How do you accomplish anything ?”

“It’s a challenge.”

Jesus started to sweat.

“Hey, Jesus, do you want to listen to Pandora or read the paper? It’ll pass the time.”

“What’s Pandora?” He said.

“It’s a radio station on the iPhone.” I pulled out my phone to show Him.

“Oh, cool. Sure.”

He was rocking out to the Five Blind Boys of Alabama singing “I’ll Fly Away.”

It was 9:26 when we arrived at Port Authority Bus Terminal.

“Where are you headed, Jesus?”

“I’ve got to be at the Brooklyn Bridge to stop someone from doing something stupid.”

“You won’t make it, Jesus.”

“Shit! I mean, shoot,” He said.

“It’s okay, Jesus. Commuting’ll do that to you.”

“I don’t know how you stand it, Erica. I hate commuting.”

We shook hands before exiting the bus; then Jesus flew down a flight of stairs.

Jesus in the Eye Clinic

In the waiting room at the ophthalmologist’s office, an elderly gentleman in a suit and tie handed me a pamphlet.

“Would you like this?” he asked, gently.

The cover showed a hand extending out to another hand and the text read, “When will the suffering end?”

“No thank you,” I said. He slowly pulled the pamphlet away.

He and his wife, dressed conservatively in a sweater and long skirt and sensible shoes, mumbled something to each other and looked away.

Proselytizing in the doctor’s office? I’ve never encountered this before. Granted, he was demure and soft-sell. Still, I found it bizarre.

Perhaps I struck him as ungodly because of the color of my nails.

blue nails

The shade is “Sapphires in the Snow,” by OPI. I had a manicure yesterday, was in a Goth kind of mood.

The old man doesn’t know anything about me: that I was a devout Catholic up until my teens, that I even considered being a nun for all of third grade, that I read a thick book about the lives of the saints. Besides, it’s none of his business.

Was it because I was texting my husband? Does that a heathen make? I was a bit nervous about the eye appointment.

Then I realized he might not be proselytizing for Jesus at all. Perhaps he and his wife are Kevorkian-ites, advocating assisted suicide. Now I can get behind that. “When will the suffering end” could refer to euthanasia as well.

Maybe he thought I was going blind and that my life was no longer of value. Or was that what I was thinking and being an Empath, he picked up on my thoughts? Then the doctor called out a name, and he and his wife exited the waiting room and followed the doctor.

Anyway, I’m not going blind, but I have had floaters for the past two weeks along with dizziness and headaches, and thought it best to have it checked out. No retinal tears, no detached retina—all good.

I’m feeling a bit sensitive, and starting to wonder what was inside the pamphlet the elderly man wanted me to read.

Leaving the clinic, the sun blinded me—pupils dilated—and I had to shield my eyes while crossing the street. It made me feel vulnerable. What would it feel like to be blind, to need a seeing eye dog? Without contact lenses or glasses, the world is a fog to me. All smudged borders and indistinguishable faces. Keith Haring-esque.

What is my purpose? It felt unclear as I continued the journey east towards my office, shielding my eyes, squinting to see.