Monday, April 02, 2012

Poem: "Old Testament"

Old Testament 

My glossolalia/shall be my passport

      Gwyneth Lewis, “Pentecost”

Lucky you! My glossolalia sends me to jail
where I am given a little bread but no ale.
The Lord orders me to go to Chicago
but I’m smuggling my haggis to Tarshish,
while trading on my derivative English,
on my way to the Tower of San Francisco.

Or not. God’s robocops will lie in wait
for that obvious circumvention of fate.
I will book my train ticket to Morocco.
There, in a bazaar of bizarre tchotchke,
I will smoke pure hokum in a hookah,
and dream of a world without Chicago.

No? Dreams are the Lord’s territories.
The seraphim come and go as they please
and they will lecture me about Chicago.
I will board the space shuttle to Seattle.
I will motor to Bali in my red Beetle.
I won’t go, I just won’t, to Guantanamo.

English will get me everywhere, not bunk,
and keep me out of a whale’s ribbed trunk.
It will even deliver me up to Hokkaido.
Unlike you, I’m no good at balderdash,
mumbo jumbo, gobbledegook, perhaps,
instead of Florida, you go to Chicago?

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