A madman’s Christmas prayer

A living ghost haunts the private road between the slaughterhouse and the Resurrection.

This is not a poem. It’s something I wrote several Decembers ago, posted originally on another blog site, and reposted here with a few minor revisions. I call it meditative prose. And since it’s addressed to someone who may or may not be there, I also call it a prayer. If you feel offended or blasphemed by references to Jesus, then stop reading right here.


dear mr. jesus christ,
some say you’re god
others say you’re a prophet.
a few say you were a rebel leader
who got too unlucky
and nailed real bad.
but i’m sure you’re a friend.
at least you look like me.
i think.
so tomorrow’s december 25.
everyone says it’s your birthday
and we all should be merry,
you know, like the fat man in red
with a sleighful of gifts.

i may be an escapee
from insanity row
but i know, tomorrow
isn’t your real birthday.
how do i know?
simple fact:
hospitals back in the day
didn’t issue birth certificates.
and your mom didn’t even
get to a health clinic on time.
so how could anyone prove

your real birth date?
you didn’t have school records.
nor a police record like i do.
besides, the julian calendar
of your generation, sorry to say,
was a farking mess.
but i digress.

i’m praying to you, my friend
to thank you for this life’s blessings
that came my way
this christmas holiday.
like on friday, you see,
someone took pity on me
shivering cold on the wet driveway
near the mall carpark level 3.
she gave me this armani,
said it was for her daughter
but she didn’t like the color.

then, rummaging on saturday
among the garbage bin recylables
down at the market yard,
i found myself a nice white pair
of slightly used jogging shoes.
one even had a shoelace.
somewhat ill-fitting, yes.
but hey, they’re still shoes
and you know what they say,
rubber is good for the sole.

so there i was yesterday
proudly wearing my shoes to church
when this genius buddy from guizhou,
who lives in a hovel at the metro zoo
points out that my proud shoes
are not a real pair, he says.
both are for left feet, and also,
one is skechers, the other nike.
and so it seems hugely
improper for me
to wear them to church.

well, mr. jesus, may i just say,
i never saw you wear skechers
inside or outside your church either.
so i gave the left skecher
to genius friend from guizhou
and kept the left nike for myself.
but the church lady said
wearing just one shoe is ridiculous,
and i figured barefoot is cool like you.
so i gave the left nike to my friend
and the nice lady gave me hot soup,
a kind followup to the baked lasagna
leftovers that she gave me last week.

so you see, mr. jesus my friend,
it was a real christmasy weekend.
full of grace and blessings.

and just this morning i, alone
and cold, shivering wet again
in the dark early dawn fearing
the end of my lucky streak, i saw
a guy drop an unlighted stick
on the asphalt curb.
the answer to my wants.
my first toke in months
smoke curling up to the sky
in sacrificial thanks for thy
miracles that never cease.

well, thank you again, i gotta go.
regards to the missus and the kids.
i betcha you raised quite a brood
all over town these past millennia, although
you must have sacrificed your freedom
to make all the bread and fish to feed ’em.

mr. jesus, my friend,
i won’t take up your time now.
as billions are crying, dying
for a minute or two with you
and your amazing patience as you
listen to poor people’s problems
even on your birthday.
granting it’s december 25.

has it been like this
for two thousand years?

ah, but don’t answer me, my friend.
i may be a madman but
we don’t want it said, that
i talk to voices inside my head.

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