Outsourced

Corner Coffee, Minneapolis, MN

My colleague Maria Francesca French invited me to be part of an event she hosted called “God and Other Outsourced Things” – she asked me to participate by reading my poetry for the spoken word portion of the event. Here are the pieces I wrote and read along with some photos from the event.

Maria Francesca French
Abishag Eyes
 
The barstool prophet
Looks down the long dark road
At all the empty glasses
All the forgotten names
Listening to words not spoken
Feeling what is not given
Moses with his staff and broken speech
Elijah calling down fire and hiding in his cave
laughter ~ deserts ~ loneliness
friends of prophets
Noah plants a vineyard
Ruth uncovers her lovers’ feet
The scarlet cord of the whore dangles for us all
salvation out of Jericho
Jesus turns sewer water to Roman wine
While Magdalene finds comfort in the carpenters arms
pain drowns in the flood
blood waters the garden of anguish
emptiness fills with a tender touch
Broken beaten abandoned
Raise the cup
Drink deeply the healing tonic
Spill the wine
David write another psalm
To soothe aching souls
Absalom
Absalom
Absalom
The barstool prophet buys another round
The hangover proves you're still alive
New songs for old hearts
Resurrected from cold tiled bathroom floors
To dance and leap
in
Rebellion against resentful gazes from windows on high
In Michal and her sisters’ eyes
All the stolen Judas kisses
In back alley dive bars
Can't turn around the broken promises
The barstool prophet turns to the girl on his left
at the Red Sea Tavern
David's old friend Abishag with burning eyes
He says baby, "my bones are getting colder each night - winter is coming soon"
Be my promised land
Take my hand
Be my muse
"One more drink,” she whispers
"For the fallen and misunderstood
In captivity tonight
Who write graffiti on wailing walls
And then...
I'll love you forever...
But forever hasn't happened yet..."
Christopher G. Fletcher
Love and Sex
 
I wanted to know love
And I found sex
I wanted to have sex
And I found emptiness
Now I am tired
Now I am weak
Now I want a friend
No
Now
I don't know what I want
The acrobat without balance
The acrobat with vertigo
I dream and I am lost
On a sea
In the night
In a bottle bouncing
I am the message
But the paper is blank
Nowhere is out there
But it is somewhere I am looking for
Where do dreams come from
Where does time go
Be careful what you look for
Love becomes a lie
Sex a game
People pawns
In the hands of fools
Remiss and tangled in nets of our own making
Waking up alone
After a nightmare
Still tired
What is the answer
To the unknown question
Red Sea Tavern
 
Abishag and the Bar Stool Prophet
Sit drinking gin at the Red Sea Tavern
Sharing exploits of all the ones
Scattered across the horizon of the earth
Losers, vagrants, misfits, distressed, in debt and discontented
Seeds blown by winds of compassion
Falling on fertile soil
Searching for the lost penny
Abandoning the ninety-nine for the one
Seemingly crazy
At odds with Empires, Caesars and Institutions
Prophets speaking truth to power
Subverting the status quo
Chasing life not nostalgia
Transforming not worshipping dead men
Drinking in metaphors like fine spirits
Abundant exuberant experience
Breathing stories in liminal complex space
Offering cups of water to enemies
Walking another mile
Napping during storms
Then bringing calm
Eliminating spaces
Between the sacred and profane
Breaking rules and bread
Sharing wine while eating with outcasts
Overturning tables
Befriending whores and foreigners
Lepers and the forgotten minor characters
Touching the untouchable
Turning hate into love
As easily as water into wine
Resentment into forgiveness
Inviting the uninviting to wedding feasts
Waiting for prodigal sons
Washing feet of kings, the forsaken, the forgotten and the deplorable
Both despots and saints
The Remnant sprinkled like rain upon the earth
Watering the love parched, broken, beaten and wretched hordes
 
 
Tattooed Heart
 
Fear tattooed across his heart
Love chasing him
Through a forest of his dreams
During the night
She swam in his eyes
As he drowned in hers
Love curved around the bend
Out beyond his sight
Where there was no light
She wasn’t her
Who wounded him
Deep with a dark knife
Not fully healed
The scar ached
His calloused soul limped
His lover traced fingers over his body
Finding the tattooed pain
The way into his life with light
Her lips on his
From her lungs through her mouth
She breathed beauty into him
He…so afraid
Another betrayal
Would end his life
He loved deeply
They moved in and out of each other
Healing one another
“Give me everything,” he whispered
All the lost and broken pieces
So, we can stitch them back together
With love
 
 
Kairos Street
 
The wait for love is as long
As the search is endless
Out of the cauldron of loneliness
Wafts an aroma of hope
A happy accident on Kairos street
(a reflection or a shadow ~ through a window)
Stepping into nothingness
Off a ladders last rung
When she walks out the fog of exhaustion
(down an alley)
Catching you
Before you crack the ground
Reaching for love
A brush with fright
Touching of fingertips at midnight
When all the clocks have stopped
 
 
Running to the Edge
 
Running to the edge
of what we write and rewrite
screenplays in our minds
Doors closing behind us
While we jump through open windows
into holes
in bruised hearts
Blank spaces on dance cards
Looking for what we we already have
Varicose veins of misunderstanding
songs we already sang to
Miscarried hopes in broken silence
On insomniac nights
Screening moving pictures filled memories
On white walls of emotion
Running to the edge
Of the noble fictions
better than the bitter truths
Of where we were
And never been before
 
 
“We all have our broken pieces – emotionally, spiritually. In this life nobody gets out away unhurt. We are always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces and something whole emerges.”
~ Bruce Springsteen, Western Stars (Movie)
 
The Price of Admission
 
The price of admission,
Is wild and is real.
The price of admission is love,
In accepting yourself,
In accepting the other.
It is not good to be alone,
This is the exquisite mystery of companionship,
To write a story of life together,
To be known fully and to be held through both,
The darkness and the light,
Becoming each other’s favorite hiding place.
The price of admission leaves space for sadness,
It is a madness filled passion.
So, remember:
Resentments bolt the heart closed,
Forgiveness opens the lock.
“Two hearts are better than one”
Two hearts beat stronger together.
In spite of:
Incidentals
Incompleteness
Irresponsibility
Irritations
Limitations
“True love leaves no traces”
The price of admission is love,
To relationship
Communion
Family
Community
At the beginning of the evening Maria asked if I would create a poem in real time as the event was unfolding and then read it at the end of the event. This is what was created.
 
 
Outsourced 
 
New Fashioneds
hope and story and parables
of a different life
an unknown future
of new love
past, present, future
ghost lovers
outsourced passions
without risk
with nothing to lose or gain
love in liminal space
looking and looking and looking
for the next open place 
to be part of something
humanity
yearning, searching, desiring
new radicals
native eruptions
evolutionary clusters
hermeneutical justice
beyond nostalgia
after yesterday
before tomorrow
now! 
today!
love in a new country song
stylish love
style like Jesus
outsourcing is easy
style is hard
god needs a makeover
her mascara is running
crying for humanity
all the pain and loss
“what do you want me to be?”
she cries
“you have turned me into a chameleon of your fears”
what is a human?
what is a machine?
what is a god?
love rescue me
turn the tide
love come in from the storm
love rescue me

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