Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poem: Church Memory

Here is a poem I recently published in a wonderful journal affiliated with SUNY Albany called Offcourse. (see blog entry in December 09 for more)

If you read through this poem (which took five months to edit) you'll find that my childhood experience of being a Catholic wasn't all that hunky-dory.



Church Memory

people like llamas,
unseen from the neck down,
taut in the stanchion of the pews.
slaughter animals,
like the man nailed to the boards above us,
the lurk of torture
in the vaults and groins,
the sword-and-angel frescoes.

the blood-red chasuble
dominating the priest’s white,
like a silk leech on the scruff.
the fang-sharp latin.
the bloodlessness
of the choirboys’ pose.
our chants lumpy, guttural
and numb.

women with thick perfume
baring pearled necks,
obedient and filleted in pink dresses.
men in basalt wool
with lava streaming down
their patriarchal throats.
our collective penitence
mute and sad.
then ardent and fake.
each of us alone with our lies
as we ate that great preposterous unmentionable


  1. Excellent poem, not a comfortable read though, I particularly like the description of the women in the last stanza

  2. Thank you most truly! Your opinion means a lot to me.