Christmas Mass 2011 :: Monsignor, Mosquito

(midnight mass in maryland)

Down amongst the pews,
After the unruly brown children
The collapsed heap of stones in tweed
Il Monsignor put it to us hard:

Icarus or Iscariot

Unsure of our footing, we fled the communion
Suffered not the host
Lipped only the psalms
Receded with closed arms

Was there a priest

Was there a thought
Were there dogs of war
Were there horses of mercy

Was he to the sky
Was he till the earth
Was he gilding feathers
Was he filling wallets?

(southeast asia)

Did they shoot him down
Amongst the reeds and the frogs?
Below las moscas y las estrellas?
And was there a fog undue the hot August

And were they peacemakers?
Were they heros?

Was there breath stolen by mosquitoes

Were they bringers of sleep

Was there breath sipped away by short-breathe’ed stars
Were they drinkers of fevers

He was ordered onto the terrace as so:

Trade psalms with frogs 
in chirps
in whistles
in hints
Report via smoke through blades of grass
Who are you

Unsure of our footing, we in unison asked:
Among the frogs
was there peace


Was there one who saw the breaths
Was there one saw out the fever that there were mosquitos with gifts
(Did they too escort the hummingbirds’ sips, sups, their 
exhalation of whispers of toxic pollens)

(medina, texas)

Was there one took in the elixir of scorpions named Judas, and
The urine-breath of rattlesnakes
Or a ragged hummingbird named Icarus?

Would he accept every gift, offering?
Would he like the swallow, en-venom himself in shale, scrub and cedar?
Would he see the venom born of threads of light
And doze in its relentless, in its novice, in its hum

(plano, texas)

Will he lay on his back among the reeds, the stalks
Will he drink the water, the muddy water and
Wipe his brow only with cattails, and
Eat only speargrass, and
Bathe only in nettles, and
Glare the water moccasin, and say:

I am here
 take my hand
I shall feed you the poisons
I have taken from the dying
Rest here my arms
I shall handfeed you
The breaths from those
The shed skins
 Their before bitters
Their frontlawn fights
Their broken backs

(garden of gethsemane)

Will he recline in the reeds, and
Exhale the children we were, and
Exhale the children we would have, and
Those that died in our place

Will he drink our fevers


The Cease Fire
El Fin de Fuego
Le Cesse de Fiere
Los Peacemakers
El Monsignor Among The Slants
Monsignor & The Dogs Of War
The Monsignor & The Soldier

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