by Michael Eaton
I To Ignatius, a martyr of joy: “I am God’s wheat ground fine by the lion’s teeth to become purest bread for Christ.” II Christ grows like a Redwood in every man’s back yard; a wooden giant for all the cats to claw. III Christ was born on the hill of Calvary on a flowering white tree, in a garden; a tall lily bursting through the soil, an ivy vine wrapped around the Cross. He was born to call not saints, but sinners; he walked the streets to find his twelve companions: a policeman and a general, a pimp, a pusher, a prostitute, a bishop and a biker, an old scholar, no longer astute, a murderer, and an industrialist. He sat at their feet and listened, a pupil of his apostles. IV Christ sits at a round table a green shade over his eyes, a cigar between his teeth, ready to deal any game you call. V Christ, the ancient alchemist, transmuting death into life, stands behind dark castle walls, blind, hearing the dancing horses of the red-plumed knights, dancing around the Holy Grail, filled with everyone’s blood. VI On the way to work, I passed Christ, working in the mills of sin, black soot on his white robe, a smudge on his young man’s cheek, standing at the end of the assembly line, catching the gleaming hot red flaming sins and painting them, some as white as wool, and some as white as snow. VII Christ wrote the Dead Sea scrolls, scattering them in the air of dusty time, to sow confusion, to cover his tracks in the desert, where he played forty days with Satan, his twin brother, best friend. Satan and Christ joined hands with the Sphinx and the three danced a desert quadrille. VIII Christ tells no lies of a God crouched in the sky, like an angry tiger, ready to pounce and kill man is a gentle creature and God likes time to dream. IX They arrested Christ and threw him to the lions. Christ looked a lion in the eye and dug his bleeding nails in the Coliseum’s dirt. The lion recognized another lion when it saw one. Christ ate the lion, and the crowd, pleased, awarded him the ears of Pontius Pilate, two red jewels on a deaf silver platter. X Christ was double crossed, nailed to a cross, and lanced by a soldier, going beyond the call of duty. Blood floated from his wound like thin petals of a red carnation and the soldier pinned a medal to his naked chest. XI Christ without end, amen.
Michael Eaton graduated from San Francisco State University during the experimental years of the sixties while living in a commune, with a MA in Creative Writing. He writes to stay sane in an insane world. Currently living in Austin TX helping to keep it weird.