poetry critical

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dead like Jesus

wish I were dead just like  Jesus
spattered battered blue
hanging meat, holy jerky
purified by pagan sun
draining, dripped
on salty old cross
dried, stripped
plastic packed for
mass consumption.

28 May 07

Rated 7.7 (8) by 14 users.
Active (14): 1, 4, 4, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (2): 10

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(18 more poems by this author)

(4 users consider this poem a favorite)

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i like line 4.
 — miss_minx

Thanks miss_minx.
 — unknown

very original and creative.
 — unknown

Thanks,  unknown.
 — unknown

L4 IS a winner.  I also am drawn to L6.  The rest is pretty cool too.  The mass consumption could be taken two ways.  Thanks for this!  Peace.  :-)
 — starr

This is great, comparing jesus to jerky. Never read an idea so out of the ordinary before.
 — Muzatsu

"holy jerky" personally won it for me.  :)  Who can't help but giggle at a line like that?  Love the humor and message.  

The only thing that escaped me (and perhaps I just need an explanation) is the blue in L2.  Your images are "meaty," and I think the "blue" connection just failed me.  
 — eyesParadox

I just changed my rating to a "10."  It deserves it.  Again, an awesome poem!  
 — starr

This is supposed to be offensive to some I'm sure, but if you're going to be offensive, at least do it well...and in this case, poetically. 4/10
 — Henry

i love this. what a wonderful interpretation. fantastic!
 — GreenDreams

Made me laugh right out loud.
 — elodious

heh, i just got the double-meaning for 'mass consumption.'
 — ruyi

Glad most everyone enjoyed reading my poem. eyesParadox, meat, when freshly bruised, takes on a spectrum of colors; or I might have been denoting the emotional state of the narrator, the recipient of the battering, etc.

Henry, while not going out of my way to offend anyone, I'm sorry you feel I did it so poorly.

starr, Green, elodius, ruy!, and unknowns, thanks for taking the time to read.
 — blee73

I forgot to thank eyesParadox for reading :)
 — blee73

Thats the Catholic church for you. Cleverly conceived and executed poem.

Larry devout Lark
 — larrylark

Thanks LarryLark.
 — blee73

yeh i like this a lot - needs a bit more vacuum shrink wrapping and its perfect :)

the comparision of modern marketing with what should be/was once a profound and deeply held spiritual belief and the mass manipulation of this icon of all icons for profit is an old theme but nicely executed in this tight well formed poem.

Obviously 6 hours on the cross just wasnt long enough.

 — Mongrol

Thanks, Mongrol for reading and commenting. I had no idea just how old and reverberating this theme is for people. I grew up in a religious home but have since lost any remnant of what could be called religious belief. I've really learned a little from the responses to the poem. Thanks again for always thoughtfully commenting.
 — blee73

 — Trish77

Thanks Trish77 for reading and your kind words.
 — blee73

really raw. (you) carry that out throughout.

it's just hard to see where you're coming from. (which is my fault, of course, i admit.) it just seems very ... harsh against Jesus, maybe. or against his sacrifice.

nice poem regardless.
 — listen

Truthfully, I don't know what I had in mind when I wrote this. It certainly wasn't to dis Jesus. I'm not a believer myself, but I don't have a problem with those who are. What's so nice about poetry, or any artistic medium for that matter, is that once it's out there in public, it doesn't belong to me anymore--it's completely open for whatever the reader brings to it. Thanks for your kind comments and for reading.
 — blee73

you will be soon enough, let's just hope you quit writing poetry long before then.
 — unknown

Sorry you didn't enjoy the poem, Unknown. Maybe other poems of mine will do better by you. Check them out. Or, if not, peace to you.
 — blee73

I read a few others of your, Pamplona Roja is not terrible. Above you state you are not a Christian, but many of your poems are Christian related. Make your mind up.
 — unknown

Well, Unknown, I'm not interested in discussing or arguing religion with you. I appreciate your reading and your critiques are duly noted.
 — blee73

No, you open yourself up to the discussion of your Christian faith, or lack thereof, to all of your readers by mentioning Christian terms. You could have just as easily have said dead like buddha, dead like Elvis, etc. You chose the specific name Jesus, the only person in history to have come back to life if all the many accounts are accurate. You know this or you would not have used this title. You have other poems mentioning Christian terms so you are thinking about Christ, that's a fact.
 — unknown

What do you want, Unknown? Do you want to convert me? Do you think you can? I used to go to church, I come from a very religious family and Christianity has played a large part in my life. It doesn't follow, however, that because I use Christian terminology in my poetry or refer to Christ that I am a person struggling with my faith, or lack thereof. I also have poems referring to the Battle of Thermopylae, does this make me Spartan or an advocate of Spartan values? I have poetry in which I refer to Chopin, matadors, and satyrs. Does this mean I'm somehow a believer in ancient Greek myth or an aficionado of the bullring or a classical music lover? Maybe, maybe not. My point is that you blur the line between the poem and the poet, and make assumptions that aren't justified.
The reason I don't want to discuss religion with you is because this is a site devoted to poetry, not to discussions of faith and values. If you want that, they have sites devoted to such topics that you might find interesting.
 — blee73

sometimes those who have lapsed faith, become atheist, or apostatized use the christian vocab they were raised with; its their frame of reference.you are a composite of your upbringing and environment; its hard to shake when you find other perspectives later in life. Poetry like this should begin conversations and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
 — Trish77

Thanks, Trish77, I agree with what you said about the value of conversation and I welcome it mostly; but our unknown commentator began his/her dialogue with me in the form of an attack (see first comment). Additionally, she/he began to draw conclusions about me based on my writings, which is a tricky proposition because what one creates in their art isn't necessarily reflective of what someone   actually believes. If this were merely a conversation about God, Jesus, or whatever, then, fine; but the unknown commentator's tone was hostile at the outset, referring to my earlier work, saying, correctly, that I make many references to Christianity and then demanding I "make up my mind." I don't find conversation phrased in such hostile terms conducive to reasonable discourse.
 — blee73

I cannot disagree with what you have said. Some people would rather attack than listen, would rather fight than learn. Its a shame. I write along a similar vein and absolutely my own ideas and opinions come thru in my verse and I'm glad for that. The minority opinion is still attempting to be heard. Don't let them get to you. Good luck
 — Trish77

i love it.....i love it
 — LaLa16

kind of lame. 7
 — unknown


Thanks again!


"Lame?" You can do better than that, surely. Let me have it.
 — blee73

 — jumpoline

Thanks LaLa and Jumpoline!
 — blee73

Look, I'm not stupid; I knew what you were going to say before you said it about coming out of the Christian faith. It is obvious to me. You say you are not struggling, I don't believe you; you may not even think you are telling an untruth but you are subconsciously asking for what I have expressed to you. I would say that you have been far too nice in your replies to me; you I suspect are a Christian, probably a prodigal son. I’m sorry if I have upset you, even though you may deny that I have had any influence on you. Your poetry is like a message on a billboard for all to see, while you think you have hidden your heart, yet it is revealed. I’m not going to try to explain why I said what I have said now or before, maybe there is no explanation that the secular world would understand, and frankly, I am content to sit on a hill and watch the town burn, but occasionally I must respond to urgent requests or suffer the consequences, message delivered. Take care.
 — unknown

No one called you stupid, whoever you are. Let me be candid, since you're at last being polite (if you had only taken such a tone to begin with you would have found me much more receptive to your point of view), you're somewhat right about the faith struggle. There's good evidence of that in my poetry; and suppose you're right about everything, what then, does a Christian not have a right to compose poetry critical of or even questioning his/her faith?

You used the example of the prodigal son. If I remember correctly, in the parable, the young, brash son asks his father for his share of the inheritance before his time and goes out into the world, where he summarily squanders it, then he returns, beaten, only to find himself given a king's ransom and placed at the head of table. We all know the claimed reward of repentence; but what is telling about this parable is that God never forces the prodigal son's hand. God gives him free reign over his life to explore the world, question his values, spend his inheritance, which, as I interpret it here, is the inheritance of free will. Who knows, Unknown, maybe I am that prodigal, exploring his values and his world and interpreting it through the poetic medium. I could come back to the church, I don't know. What I do know is that Christians hostile to free expression or who bristle under any criticism or seeming disrespect of their beliefs should look at themselves a little more closely before passing judgement on others. As Jesus said, "take the plank out of your own eye before deigning to remove the splinter from your neighbor's."
Your approach to me was one of rather closed-minded judgement. You didn't ask one question about why I wrote what I wrote, in what context, or how I feel about it, you simple rushed to judgement and were hostile. You closed the door to dialogue before it was even fully open: that's no way to deliver your message.

One more thing, you said you were content to sit on the hill and watch the city burn. That's rather sad. I would hope that someone with your obvious conviction would follow Jesus' example and overturn some tables. If you've mangaged to sustain your faith, you're one of the lucky ones. You have already what some of us want--a reason for being in an absurd world. Use it.
 — blee73

first, there should probably be a colon after Jesus instead of a comma.
next, i think maybe if you changed hanging to hung, and draining to drained it might read better.
and i don't understand your reference to purified by the pagan sun. it's not making much sense if you really think about it.
 — unknown

Poetry aside (and this poem is absolutely beautiful), I was raised 1/2 Catholic, 1/2 Jewish and y'know what?  It's all about what U believe in.  If more people just believe what they believe and stop shovin' it in everyone's face(s,) this world would be a more peaceful place.  I believe in God.  I don't believe in religion, I don't believe in going to church (cuz it's so freakin' boring and full of even more zealots than I care to deal with especially on a Sunday when I could be home listenin' to music) and I especially don't look at the Bible as "the word."  How do I know who even wrote that stuff?  In my opinion, it's fiction.  I believe in God, I believe in peace and I believe that people who shove their shit down your throat are obnoxious and need to accept the fact that religion is an individual thing.  I happen to love your Pagan sun.  It's precious and beautiful.  Take care.  
 — starr

starr, if you're referring to my comment about the line not making sense then i think you should accept your own advice. it was my opinion and i am entitled to it though you and the author may not agree. it was in regard to the purification though and if you think about it, it really doesn't make sense regardless of if it was meant as wordplay or not.
 — unknown

I like it. Simple and True. Lines 8 and 9 say so much more.
 — unknown

I was raised southern Pentecostal. I remember distinctly coming home after school, just a somewhat normal adolescent, and having my stepdad smear olive oil on my forehead and attempt to cast the devil's minions out of me. I was tempted a lot of times to gurgle, gasp, growl Exorcistesque epithets, you know, just for shits and giggles. We would go to church on Sunday, Wednesday, and any other day of the week they had it and there would invariably be people convulsing in the pews, "speaking in tongues," etc. Religion fucked me up quite a bit, but in a good way, really. It's made me who I am, and on my good days, I'm not so bad.
I'll look into your suggestions, Unknown. I'm not dogmatic about my stuff. If I think you have a point, I'll make the change. Peace everybody. Thanks for reading.
 — blee73

Oh, and, thanks starr for sharing your experiences with the big R. It's conversation like this, honest and unassuming, that is the most valuable in getting somwhere on any subject.
 — blee73

I like it! The first line knocked me on my ass.
 — wendz

Thanks for reading wendz.
 — blee73

Wow...thanks for sharing YOUR story with ME!  Yikes.  I turned out pretty good too.  Actually, I turned out really good.  I don't make much $, but I am good to others and others are good to me.  As for the religion thing, it was a bit confusing, but again, religion is belief and no one says you have to believe what others believe.  I just believe in God.  That's all I have to believe in and quite frankly, it's enough.  I got dragged to BOTH a priest AND a rabbi to have the "demon" of homosexuality cast from my mind, body and soul.  Rightfully, it didn't work.  As for the unknown and the Pagan Sun, nope.  Nothin' to do with you.  I just like the line.  I think I mentioned that in my first note to Blee with regard to this poem, so chill.  No one's attacking your shit.  And yes, you ARE entitled to your opinion, whatever it may be.  You might wanna take an anti-[aranoia pill or somethin' before you go runnin' your mouth.  That's seems to be a trend here at P.C. - paranoia...deep destroyer.  I love your writing, Blee.  It's right up my alley.  Keep it up.  :-)  Love, Starr  
 — starr

hmmm...that doesn't sound even slightly like the Jesus I know.  I end this wondering why you would want to have that kind of death.  
 — Isabelle5

What Jesus do you know, Isabelle? Lot's of people have many different versions and I doubt anyone but the original 12 and His immediate family really knew him at all, the rest is spin. I admonish you not to take the relationship between the poet and her/his creation too literally. This is merely one flash on a many-rippled pond. Anyway, thanks for reading and taking the time to give me feedback.
 — blee73

Jesus, rabbis do exorcisms? This is something I need to see ;).
 — blee73

No, Blee.  The rabbi said to me that "we must excorise the demon called Homosexuality."  I don't know that they do or don't perform exorcisms.  Food 4 thought...
 — starr

The name's Brandon. Yeah, I know they don't literally do exorcisms(I considered converting once and so did some research) but was just kidding with you. You know, I had in my mind's eye some Mel Brooks- type scenario. Peace. B.
 — blee73

Hey, Brandon.  LOL.  I'm Starr in person and in writing.  Judaism, I've found (or 1/2 of me has found) is a very sad religion; one that's full of reflecting upon misfortunate events.  What caused me to NOT want to be included in that faith was one Yom Kippur when my father was contacted by the Synogauge informing him that he was invited to perform a holy reading from the Torah.  We endured an 8 hour service, fasted for close to 12 hours and he was never called up to the podium.  When he approached the temple President after the services, the President had informed him that the reason he wasn't called upon was that his dues were paid up to date.  That did it for me.  I've found Church to be pretty much the same too.  I just believe in the Higher Power and screw all that organized religion crap.  Mind you, this is only my opinion.  Anyway, keep on writing.  Fried Matzah is really good though.  Heehee.  :-)
 — starr

I'm sorry but some of us do know Jesus of the Cross personally and He is no longer on that cross.

However, faith aside, I still wish you'd put in some reason why you wish to be dead at all.  Do you want followers, worshippers, little icons worn in your name?  Are you afraid of being forgotten?  That's what I was hoping for at the end but there is nothing there to say why you want to be dead in such a raw and brutal way.

It would make more sense for me to see why you would NOT want to be dead this way but some other, gentler, quieter way.

Good luck, either way.
 — Isabelle5


Yeah, I have no use for organized religion, either. It's funny, though, that people assume because I don't believe in the divinity of Jesus, that I'm an atheist. Something I don't believe I've ever stated. If you haven't already done so (you seem well read, so you probably have), check out Baruch Spinoza, another guy with Jewish roots who fell afoul of orthodoxy, but had some very interesting ideas. Peace.


What ever gave you the idea that the narrator of the poem was me? To be quite honest with you, I was doing some free writing and this first line just came out and I used it, expanded on it, etc. This doesn't mean I want to be dead or dead like Jesus, and it especially doesn't mean I want to have little icons, worshippers, etc., although the idea made me laugh. I don't really have any personal stake in this poem at all. It belongs to the reader now. So, if based on my nine lines you interpret this as anything more than what the words say, that's cool because you're mixing yourself with it and engaging--even if you don't like it; and, hey, I happen to be in accord with you that Jesus isn't on the cross. If he gives you joy, peace, and fulfillment, then how can I be anything but happy for you. Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.
 — blee73

“One more thing, you said you were content to sit on the hill and watch the city burn. That's rather sad. I would hope that someone with your obvious conviction would follow Jesus' example and overturn some tables. If you've managed to sustain your faith, you're one of the lucky ones. You have already what some of us want--a reason for being in an absurd world. Use it.”

It is odd that you would use the above example, yet you do not see my overturning some tables. Would not the people in the marketplace have thought Jesus a rude Jerk?

A partial apology for my afflictions are great and I am cast out and left void, although I yet endure awhile more, I stumble and fall from the onslaught, not like Christ, the perfect example, but a poor example.
 — unknown

Hey, Unknown, I was just commenting on your "sitting, watching, burning," comment; the only evidence I have of your stance on involving yourself with worldly affairs. If you mean to say you've overturned my tables, well, you're giving yourself a little too much credit.
You seem like a nice, intelligent person. It's too bad you seem so unhappy. I hope things go better for you.
 — blee73

 — unknown

I'm sorry if you think that I take any credit, yet the story still applies because the holy spirit continues to shake things up. Here it may seem as but a passing bump on a table as he goes by, but there are spiritual wars being fought over just such conversations as these where we cannot see. I am not unhappy :-) in the sense that you might believe, I have an illness with no cure and the the hour glass is almost empty, I tell the truth. Peace.
 — unknown

only suggestion I have would be to remove any of the commas you don't absolutely need.
 — SteelAngel

Thanks, SteelAngel. I agree it was a little comma heavy.
 — blee73

i have come back to see how this discussion has gone and hope the author does not mind his(?) work being used as such a forum. I must say, if unknown is so upset at this piece i would love some commentary on my stuff from this person. I wish you would use your name when you give your opinion. I hope you are not ashamed or feel you will be judged by being more open.Jesus did not hide from his persecutors.

Unknown (and Isabel, I guess) i would love to recommend a piece to you written by a priest who is also on the current committee to help the NT find its place in America. His name is Crossan and the book is Jesus: a revolutionary Biography. there is much to ponder in its pages.

Thanks to all(especially the poet) for having this dialogue. we need more of this.
 — Trish77

The truth is, I wasn't criticizing Jesus at all. The fact that some took it this way was not intended. I believe that the business of big religion is the primary target of my critical jabs, and if there is one thing Jesus wasn't about, it was regimented, dogmatic and myopic followership. Jesus was a revolutionary whether one believes in his divinity or not. Thanks Trish.
 — blee73

It is a tribute to the power of the poem that this inspired such strong feelings and discussion of religion.  Personally I am a believer and my Jesus is not dead.   At the same time I'm disgusted with organized religion as it exists today.
 — skinnyJon

skinnyJon, thanks for the comment and for reading. I don't know, but I think Jesus might be appalled at the things done and said in his name.
 — blee73