Monday, April 18, 2011

Christ at K-Mart 2003 by Steve De France

Not really in a Christmas spirit.
I go to K- Mart
looking for cheap red candles.

At the corner of Hardware & Toilets
I find the Hardware Manager nailing
the Son of God up on the wall.
One of the crowd asks, "Who is he, a shoplifter?"

The Manager stands on a ladder
as a representative from the Pope hands up
9-penny spikes to nail His wrists to the wall.
Several of us try to intervene. We growl & mutter,
"This is no way to treat a customer."

Alien security guards toss dice by the shovels.
The spokesman for the Pope orders us to clear-out.
He pontificates that Christ is bad for business.
In fact, this Son of God, this heretic
has preached so hard against materialism
that sales fell off by 7 % with the Christmas Christians
at South Coast Shopping Plaza.

A newcomer asks: "Did he overdraw his Visa?"
"This person is a trouble maker,
Bad for business. Talking about vows of poverty,
extolling a free spiritual light from within."
Exceeding to the inevitable, I roll my cart
beyond the splatter point for blood,
remembering it was Dostoevski
in The Brothers Karamazov,
who observed if Christ returned to earth
the Holy Father would order him
Rubbed out
Expunged permanently
Excommunicated with extreme prejudice
in short,
This Christ
of the old testament is an archaic embarrassment.
a constant irritant, a revolutionary,
a temple demagogue.
The church has made it clear
it won't live up to Christ's unrealistic standards:
poverty, humility & abstinence from young boys.

As they drive the final spike into the living Christ,
It is clear He would be a total embarrassment
to organized religion, maybe even organized labor.
Look at the stock portfolio of the Vatican.
Mutual funds
Overseas buying
Real estate speculation
The Democratic Party.

A bolt of charged electricity flies
through the canopy of black
shattering a golden calf made from melted crucifixes.
A pained voice cries out, "FATHER...:"forgive them . . .
. . .they know not what they do."
Lights crack & flash. Sounds of rolling thunder.

"Who was that ?" shrieks an exotic dancer.
-"Forget it," cries a fruit seller from LA
"its a commercial from the Pope."
He throws a crate of skates into his shopping cart
& runs for the exit.

A midget from the circus cries out:
"It's the white Christ's fault
we shop for Christmas at all.
Get that dirty son of a God.."
A chant rises up: "No justice. No peace."
The crowd is milling,
doing the Rodney King Shoplifting Shuffle.
Someone named Judah throws a Javelin
& pierces the white Christ's side.

A huge explosion thunders the lights on.
The crowd is light-blinded.
Standing frozen
like salt statues trying to leave Gomorra:
stolen clothes stuffed into pants, steaks falling out of purses,
televisions on shoulders, sound systems shoved into shopping bags.

"Attention K- Mart shoppers
stand-by for the Blue Light Special:
But first, his Holiness Pope John the Pious."
"My children you are all forgiven.
Go forth and buy more.
Remember it is better to receive
large expensive gifts
& give as little as you can in return.
& multiply."

The corpse of the dead Christ
is carried into the camping department
& interred in a Boy Scout tent.
Mary the head sales clerk , said:
"Sales will rise in seven days."

Author bio:

Steve De France is a widely published poet, playwright and essayist both in America and in Great Britain. His work has appeared in literary publications in Canada, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, India and Australia. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in both 2002 and 2003. A few recent publications include The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Mid-American Poetry Review, Ambit, Atlantic, and The Sun. In England he won a Reader's Award in Orbis Magazine for his poem "Hawks." In the United States he won the Josh Samuels' Annual Poetry Competition (2003) for his poem: "The Man Who Loved Mermaids." His play THE KILLER had it’s world premier at the GARAGE THEATRE in Long Beach, California (Sept-October 2006). In 1999, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Chapman University for his writing.

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