We have weathered Holy Week and Easter Sunday, which is not the easiest for some of us journeying men and women.  Personally, this week is also the end of the semester when I get to give and grades final tests, conduct oral exams and bid Tschüss to another group of quasi-adults.   I could feel their collective exhaustion and Angst (Is that my second German reference already?) all week.  What I am getting at is that my creativity tank is a bit low, while my tank of spiritual imagery tank is overflowing with musical representations of the Stations of the Cross and potted lilies.  I have to borrow some creativity this week.

April is poetry month where I am, and I am reminded of Detroit-born poet Jamaal May, whom I met at a poetry reading this same time last year.  I would like to share a poem of his from his collection The Big Book of Exit Strategies.  This poem is serious, but you laugh anyway, much like it is if you think too much about life.  You just have to laugh or you might cry.  Either way, people look at you wondering what’s wrong, so you might as well quote a poem titled “The Unseen Hand of Zombie Jesus.”

You can learn more about Jamaal May at www.jamaalmay.com.

The Unseen Hand of Zombie Jesus

Zombie Jesus looks a lot like the other guy, but there are key differences.

Like the lack of scabs on his palms.  His hands

are gone altogether, having rotted and fallen off

on a trek to Detroit’s southwest side.

Zombie Jesus is said to have healing nubs.

Pilgrims claim that to merely touch the tattered hem

of his size small tunic is enough to restore

any fingers he may have chomped off

while you were praying.  For Zombie Jesus,

water doesn’t flow from barrels as a pinot noir,

but rest a sack of oregano near him and watch the magic–

Zombie Jesus knows how to uplift the people.

He doesn’t require you to kneel–

his only commandment:

Get. Down.

So he throws fish fries and barbecues, inviting saints

and sinner alike.  The man who is more

than a man can really hook up a stak, telekinetically

stoking Gehenna-hot flames and yelling,

Look! No Hands.

If he did have hands, they’d be calloused

but not bloodied because Zombie Jesus

wasn’t crucified like the other guy.

He was pierced be a nail gun in the temple

of his skull.  He was buried in a friend’s grave

on top of that friend. There was no stone to roll away,

but he did have to punch through the coffin

and stagger on decomposing legs from a cemetary

to a city that wanted him dead.

The email account, zombiejs2@me.com,

reaches capacity daily with

Improve your performance,

Make $$ from home,

Have you heard the good news?

and a screech of prayers that will continue

to go unanswered, at least until

the injunction filed against him is cleared up;

that shit that went down in Rome:

totally not his fault.

Then, with the wave of a hand

that isn’t even there, ZJC will draw mercury

from a fish, draw cancer

from some bone, water the Gobi, water

the lawn, walk your dog, take out the trash,

and open up graves collapsed around

all of your trapped, twitching dead.