I believe in an ex-God, relieved of omnipotence
for His inconstancy and poor management decisions.
His trouble began with that business over His only
begotten Son. After eons of simply smiting the unrighteous,
my God sacrificed His lone hippie offspring in a futile attempt
to shame humanity into doing the right things.
The tactic was unprecedented, the timing unwise.
What could have been a great executive dynasty
thus died in disrepute. God had to leave the beings made
in His own image to the chaos of natural disasters
and capitalism triumphant. Father and Son never reconciled.
Now the Christ wanders the galaxies as a New Age therapist,
still bitter about being forsook, lending aid and comfort
to alien whores and beggars, his earthly habits unrefined.
My God finally opened a cafe on the celestial Seine, where
he succors lost souls who starved for want of absolute power
on His lost planet. Now he whiles away eternity at a
sidewalk table playing Monopoly with the disfavored dead:
tinhorn dictators, tyrannical moms,
control freaks of every description.
He has grown a fat belly and is too fond of fresh madeleines
and Kir Royal. My God is a mess, I confess,
but our bond transcends all fate and folly:
I still believe in Him
because He still believes in Me.
Almost every religion has conferred the dubious gift of personhood upon God, so we could then imagine that God conferred a very special personhood on us. Then it’s a short step to believing that God’s person resembles our own, and pretty soon you have the basis for deadly wars of religion. This poem is my sacrilegious anthem to a very personal God, mercifully retired if not entirely out of commission.
Perfect Happiness (for Donald Trump)
I’ve coveted the moon, the stars, and sundry real estate
that I’ve seen taped across the picture window of my mind.
I’ve craved an infinite property of power and wealth,
my own sensual playground peopled by sly handmaidens
who can double as yes-men on a moment’s notice.
When I was grasping, everything wouldn’t have been too much
and I would have expected interest on the principle.
For more juice I’d have squeezed blood
from the fat stone of the earth.
Now that my desiring is done, I’m left with nothing but
my birthday suit of space and time, those shaky coordinates
that are falling out of fashion even as we ponder
where our next raison d’etre is coming from.
Our willfulness dies an ugly death as we face a God
Who wills for us a perfect happiness: the death of want.
Of all the great spiritual challenges, desirelessness may seem the hardest to attain. The difficulty of giving up wanting makes one hope that we really do experience multiple lifetimes with learning potential that carries over from one incarnation to the next. How else to finish all the steps of realizing that the happiness we instinctively seek lies in none of the stuff we habitually grasp for—and that the end of desire is not death, but the beginning of really living?
Author: D. Patrick Miller
Editor: Travis May