LEVERAGE EP

Daggers

The guards came to take my teacher away. The garden smells of Peter's blade. "Son, put your sword back in its place. The dagger doesn't cut through the darkness. Stagger through the blood; it's exhausted. It's not righteous. Find all the ears that you cut, and I'll replace." The guards came to quell the people's rage. "To find peace, let it put you in chains. Son, put your sword back in its place." It's just a construct. Tethered to the knife like it's grafted, fettering your hands like it's nailed in--it's just a construct.

 

Erase You

Find an act that covers sin. Then grind yourself down to a naked mist. Really earn it. Eloi, Eloi. Trace your back down with a whip. Draw your penance out through paper skin. Make it a habit. Lama saba--make it a habit. Lama saba--I've made it a habit. Eloi, Eloi. Drive home the spike. Watch yourself divide. Let that line erase you. It'll erase you.

 

Feverish

Is your spirit just a parasite--and living water just ice, so the fever behind my eyes will not kill your ghost in time? The salt of your world gave me gout. I can't walk with men who stand around. Entertain a subtle lie. Make disciples decide to lock closed their minds, or taste the wrath and spice. Spite breaks ground. Ice melts down--fills every gap and every crack. The salt always wins.

 

Late

I spelled my heart out today at the spelling bee. I took third place. When I call my dad who's away on business, I'm gonna tell him all about my ribbon. He's gonna be so proud of me. He's gonna be so proud of his little girl. Can't wait to hear his voice again. So I left him a message to tell him I spelled out "poignant." He won't ever get it. He won't ever listen. God, can you put him on lay away? He owes me ice cream for my straight A's. I've got boys for him to intimidate and a weepy smile for him when he gives me away. So I left him a message. He won't ever get it because he's leaving for heaven. You'd be so proud of me. You'd be so proud of who I grow up to be. You'll never again be on time. You'll never walk me down the aisle. You'll never again be imperfect. You'll never be over-protective. You'll never hear my last message. So I'll make it "poignant." That's a big word for someone my age, but so is death. Now you'll only be late.

god in quotes

Stop Trusting Me

Stop trusting me. I won’t walk with my foot to the sea. Stop testing me. I’m not Job, I won’t walk righteously. If you don’t know, just say you don’t know. God, I don’t know. God, I hurt myself today, and you didn’t stop me. The silence bleeds. The silence that bleeds has no blood left to grant me peace. The side that leaks has dehydrated finally. If you don’t know, just say you don’t know. Don’t make something up as you go because God, I won’t know. God, I hurt myself again, and again you said nothing. I’m starting to think that you’re not there. They say that you trust me, but I’m not trustworthy, so speak.

 

Magic Fire

My touch could start a fire. I’ll cut your breaks and watch the tires roll. Open flames fill my hands, but my wedding finger with no band is cold. It would be wonderful if I could make gold. Here’s to the Midas touch. Instead of gold I make love. I need your breath to feel love. The bottle drops; the beer floods. We stagger down the interstate then burn down a Super 8. Everything is wonderful now that i make gold. Here’s to the Midas touch. Instead of gold I make love. Put another notch in her spine. It’s meeting new hands all the time. The women I bed aren’t willing. Well they might be--they might have been, but then I touched them. They have to burn something.

 

Empty Loops

I take another drink as I watch the billowed smoke rising. It looked like a beautiful offering, but they set fire to the building. The fog drops lower, descending on every seat’s belt. If they told the truth, it’s over empty loops. I still want to believe you, but not if that means lie ‘til i speak some truth. I take another drink as I watch lightning hit the tree. The cross needs some sprucing, so give it juice and bad acting. God talked more of money than anything else. That’s not really true, but it builds the pews. I still want to believe you, but not if that means lie ‘til i speak some truth. It shouldn’t be such a hard thing to find you among these “godly” human beings.

 

Best to Burn

A mob roams outside my home of raincoats. A light glows, but jesus knows it’s not him. So burn your pages; make yourself some torches. Now like a city on a hill, you burn--so gorgeous. It’s best to burn what looks different. You’ve got a tight hold on your bible. Have you read it? ‘Cause you swallow your grace gospel in your righteousness. It’s best to burn what looks different. It’s best to burn without exceptions. It’s best to burn before the questions or the answers--or any other part for that matter. I’ll make good friends with my coats. These walls are filled with asbestos because whether you see me as a pile of sticks, or the business end of a single cigarette, you’ll light me up, and throw me in the pit--of hell or your stomach. And i’ll be treated as a holy extraction, a puff of smoke, or a stack of ashes, and you’ll only remember my light as refracted. Well, in your words “crooked”. So you’d kick down the walls of my walk-in and feed me some camp and scared straight doctrine, but I can’t simply be combed out and reset. And I would be that kid: that kid that you thought could be trusted until he trusted you with his private confession, and I’d start to look a whole lot like a pack of reds. And you’d strike a few matches because I’m what looks different.

 

Ghost Notes

I’m looking at the mirror as my shadow creeps the wall. Behind my reflection there, you were making your last stop. God, you parted the red sea. Can you part it again please? Because all I can see is my brother circling the drain. So I speak low, God I hear all his ghost notes. I speak slow, God I don’t want to chase him home. Ghost notes swiftly passing through my room take a turn for the door when they find out they’re for you. But you’re not sleeping--not this time. Your future will keep bleeding until your arms run dry. So I speak low, God I hear all his ghost notes. I speak slow, God I don’t want to chase him home. The creek flows from his veins like the Jordan. His hair rows to try to make his head float again. Speak low. Be still, and know. Be still.

 

Lead Clouds

I looked up at the sky and asked God to come down. I looked down at the ground and saw heaven bleeding out. My slowly eroding feet make it hard to go. God, if you’re up there right now, i wouldn’t know. Because i can’t see you now behind the clouds. I can’t hear you now behind lead clouds. So I look up, look down, look up, look down, look down. Still no change, the rain keeps falling. No matter how i pray, heaven keeps bleeding. Why won’t these waters cease to rise? Why can’t I walk on water just one time? I can’t see you now, behind the clouds. I can’t hear you now, behind lead clouds. So I look up, look down, look up, look down, look down. Does heaven screen its calls? Because i can’t get through. God, do you screen your calls? Because i can’t hear you. Did heaven build a wall to shut me out? Did you send down lead clouds to shut me out? Are you shutting me out?

 

I Have Been

Adam’s skin once more is what I’m born into to eat the fruit. I swallow the whole core because I’m forced to prove I’d rather choke on you. I’ll cut off my legs; with no week of repentance there is no forgiveness. I’m red with regret because as holy as I’ve been, I’ve still got a guilty conscience. So Adam’s skin once more has made my spirit mute as I choke on you. Bear your skin no more, and leave it in the tomb. The bread has broken through. Heir, your veil is torn. Inherit heaven’s view as the wine shines your shoes, and enter the nature.

 

Preprise

If when you drank the wine from my pulse, the grapes of wrath turned sweet in your throat, and grace is baked into your bones, then break my fast on your marrow. I’ll taste and see if you’re a hollow loaf, or “god” in quotes. “Son, come and feast.” Say it again.

 

Forfeit

A child awaits his shotgun birth. His mother in her own right, a kid, is filling out the papers. As she finishes the sheets, she remembers how white they used to be. So she forged her mother’s signature cause Father is a minister. They couldn’t know. She wept because she don’t believe that god’s grace can reach to them: her and her last sin. They were too much for him. It takes more than a sin to leave. I see a black sedan, a shedded dress, and a family man. Beneath a motel fan, there trembled three ringless hands. He wept, as did she because god’s grace don’t reach to them--not after their last sin. Some things he can’t forgive. It takes more than a sin to leave. They call me a backslider. That’s not the case. I’m not climbing a mountain. I’m just digging my grave. The devil would say to leave, “just dig.” There are no white gates for me to open--just benign grace stretched thin. It takes more than a sin. Say it again. “It takes more than a sin to leave.”

 

Glory Part I

‘god’, where’s my mom? Is she with you? Did she punch her ticket to hell with that noose? She used to believe in you, father ‘god’ until she said where my dad is, ‘god’ is not. What does that mean for her? What will become of my mother? Will she have to burn or can she be redeemed? Can she be deemed a good thing? My dad puts down a fifth every night then he throws me around like I’m his late wife. There’s no glory in this. How is any of it glorious? Am i the exception to your goodness and love? Can i be deemed a good thing? Beautiful ‘god,’ I’ll put your name in quotes until you give me hope. Beautiful ‘god,’ “what a good ‘god’” I’ll say sarcastically until you grant me peace. Beautiful ‘god’, “What a good ‘god!’” Beautiful ‘god,’ the dark is coming close, so please remove the quotes.

 

Glory Part II

Are you a good god? “Come out you dead! Be alive again!”