In the pewless church of San Juan Chula,
a Neocatholic Tzozil Indian
wrings a chicken’s neck. Through piñoned air,
stars from tourist flashbulbs flame, reflecting
in the reddened eyes, in the mirrors
statuary cling to, inside their plate-
glass boxes. A mother fills a shot-
glass with fire. Others offer up moon-
shine swelling in goat bladders, the slender
throats of coke bottles, as if gods too thirsted
for the real thing. The slightest angle
of a satellite dish sends me to Florida,
where the sleepless claim the stars talk
too much. They stumble to their own
worn Virgin Mary whose eyes, they swear,
bleed. Florida: rising with its dead,
even as it sinks into the glade.
Meanwhile, a coast away, the heavenly gait
of Bigfoot in the famous Super-8,
voiced over with a cyrptozoologist
who’s all but laughed at the zipper-lined torso.
Bigfoot trails out of California
into my living room, a miracle
in the muddled middle ground of the event
horizon, in the swell between each seismic wave
where time carries itself like Bigfoot: heavy,
awkward, a touch too real to be real.
And the miracle cleaners make everything
disappear into faintly floral scents.
Miracle-starved, out of sleep or the lack of it.
I keep watching, not to see Bigfoot
but to be Bigfoot, trapse through grainy screens,
and the countless watching eyes, the brilliant
nebulae bleeding. Yeti, pray
you come again, you Sasquatch. Video
our world for your religions. Memorize
all these pleasure bulbs, these satellites,
our eyes, our stars. Look: how we turn
each other on tonight, one at a time.
Even if you're a citizen of the United States, the conflation of religion and politics, in a nation that prides itself on the separation of Church and State, (capital C, capital S), the recent fatuous remarks of certain persons running for the highest office, can still stun us out of our cynicism and into open-mouthed shock.
Students of history know using religion as a divisive battering ram is nothing new, but the audacity,(perhaps stupidity is a better word?), of today, has me losing my religion, in the Southern sense of the word, (as in seriously bugged).
I give you the following:
Losing My Religion (if it won't load - head over to youtube R.E.M. Losing My Religion video. Great art history allusions, and I love the mandolin).
Religion in American Politics: A Short History - Frank Lambert (perhaps this will lend some understanding into the difference between the ideal and reality).