zen bastard 

suppose the virgin mary 
clad in dominitrix gear 
espoused random sainthood 
instead of well preserved 
vatican oddities 
trashy mini-series 
in place of pretentious film-noir 
would things get ugly? 
would we demand a recount 
or slip comfortably 
into gnostic tripping? 

ecstasy knows no method 
but many get rich 
pitching "the way" 
is it absolution we seek 
or better shot at hitting the lottery? 
i've been to the mountain top 
& all i got was this lousy t-shirt 

what a dilemma 
the uncertainty of sleepy-head devils 
& fragile snow angels 
an empty bottle of wine 
on the nightstand 
bitter tongues of maternal insight 
letting cursed tenderness 
drag you into inarticulate jams 
& partially disrobed phrases 
vertigo prayer scrawled 
on wooden gesture 
doesn't the bodhisattva neck 
snap as easily 
as porcelain dimwit fugitive? 


what propelled me 
to this naked punchline 
biological necessity 
missing rib 
unspoken promise 
simple gravitational pull 
whisked by fate 
that flushes 
free will away 
fortunate twist 
or unfortunate 
one enchanted evening 
one answer  
will not satisfy me 
& i am 
not laughing 

lonesome town 

hail, hail this cold transistional period 
in the absense of donations 
i lift my staff 
for parting of the laughter 
& all i get 
are hallucinatory wails 
caught in throat 
tattooed deep 
in jungian black hole 
take off yr uniform 
little bluebird 
& join the human race 
erratic, excessive 

hallelujah man 

blue eyed monster is chewing  
at the edge 
of documented self determination 
with omnivorous glee 
eating & evacuating 
unredeemable wealth 
high stepping 
working class values 
dodging manifest destiny 
with simple head fake 
casting out 
sham proof of purchase 
like demented jesus 

deprived of mythology 
for such a long time 
the masses embrace 
sewer mouth puff of smoke 
as personal savior 
top of the line 
temporary trust 
critics scoff 
& label it 
spiritual cherry-picking 
but there's not one 
who wouldn't jump 
at the chance 
to clown it up 
with the gods 

 (c) 1998, by Mark Hartenbach 

ZC Poetry Page