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Five Poems from Said to Godhead Poems

Five Poems from Said to Godhead Poems

written by Christopher Grosso

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I Said to Godhead: 

Let’s have a toast to blessed words, used to explain your tender parts, your rust and farts and oft-used tear-ducts. The hubris of our words to point at you and name bits of the infinite. How long can this go one, this theology of ego? Sheepskin prophets say your name is the longest word in the language no matter what word we use for you. That seems about right to the point, that dot at the end of the universe. To call you by name is asinine, so it’s about time to turn about face, how about it? We are just the soil explaining photosynthesis to the grass (how about that light metaphor?). The ego in theology, the rub in hubris, when we try to touch your softest spots. 

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I Said to Godhead:

The first rule of radio is that dead air freaks people out, makes them change the station. When there should be sound, and is none, is uncomfortable. Are you even listening to me? You can almost hear people straining their ears to hear you, to catch one note echoing back in reply to a prayer, a plea, a please. Do you even have a sound, a vibration? Pure silence is impossible to hear because our ears make a faint noise when listening—it is our eardrums humming a bit. Do I sound crazy because it’s the truth? It’s true—we can’t hear silence because our own bodies are so loud, our biology reminding us we’re not rotting, not yet. You must know that our ear drums continue to vibrate for a while after we’re dead. Is that you, finally?

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I Said to Godhead:

You are so famous that some people won’t say your name, and some don’t believe you even exists. Others say they’ve actually seen you, heard your voice, touched your eternity with their hands of meat. Why do you make statues bleed? We see enough blood in our lives, we don’t need the reminder. The sight of blood makes some faint, gravity’s gravitas, or are they just practicing for when they fall down for the final time? Fame is a way to live forever though, in posterity, to beat the system through collective memory. Bloodstains are memory of tragedy because we only bleed when it’s bad. Bleeding statues are good signs of your propensity to upend the usual memory. 

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I Said to Godhead:

Don’t cassock me in martyred red or recruit courage to take up arms in my soul. Is gutlessness doubt? Some sin of bravery’s omission? I never met a fistfight I couldn’t out-talk (you must be beaming proud as the English sun). Sometimes the courage is in saying no, I will not bleed on this contested field of cow shit and destalked cob. Who made courage noble anyway? I’ve seen a woman on a beach half-clothed and bronzed in perfect sun who I was too afraid to talk to and her life is better off without my neuroses at her altar. See? Fortune favors the bold but money corrupts and I’d rather we meet unblemished. Staring death in the eye unafraid is what only the blind can do and when’s the last time a blind guy won a fist fight. He who has ears, let him hear. 

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I Said to Godhead:

Sing the notes of dead keys, I offer up to you the song of a silent civilization, a symphony of gravediggers stomping down the soil, as if saying “no more opening of the earth.” We should have to dig graves with our bare hands, don’t you think, Lord of Shovels, Godhead of Backhoes? Family and friends should prostrate to hands and knees to grovel for grace, get their wormy fingers in the world’s flesh, digging for the treasure of rest, as mute as one person’s thoughts to another. Perhaps the digging is akin to wallowing in what awaits, touching the insects and roots who are the neighbors of the awaiting abode. Or maybe it is just aeration of the silent civilization that lives below, deep below all of us, a society of silent song feeding off what remains of us. 

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Christopher Grosso is the author of the novels “Godfat’s Door,” “Mauled,” and “Mouth to God’s Ear,” all published by Crossroad Press. His full-length play, “Odor of Sanctity,” is published by Monologue Bank. His collection of poems, “Philadelphia Swank,” won the Thirty West Publishing 2017 Chapbook Competition and was released that same year. He earned an MFA from Brooklyn College and an MA from Cabrini University. He lives outside of Philadelphia and is the Communications Manager for the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), Eastern Province. 

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