The Fat and the Blood : By Paul Cheney

Tell Me Resin Joseph (A Christmas Poem)

Tell me resin Joseph on your walnut mantle perch
red of duraflameĀ® blaze beneath you
in the Christmas fire,
white of Sherwin Williams 7562 Interior above you
on the Christmas wall.

How faithful to the incarnation you seem
hell below, heaven above, Immanuel between.

But for the stockings hanging there
from finishing nails
and the bejangled plastic tree to your right,
I would think that Judean mountain night
was running itself all over me here
in this lovely trad chic living room.

So tell me blank-eyed resin Joseph,
painted by some sweaty Chinese hand
while you pour that god-boy into your vision…

How is your gut?
Is it tight with doubt?
Do you believe her?
Mother of your resin God?

Tell me of the dream Joseph.
The one that made you shit your wits.
That activated charcoal of the mind.

What did you see that night?
Was it the nitty-gritty angel Gabriel,
weighty with the particles and proteins of heaven?

Was it some discarnate palpitation?
Like the shiver at the end of a long beer piss?
Wine piss, I guess, in your case.

Was it bad fish? I’m sure you ate a lot of those
before the miracle of modern refridgeration.

Was it the yank of self-deluded passion?
A sublimation of the panic of adultery, or rape?

Tell me of the other dreams.

Tell me of the times you had to
hold her wracking sobs against your chest
after hearing the whispers at
the market of “whore” or “cunt” or “slut”
or whatever words they use for
immaculate conceptions in resin Aramaic.

Tell me of the boy, Joseph.

What did you think when you first saw
the few crowning curls washed
with running blood and amniotic fluid
pushing through her immaculate gash
ripping their way down into dust of the earth?

Did you think there could be God in all the gore?

Or after,
when you spread her legs and ripped
your own way back to where the child was
and no one else?

When you walked back to Jerusalem and
and looked for three days
just to find his ass in the Temple
with his Father.
Did you want to hit him?
Did you hit him?

Or when you closed his tiny hands
around the plane
shaping that first ox yoke he remembered
in his sermons?

Tell me resin Joseph,
of walnut mantle acclaim,

how did you carve yourself into belief?

Tell me goddamn you.

subscribe