i would like the church to pray for some old shit because the new stuff isn’t working

don’t get me wrong

i like tech

but my tablet froze last weekend at mass before we even made it to the hymns

 

i would like the church to pray for some old shit because the new stuff isn’t working

i like being able to follow along

so it doesn’t help

that i spend most of my time in the back pews just trying to find a place to jump in

 

i would like the church to pray for some old shit because the new stuff isn’t working

i think the ancestors have lost

their way in the circuitry

this jesus house anyway, who let them in

 

 

 

Process notes: It was a little strange for me to write a poem using church functions/terminology because I’m Jewish and know next to nothing about how Christianity is actually lived. Still not sure if “mass” was the correct word where I used it. So, as I wrote, it felt like there was an inherent level of appropriation at play and a significant dose of speculation as well. I also struggled with the last line, “this jesus house anyway, who let them in.” The omission of the verb to be makes it sound very much like AAVE, which is not how I speak, and, as a dialect, is actually very foreign to my upbringing. Still not sure if that stylistic choice is inappropriate appropriation. I chose to stick with it because, at the level of sound, I thought the sibilance of “this jesus house” was really pleasing.

This semester, I’ve been thinking a lot about historical trajectory and the relationship between past and present, both in the context of studies on nationalism, which often looks toward the past as source material for constituting a more perfect future, and with regard to theories of colonialism, which have historically placed non-white peoples/colonial subjects in a past temporal location, even though they live contemporaneously with white colonizers. Obviously this is a more humorous approach to those questions, but hopefully some of the colonial criticism thinking comes through too.

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One Response to

  1. Erica Mena says:

    These are great. Yes, I have an odd relationship to the concept of prayer, being an atheist, but I’m especially intrigued that you addressed your prayers to a Christian church rather than using the forms you are more culturally familiar with. Did you do that in order to experience an estrangement from the form?

    I agree that the phrase “this jesus house” is really wonderful – I didn’t read it as having an elided verb at all, but rather as “jesus-house” as a phrase to describe the church. Love this.

    Like

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