Friday, April 3, 2015

All the Ways I Kill You [Good Friday 2015]

I hesitate to share this. I don't know how I feel it about it myself. I'm always saying we need to tell new stories, ones that don't use violence and this uses violence. It doesn't glorify it, by any means, but glory is in the eye of the beholder.

In any case, I'm sharing it. It's something I wrote a couple of years ago and performed at a Fieldworks Showcase here in Houston. The performance involved me "singing" these lyrics, although the melody is more like a marching cadence.

But here's how I'd like to present these words, if I did again outside this blog.

I would make a music video. All the images would be of homeless people, sweatshop workers, lynchings, the imprisoned, and other scenes of oppression.

The obvious reading is that the "you" is Jesus---and I'm posting this on Good Friday, so, yeah---but I was also thinking of all the people who "die for my sins." The people who make my cheap clothes, make my cheap food, who make my comfortable life by being uncomfortable, even unto death.

So, read these words and picture Jesus if you like, and then think also of who, if we do it unto them, we do it unto Jesus.

I wish I were a two year old
stomping feet and tantrum cry
turning heads in the cereal aisle
make a mess to watch you clean
all the while saying you're so mean

shouting MINE shouting NO
shouting I DON'T WANT TO GO

a two year old can shriek and pout
I wouldn't care, I couldn't count
all the ways I kill you
all the ways you die for me

I wish that I liked beer

adult beverage, adult me
a good excuse do as I please!

self indulgent selfish punk
you can bet I'm a mean ol' drunk

slurring fuck, slurring you
slurring think you're gonna do?

if I were a drinking man
I could bear, I could stand

all the ways I kill you
all the ways you die for me

I wish that I liked guns

cut this metaphoric crap
concretize the murder rap

pull the trigger, hear the pop
make your mama holler stop!

crying kill! crying die!
crying hey hey crucify!

If I were the shooting type . . .

here's the body, here's the grave
there's nothing left here to be saved!

All the ways I kill you
all the ways you die for me

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