Here is a poem by Damian Sebouhian, he lives in Northern California, is 37, divorced, and enjoys cheese.
Put my sins behind your back, saving one for the sleeve.
Death cannot sing your praise.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but do not be afraid. The flesh cannot count
the sheep of your worry.
Save your manna for the dogs,
eat my words
oh prisoners of trust.
The stock market rises and falls
but the interest lasts forever.
Traverse the eye of the needle
listen for the present’s eternal bellow.
Watch the fool pick ocean glass
for the sky fish born from all this
God haunts the simplest questions:
What time is it?
How are you doing?
When will it stop raining?
God haunts military idioms:
Yes sir, no sir.
Right away sir.
The general calls for a surge, but he is a private man.
He has spiritual experiences. He appreciates the joy
or randomly satisfying bowel movements. He prays
for lower taxes, for his daughter’s Harvard admittance.
He bemoaned the demotion of Pluto to the lower
ranks of planetoid.
Is there no justice, indeed.
The air strikes your fancy. Your fancy car,
your extensive digital music collection.
It’s in the atmosphere, the blood of your fancy.
Play poker with my sins. The ante will be low, like smoking
in front of a baby.
The stakes, dramatic: like losing your soul to Wal Mart.
Bluff death at your own peril.
Fold to beauty for beauty’s sake.
Stack my sins in neat columns, but don’t count them.
Better yet, lose all count.
If you find yourself wandering through the valley
of Hamon Gog, you know you’ve lost.
You’ll have to listen for my voice
shaking the lupin that cover the countless graves.
This is what I’ll say:
“As you go through the land, if you see
a human bone, set up a marker beside it
until gravediggers have buried it.
There you will eat the flesh of mighty men
and drink the blood of princes of the earth
as if they were the rams and lambs,
goats and bulls – all of them fattened animals
You are helpless, pigeonholed
by a rival deity; dear friends let us
love one another.
Dear friends, keep yourselves from idols.
Rahab, the prostitute is here
to set you free.
What good is voting when her tongue
has a much more selective imagination?
What good are words when her moans
call the moon to shine
through your ceiling?
Like the breeze in a forgotten painting,
You will become her masterpiece.
Love her, love her,
Even as the bread is leavened
and the Romans raise another cross.