Monday, August 07, 2006

Mania and Messianic Delusions

My posting of Sine Wave has been thoroughly interrupted by a number of things. Below, the next poem in the progression to mania:

At the Carnival

We ride the Swinger, hang by chains
high above the asphalt and circle
an electric maypole. I close my eyes,
lean back, go intentionally limp
and let my long frame hang
like middle-aged spaghetti beneath
the pirate moon. The air is cool, I am
a fat bird in a chair. I open my eyes,
flap wings, stick out my dodo legs
and yell, “I’m Jesus!” And pigs shall fly!
But who else sees the strands of kairos
through light from funhouse mirrors?

Three corndogs later we board
the Tilt-A-Whirl, our sail a shell of glittering,
metal-flake-pink. We orbit the vortex
of our little track, our feet sucked centerward.
Thrown against our moving wall, Sarah chants
“redrum, redrum,” while I laugh. She hasn’t seen
The Shining but does the voice so well!

There is a red room full of men and bulls
and one man meant to put an end to it.
It’s said his blood stains everything except the stars
which bleed their light so profligately
still barely dent the darkness.

We come to a stop pendulum-fashion;
the carnie steadies our decline by hand
as Hendrix sings, “Are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?”
I sing, “Well, I ha——ave.”
The carnie smiles.

(published in Absinthe)

A carnival is a great setting for attempting to portray the mindset of hypomania. Notice that the speaker experiences intrusively cosmic spiritual thoughts, pre-Messianic if you will. Because he's not yet manic, he doesn't believe he's the chosen one, though he's making noises in that direction. One old friend, familiar with my disease, nicknamed me "The Kentucky Fried Christ." Sarah, now 17, must have been about seven when I wrote this


My last post was unashamedly religious, describing my testy understanding of my faith. Nothing like relgion and politics to stir things up. I wanted to add something to the discussion. I believe Christianity is best communicated interpersonally, not with giant revivals and crusades. If Jesus was about anything, it was about the unique needs of each person, something that Dr. Paul Tournier wrote about eloquently in his The Meaning of Persons.

People often wonder why Christ was so unpredictable, how he appeared to act differently toward each person he encountered, from the woman at the well he forgave to the Pharisees he cursed in public. The answer is simple. He changed as the person changed in order to pierce the veil of defenses. And he always knew what to say to cut to the heart of the matter in regard to spiritual impediments. Recall the rich young ruler of whom he asked all his worldly possessions. The man went away saddened but couldn't give up his wealth. It's as if Christ had a neural probe to locate the one thing, the one attachment that crippled whomever sought him. Such defects were more important to him than physical healing, the demand for which literally wore him out. Heal someone physically and they still die; heal someone spiritually and they live forever.

Thine at 0.5 Kilorats,


1 comment:

  1. Don't worry about "unashamedly religious" -- If we're not spiritual, we're nothing.

    Enjoyed "At the Carnival".


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