jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Brief Lesson From the Wife of Jesus (Surprise!)

I am not a nun.

Bless me for I have hidden
in plain sight
all these years.

Every picture ever taken
of me by the curious
the seekers
the pilgrims of fate
and unlucky circumstance
(except the ones smoking
Lucky Strikes…
except for them)
develops into one pulsing red eye.

Giant hulking bull’s eye
on glossy vellum.

You know why,
don’t you?
It’s the blood.
(Always the blood
never clotting,
flowing freely,
an iron river gone mad).

The flash opens my eye,
dilates my cornea.

I see the light

and the light reaches
black fingers in,
stretches the ring wide

pushing back memory
pushing back truth,
rough-robed men,

claiming with their pens
to know everything.

The little black spot opens
and all you see is
my blood.
Not spilling
but pooling.

An arc of a broken covenant.



So, one morning, watching my daughter fill up her giant plastic tug boat with water, I imagined a story told by the wife of Jesus. I read about half of the Brown novel that put forth the notion that Jesus' wife was in the Last Supper painting. I never get into reading "popular" novels (I seriously can't remember the name of that book...). But the notion of Jesus having a wife, aside from the nuns who vow to be the bride of Jesus (don't they? I'm not Catholic, so I'm unsure), stayed with me.

So, here it is. Me, the poet, removed from the telling of the tale.

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Anonymous Nathan said...

This is great. That representations of her show "one pulsing red eye" -- are there connotations of accusation here? The blood, the dilation, widening the ring and the scholars -- loved these images.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Lirone said...

Fascinating clash of the modern image of flash photography and these ancient times... some very vivid images.

(Oh, erm... I have to confess I added an extra vowel the first time I read about the rough-robed men claiming with their "pens" to know the truth.)

8:21 PM  
Anonymous mary said...

Interesting idea. Think Mary Magdalene is the wife? I've always liked her a lot.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

I liked the images and the flow. As for there being a Jesus's wife, does it matter?!

she hoards trash

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not spilling but pooling...

reminds me of "not swimming but drowning"

very readable, engaging

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

What a line "an iron river gone mad" Some really strong images here.

Are you writing a poem every day this month?

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is an interesting idea/story for a poem. great choice! and i like the red -- it flows through the whole piece. i even imagined the scholarly robes as being red.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the Da Vincci Code, and she was Mary Magdalene. The Last Temptation of Christ was a film made on the premise that Jesus married Magdalene. An interesting movie that caused an uproar.

It's endearing that you don't read popular books. I did read that one, don't know how it happened, but I did.

Your poem is a wonderful blend of fantasy Bible and visual art, plus I love the emotional aspect of the blood. Great poem, jill.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous one more believer said...

i love ..bless me for i have hidden... i think i will say that the next time i am considering going into confession... always the blood... an arc of a broken covenant... it is a beautiful poem from an angle i never saw...

2:35 PM  

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