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Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday: Up Against a Wall

I read this poem today and cringed. I read and judged its harsh sentiment, its utter rawness. I kept reading and cringed some more.

Oh.

Yeah.

If I'm being honest, this is me sometimes.

The red is the original poem. In black are my additions.

Monday: Up Against the Wall
Kathy Galloway

Up against the wall

Da da da da da!

That's the sound of machine-gun fire, staccato, 
slamming you against the wall
and crumpling you down to the ground.
Because sometimes I get so angry. 
I want to hurt you.
I want to destroy. 

That's what I'd do to you, 
you people who whinge about trivialities,
Because clearly you are the problem, 
about your food, your comforts, your things, your 
     precious privacy.
except that I am the problem, 
so easily lulled into complacency, 
so easily distracted by nonsense. 

That's what I'd do to you, 
you people who are wrapped in your smiling superiority, 
you don't even know the truth. 
you people who know all the answers I know the truth and patronise
     the stumbling questioners.
My truth trumps yours, 
you know. 

That's what I'd do to you, 
you people who are not serious about the suffering of 
     the poor, 
care about the suffering of the poor.
you who seek a soothing spiritual massage
From a safe distance, of course. And for a safe amount of time.
I don't want to get too close. 
or seek the safety of the sidelines to throw stones for.
I don't want to get too hurt.

You should thank God, you people, 
that thoughts can't kill. 
Don't cross me in my rage.  
Otherwise you'd be spread-eagled, lifeless, on the carpet. 

I would topple the idols, and you people who raise
     them up. 
I would fling them down with fury. 
And you must admit, there is a glorious finality about
     my anger, 
it is righteous,
even if a few innocent bystanders get caught by a ricochet.
Don't get in my way when I'm like this,  
it's your own fault if you do.  
My solution has enormous potential.
I am right. 
My anger has a huge scope. 
It Is Righteous.
It is almost unequalled as a cause of dispatch, 
and has no need to be proportionate to the offence. 

Of course, it does not require of me, in my imagination, 
     at least, 
that I should cease to be merely human. 
I would be god-like in my anger. 

O, God, the problem with my anger unleashed
is the same as that of my love tied up. 
O.
It puts me at the centre
God
and is the greatest idolatry.
Lord have mercy. 

Turn me over, Jesus,
Drive me out. 
Christ have mercy. 
Cast me from your temple
Away from the house of prayer back to the streets and
     alleyways
Until my love grows at least equal to my anger
If not greater. 
Lord have mercy. 

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