Saturday, June 25, 2005

Talking Suits


It's a game
rigged against us
and the owners of the game
take pains
to look like players
rather than manipulators

as they stand before
the televised world
accepting nominations
and making pronouncements
the rest of us watch
detached
as if their promises
are scripted
and we care
even less than these puppets

vote for me
I'll help you
don't vote for the other guy
he'll only hurt you

how can I believe
either one of these talking suits

especially when I
don't even own a suit myself?

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Problem with Some Christians


The problem with some Christians
is that they want
to follow Jesus
without doing what He did.

They have not studied
the Hebrew Bible
because they forgot
Jesus never read
the New Testament.

Some cannot even agree
on which translation of
ten commandments
to follow
much less
the 613 mitzvot
they are supposed to keep.

They idolize
the writings of Paul
a different Jewish iconoclast
who lowered the bar
in the name of
The Great Commission.

Their response to
Pharisaic ritualism
is to have no rituals
at all.

The problem with some Christians
is they forget
their savior is a Jew.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Made In Your Image


Your eyes see it all,

all my darkness
and despair.

I cannot fathom your
estimation
but I hold on
to the slim belief
that you understand;

are you immune
from the human
frailties and weaknesses?

I hope you are.

I hope you see us
the way they teach
us how we’re supposed
to see you,

abstract, perfect
unknowable
all-loving.

Perhaps it is so
but if we are made in your
image
then I gotta figure
I share your weaknesses

you long for love
you long for comfort
you long for rest.

If we’re all made in your image
do you spend all
your time
comparing and judging?

I hope you find better ways
to spend all that time

and if you are
collecting everything
on some great
cosmic security camera

you’ll note that I
haven’t helped the poor lately
or observed the Sabbath
or even called my brother

but I did smell a rose
and quietly marveled

as I’m sure you must do
from time to time.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

How Moskowitz was Born


When I picked up
the writer’s pencil at 16
it was really the birth
of something new in
me

so I’d picture
the eventual credits
flashing on the screen
“Teleplay by …”
“Written by…”
with my given name
and after a while
I realized how my name
looked so incongruous
against the backdrop of
Mary Richard’s Minneapolis
or the exterior bar shot that
preceded every episode of
“Cheers”

When I was 19
I wrote a play and
my theatre instructor –
an aging actor who chain smoked
and had flakes
of dryed Brylcreem in his hair-
told me that if I was going
to write a play called
“Illegal Alien” and
use my given surname
that it was going to
prejudice people.

Seems like he made that
decision without even reading
the play.

The name I was born with
so beautiful
so ill-fitting
and unglamorous and real

would condemn me to writing
about bilingualism
affirmative action
the barrio
immigracion

and I figured that
was just about as much
pigeonholing
as I could stomach

and I took a good hard
look at myself

I saw a fat belly
attached to dancing eyes and a
darting mind still
wrapped in guilt and obligation
and ethnic sounds like
“kh” and
“oy” and
“ai”

and I knew of the nirvana
samsara
the logic of law
the comfort of
one God
with one entity

and I liked the name
because it embodied East
and West and Middle East

and it wasn’t clear if it
was male or female
and it was such a strange
mélange

that no one could dare
to presume correctly
to guess my
age
ethnicity
gender
religion

all the categories
that put us apart
from one another
were laid to rest
when I anointed myself

in mechanical pencil and
ink as

Buddah Moskowitz