Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Penitent Rap

Leave a message after the beep....

Hey, hey, Father, is that you there?
You always seemed to me to be a guy who'd care.
It's been quite a while since my last confession   
And I guess this moment here will be a useful lesson.
Like, does this count, recorded and all?
Can I really be forgiven with just this call?
We have group confessions now; we confess to us
Just sitting in the church without a fuss.
If I confessed from a steeple or maybe a tree,
Or a building or a pulpit, would I be free
Of the guilt I hope to purify?
Would my good intentions be enough to sanctify
My soul, and set my mind at ease?
Or does ritual and pageantry please
God more, and help to make my regrets more real
So the circumstances are the things that seal the deal?

It doesn't seem right that God would change with times
But I know we do, and that the crimes
Of one time are not the crimes of another.
Like now it's no crime to take the wife of your brother.
So Hamlet's tragedy might be partially caused
By the local traditions, quirks of the laws
That in any other time might not be so grave.
So Ophelia and Hamlet--they might be saved
If the setting had just been another place or time.
Order would not have a reason or rhyme
To destroy them so. It's not so great a sample.
Claudius kills the king. I guess it's not a good example.

Father, you know I am sincere
And I certainly can say that I respect and fear
The consequences of my acts in God's eye:
Eternal damnation should I die
Without his forgiveness. Who would dare
To take a chance like that? But, to be fair,
There are thinkers who say we should randomly act
Because all acts are equal, and that's a fact.
But you could equally say we should be inert
Because God's mind is unknown and if He's hurt
He'll punish your immortal soul with death.
Immortal death, alone in space with nothing beneath
Or around or above
Estranged and isolated from God's love.
Maybe when we die the soul still stays
With the corpse in the ground and always
Is mixed with its fraying mortal cloak
That hangs about it like some ironic joke.
Better we're buried like Indians were, in a stand or tree--
In the air, at least. I saw that in a movie.

Father, you should know what I want to do
And what made me want to talk to you.
"By their fruits you shall know them" is troubling me.
Does that mean an apple's from an apple tree?
Or a good act is the product of a soul that's good?
That's simple enough. That's understood.
Or does it mean more? Could it be
The parent's the cause and someone like me
Is passive in what I can be or do;
That nothing in my family can ever be new,
But will repeat itself again and again,
And no one can escape a family's stain?

I'm an angry fruit from an angry tree.
The fruit is what I do and the tree is me.
What I am and do, it must be one.
Whatever I do, it must be done.
The fruit and the tree are really the same,
Father and son with a different name.
I'm sorry to go on like some Mad Hatter.
So let me get right to the meat of the matter.
I really don't want you to think I'm sick.
So, here's what I'm planning, I'm going to...Click

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