Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Elvis Perkins

As part of our beginning steps toward practicing Sabbath on a regular basis, yesterday Katelin and I stayed away from television, internet, and telephone -- so (blessedly) I wasn't able to get this post up in time for reasons befitting the spirit of the series.

The poem below is from Elvis Perkins' most recent album, which has taken longer than I expected to warm up to, but is finally opening up its delirious beauty. The song is a glorious spin on political eschatology and the frenzied end-of-the-world scenarios that start making the rounds around election season.

My own poem afterward is a reflection I wrote in class this past week, inspired by Billy Collins' poetry of late. I deal so much in words -- creating, assessing, devouring, digesting, spewing -- it was helpful to find and explore a metaphor for what it feels like sometimes.

(I have recently submitted this poem for publication, so I have taken it off here for the time being, just in case.)

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By Elvis Perkins

Though I forget your name
I remember your sweet face
Till doomsday fell I

Man I went wild last night
Oh I went feeling all right
I don't let doomsday bother me
Do you let it bother you?

I know you told me once and again
Will it mean that we won't be friends?
When doomsday rears her ugly head again

And though you voted that awful man
I would never refuse your hand
On doomsday, on doomsday

Not in all my wildest dreams, it never once was seen
That doomsday would fall anywhere near a Tuesday
But flight across the skies seeing fate before my eyes
There isn't any sense to a good by-and-by
Oh I don't plan to die
Nor should you plan to die

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