Saturday, February 03, 2007

You come along-tearing your shirt-yelling about Jesus. I want
to know what the hell you know about Jesus?

Jesus had a way of talking soft, and everybody except a few
bankers and higher-ups among the con men of Jerusalem liked
to have this Jesus around because he never made any fake
passes, and everything he said went and he helped the sick
and gave the people hope.

You come along squirting words at us, shaking your fist and calling
us all dam fools-so fierce the froth of your own spit slobbers
over your lips-always blabbering we're all going to hell
straight off and you know all about it.

I've read Jesus' words. I know what he said. You don't throw any
scare into me. I've got your number. I know how much you
know about Jesus.

He never came near clean people or dirty people but they felt
cleaner because he came along. It was your crowd of bankers
and business men and lawyers that hired the sluggers
and murderers who put Jesus out of the running.

I say it was the same bunch that's backing you that nailed the nails
into the hands of this Jesus of Nazareth. He had lined up against
him the same crooks and strong-arm men, now lined up with
you paying your way.

This Jesus guy was good to look at, smelled good, listened good.
He threw out something fresh and beautiful from the skin of his
body and the touch of his hands wherever he passed along.

You ... put a smut on every human blossom that comes
in reach of your rotten breath belching about hell-fire and
hiccuping about this man who lived a clean life in Galilee.

When are you going to quit making the carpenters build
emergency hospitals for women and girls driven crazy with
wrecked nerves from your goddamn gibberish about Jesus? I put
it to you again: What the hell do you know about Jesus?

Go ahead and bust all the chairs you want to. Smash a wagon load
of furniture at every performance. Turn sixty somersaults and
stand on your nutty head. If it wasn't for the way you scare the
women and kids, I'd feel sorry for you and pass the hat.

I like to watch a good four-flusher work, but not when he starts
people puking and calling for the doctor.

I like a man that's got guts and can pull off a great, original
performance; but you-hell, you're only a bughouse peddler
of second-hand gospel-you're only shoving out a phoney
imitation of the goods this Jesus guy told us ought to be free as
air and sunlight.

Sometimes I wonder what sort of pups born from mongrel bitches
there are in the world less heroic, less typic of historic greatness
than you.

You tell people living in shanties Jesus is going to fix it up all right
with them by giving them mansions in the skies after they're
dead and the worms have eaten 'em.

You tell $6 a week department store girls all they need is Jesus; you
take a steel trust wop, dead without having lived, gray and
shrunken at forty years of age, and you tell him to look at Jesus
on the cross and he'll be all right.

You tell poor people they don't need any more money on pay day,
and even if it's fierce to be out of a job, Jesus'll fix that all right,
all right--all they gotta do is take Jesus the way you say.

I'm telling you this Jesus guy wouldn't stand for the stuff you're
handing out. Jesus played it different. The bankers and
corporation lawyers of Jerusalem got their sluggers and
murderers to go after Jesus lust because Jesus wouldn't play
their game. He didn't sit in with the big thieves.

I don't want a lot of gab from a bunkshooter in my religion.

I won't take my religion from a man who never works except with
his mouth and never cherishes a memory except the face of
the ... dollar.

I ask you to come through and show me where you're pouring out
the blood of your life.

I've been out to this suburb of Jerusalem they call Golgotha, where
they nailed Him, and I know if the story is straight it was real
blood ran from his hands and the nail-holes, and it was real
blood spurted out where the spear of the Roman soldier
rammed in between the ribs of this Jesus of Nazareth.

p.s. This isn't something by me that is untitled. It's the blog post that is untitled. The poem's title is Billy Sunday, by Carl Sandburg.