if it didn't require a solid knowledge of both 1) the bible and 2) the smashing pumpkins. still, it was fun to write.
you can thank Ryan Johnson for the inspiration; the prompt he gave me was "if My Body Goes, to Hell With My Soul." And this is what I came up with.
enough with the cape already
billy corgan likes to think he knows,
but he doesn’t get jokes.
guitar-stance heroics pave over going bald early;
the severe pain of the electric razor,
figuring out how to throw your guts as far
as you can once you’re no longer pretty.
perhaps this is why he invokes Job;
another who had his flocks taken from
him by an act of God
or public favor.
poet types under thirty adjectivize.
words like “beautiful” or “dirty”
or “heartbroken” or “tragic”--
It’s a pre-emptive mustering of guts, saving it up
for when words alone will have to get us laid.
Then there's Job (in the desert or wherever)
his friends visiting him, even though he had
festering sores and all that. these were the types
who bought "Machina" at full price.
at some point, you just have to point
the finger and say "look; the shaved head was fine,
the eyeliner we could deal with, but enough with the
fucking cape already."
probably sounded something like Bildad the Shuhite's lectures
on sin and retribution, how Job had definitely Done
Something to Deserve It.
The lessons I take from both (besides
Don't Get the Devil's Attention)
run something like: "go ahead and whine.
but do it in style."
"beautiful, dirty, heartbroken, tragic."
Or could look at Job and reminisce on the model of endurance and
grace in the face of ridiculous suffering; I think I could have
taken the loss of my kids and my flocks but once the
blisters broke out I would have had a hard time with it;
my most depressing days are the ones on which I feel ugly.
in his shoes,
I probably would have listened to my wife
when she said “curse God and die,” because if my body’s
already gone I’ve lost my better half and my guess is
that she was under thirty
and a poet.