Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On Laughing Jesus (Poem)

This prose poem is from the most recent Browns and Rusts sequence I've been working on. And though I don't think Laughing Jesus is one of J. Kirk Richards' better paintings, it is an interesting piece if only because it portrays Christ in a completely unexpected (some may say blasphemous, but not me) way.

I'm wondering how it reads outside the lens of my personal experience, if it sounds too trite, too cliche; so, as usual, comments and feedback are more than welcome, including on the title.

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On Laughing Jesus

I’ve run my memory over “Jesus wept” since junior high when I used it to justify crying after Jenny flipped me in the eye with a rubber band. She apologized years later when our paths randomly crossed and we had a good laugh about her feeling so bad for being young and brash, for drawing my tears. I wonder if that's why Jesus laughs in this votive panel, his head cocked back in a cathartic guffaw because, years later, during a chance meeting, an old friend confessed he’d never meant to hit the young Messiah in the eye, to make him weep, to make him bleed and thanks for listening and for laughing with him about the mistake—could they forget the whole thing and still be friends?