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"The Christian Comfort Zone"

Welcome to the Christian Comfort Zone
Christian doctors   Christian lawyers   Christian plumbers
Christian amusement parks   Christian music   Christian rock
Christian nightclubs   Christian dating services
Christian parties   Christian movies   Christian television
Christian radio   Christian schools   Christian t-shirts
Christian comedy   Christian superstars   Christian
satellites   Christian restaurants   Christian pizza
Christian cars   Christian business   Christian key chains
Christian sunglasses   Christian baseball caps
Christian patriotism   Christian American   Christian
haircuts   Christian coffee house   Christian wall paper
Christian toys   Christian books   Christian yellow pages
Christian tea   Christian soap operas
Christian imitators
Christian isolation
Christian segregation
Christian posers
sitting on their Christian butts
separating themselves from everything not Christian
but copying the non-Christian ideas
and making them Christian

Christian = generic
generic = Christian
generic drugs   generic bologna   generic beans
generic kleenex   generic macaroni & cheese   generic
spaghetti   generic rice   generic bread   generic milk
generic juice   generic fruit   generic spam
imitators of name brands
imitators of the world
isolating themselves
living in a bubble
ignoring the cries of society
turning their backs on the AIDS victim
forgetting the homeless
unless there's a television camera
they love to draw attention to themselves
with their big pro-life rallies
and just make a lot of noise
but really offer no solution
picketing "The Last Temptation of Christ"
but not explaining who Christ really is
they're shocked when confronted with the non-Christian
so they steal from them
taking their ideas
and making them Christian

What makes an object Christian?
I know
the fish insignia on the back of a car?
wake up
get real
get off your Christian butt
and do something
get out of your comfort zone
the world is dying

"Where Would Jesus Go"

walking the streets in the city
on a midsummer's night
He enters a bar
and seats Himself at a table
to the right of Him
there is a man and a woman
eying each other
they are married
but not to each other
when they finish their drink
they will engage in adultery
because the family life at home
is just too painful
Jesus mourns for this couple
He wishes that He could help them
but they would not want it
if He offered
turning to His left
Jesus notices a middle-aged man
hunched over the bar
with a glass of beer
clutched in his right hand
he is divorced and is an alcoholic
Jesus approaches the man
and seats Himself to his right
the broken man turns toward Jesus
sobbing uncontrollably
Jesus grabs the broken man
and hugs him

the next night
Jesus walks into a punk club
loud, fast music
drowns out all chances of having a conversation
in front of the stage
youth with shaved heads
wearing leather and spikes
violently throw themselves into each other
and enjoy it
when the band is done with their gig
Jesus approaches the youths
and engages them in conversation
a nazi skinhead is amazed
because a jew is showing him more love
than he has ever experienced before

another instance
Jesus walks into the hospital
He enters the taboo section
the section of the AIDS patients
there is a heaviness in the air
because the patients have come here
to die
Jesus approaches a young man about 23
the young man was infected with the virus
from another man named Ralph
who didn't tell him
that he was HIV positive
Jesus reaches out His hand
and the young man grabs it
Jesus and the young man
weep together

the home for the elderly
another place that Jesus goes to
lonely people are brought here to die
and to be forgotten
Jesus approaches a woman
once beautiful but now decrepit
her soft skin
now wrinkled like a prune
Jesus sits at the foot of her bed
and listens to her stories of youth
when she is finished with one
she quickly tells another
eager to be heard and noticed
hour upon hour
Jesus listens to her with interest

on the streets again
Jesus walks alone looking for hurting people
He approaches a prostitute
broken and battered
her pimp has pounded her black-and-blue
she doesn't want to sell herself
but she has to
in order to support her drug habit
she is addicted and unloved
with compassion Jesus reaches out to her
and for the very first time
she knows what true love is

lying on the sidewalk
a homeless man is trying to sleep
but is unable to
because of the cold
Jesus looks down at him
and notices that he does not have a shirt
removing His own shirt
Jesus gives His shirt to the homeless man
and walks down the street some more

sunday morning
Jesus enters a church
the carpet is brightly covered
the pews are padded
the windows decorated with different colors
taking a seat in the back
Jesus notices a man in a five-hundred dollar suit
screaming about money
the congregation are clones
every man - a suit and tie
every woman - a pastel colored dress
right away an usher asks Jesus to leave
because He is not wearing a shirt

Jesus is not offended
because He has other places to go to
places like
punk clubs
rest homes
and the streets

of the hurting people

"Various Voices of Street Kids"

here am I 
   on Mill ave
with a drum
   and my dog
I sing a song
   to you
"Spare change
   Can you spare some change?"
don't worry how
   I spend it
I just need
   to spange
here am I
   telling you a joke
about a father
   who molests
his daughter
does this offend you
I've been molested
   by my family
don't mean nothin'
here am I
my stepfather
   molested me
here am I
my mother
   molested me
here am I
I've been
   molested too
here am I
   full of anger
my parents used plywood
   for a door
because I kept
   putting my head
through it
I don't have
   an anger problem
I only hit
   my girlfriend once
here am I
   on the street
do you like me
   for a price
you can have
   your way
I just need
   some drugs
here am I
   full of rage
rage at my family
rage at society
rage at you
rage at God
cd blasting angst
   to my brain
"why have you forsaken me
in your thoughts
   forsaken me
in your heart
   forsaken me"
here am I
   do you see me
here am I
   do you hear me
here am I
   do you notice
here am I
   can you love me


a hero among the homeless Robobum armed with a can of spray paint he travels from coast to coast leaving his mark behind on the walls on the sidewalks on the boxcars "Robobum was here" a homeless man in awe speaks of him "I heard he was in Phoenix not too long ago I didn't see him but my friend Alfred did he's a mental you know - a crazy his pants are disgusting he never changes them he's not like me he's a train traveler I travel on the highways" just think maybe one of you has seen Robobum maybe that homeless person that you laughed at that you passed that you forgot maybe he just wasn't a homeless person maybe he was Robobum but what makes Robobum different than all the other homeless nothing but a can of spray paint maybe that homeless person that you laughed at that you passed that you forgot maybe he wasn't Robobum but maybe he was somebody


when you have a mental illness you do everything you can to hide it when someone asks you "How are you doing?" you don't say "I'm kind of psychotic right now The voices are really bugging me" you don't say "I'm doing terrible For no reason at all I just want to die" you don't say "I feel like I'm out of my body right now Thanks for asking" instead you lie and just say "OK" when you have a mental illness you don't ask your pastor for prayer anymore you did once and he just walked away instead you say your request is "unspoken" or you don't ask for prayer at all when you have a mental illness you don't tell your friends you did that too they just said "You're dumping on me" and then they aren't your friends anymore when you have a mental illness you don't tell your work that's the last thing you want to do instead you go to work psychotic, anxious and depressed when it gets too hard you cry in the bathroom for five minutes and you hope they don't notice because you don't want to lose your job when you have a mental illness you don't tell your family but they seem to notice anyway when you have a mental illness you are controlled by an overwhelming shame you want help but you are just too afraid to ask

"Two Jesuses"

two men two practices two faiths one Jesus one man sinner human broken alone confused with life seeks Jesus asks for help and forgiveness still not perfect far from repents and asks for forgiveness again other man successful rich leader pastor televangelist gives false promises to the poor and steals their money too good for you and me too holy too righteous won't give you the time of day unless you give him money or shoot him with a television camera two men two practices two faiths one Jesus no two Jesuses

"A Sick Joke"

when I die and am buried underground my brain will decompose and turn to dust my head will finally be clear (except for the dust) I won't be mentally ill anymore

"The Usher"

at church the usher approaches me USHER: Hey Obadiah. How are you doing? obadiah: Not good. I just found out my friend was murdered last night. USHER: I'm sorry to hear that. (Pause) Can you remove your hat? It's not appropriate to wear it in church.

"#3 Psalm"

the LORD has left the temple His presence no longer there the LORD has left the temple His people have rebelled the LORD has left the temple because His people have sinned there is no temple foreign armies have destroyed it there is no temple because of the Lamb of GOD's sacrifice now we are the temples of GOD I am a temple of GOD the Holy Spirit dwells in me I am a temple of GOD but I rebel I am a temple of GOD but I sin I am a temple of GOD sometimes I fall away oh LORD please don't depart from this temple

"Vampire of Sin"

the vampire assails me placing fangs into arteries of my neck my soul drenching from my body with each suck taking me to the point of death but not killing me I am a vampire I am dead but I walk around the lust in me grows stronger the bondage to it unbearable I must feed to satisfy my flesh I am the undead but I still can die a cross burns me making me realize the evil of my lust my flesh wants to flee but my soul wants to embrace oh but can I die to myself to embrace it

"Industrial Beat"

lights flashing music sounding with pulse of digital rhythm the industrial beat is being broad casted throughout the club youth with distorted faces and twisted forms of dance vent by gyrating to the heavy synthesizer and the angry voice the drum machine echoes through their brains while they dance their frustrations away with all their energy each song a musical monotony for five minutes and if that is not long enough there is always another to follow it

"Gothic Band: Planet Earth"

the gothic band begins to play gloomy music infiltrates the air goths - with painted white faces and black make-up garbed in darkness dance twisting and turning with their blank stares of hopelessness the gothic band - planet earth people inhabiting this ghostly sphere sway to the melancholy rhythm of doom rich poor east west nobody can escape the song of destruction the band plays on the mourning of the newlywed bride in the loss of her husband the band plays on the deterioration of the child who is starving to death in Africa the band plays on bodies being wasted away because there is no cure for AIDS the band plays on the silent screams of the millions of aborted children the band plays on above the heavens the GOD with the holes in his hands crying because mankind would not listen to Him

"Disposable People"

Part 1 tired of the spouse get a divorce children too much to handle try foster parents unproductive fire them parents getting too old take them to a nursing home if an injury occurs let someone else take care of them drop them off at the case manager's door and drive away they're just disposable people this will hurt them scar them for life but that's OK that's what Prozac and institutions are for the old the retarded the sick the young the mentally ill the poor all disposable but you yes you you will reap what you sow one of these days somebody will dispose of you Part 2- GOD of the Disposable People there is a GOD who searches through trash for disposable people the old the retarded the sick the young the mentally ill the poor He gathers unto Himself but you yes you have disposed of Him too Part 3 - The Undisposable rejected forgotten here today, discarded tomorrow we are the disposable people an inconvenience to others but there is a GOD of the disposable people who loves us who was also thrown away rejected forgotten discarded was disposable because He thought we weren't
(a poem about working in a mental health clinic and also having mental illness) in front of the clinic I hear her "I DON'T WANT TO I DON'T WANT TO ANYMORE" a staff embarrassed "Shut up, you're going in" "I DON'T WANT TO I DON'T WANT MORE MEDS I DON'T WANT TO BE A ZOMBIE" paid staff, condescending tone "I don't care you're going to the doctor" "I DON'T WANT TO I DON'T WANT TO BE CRAZY I DON'T WANT TO BE CRAZY ANYMORE" and unheard to the rest my heart screams "I don't want to be crazy either"
"Oh Lord, Please Deliver Me from the Darkness" (another poem about my mental illness) darkness slides across the ceiling shadows consume me the darkness is coming for me


strapped down unable to move from the electric chair the condemned murderer looks out and sees the sign "Burn in hell!" in front of the clinic the scared, young woman notices the sign "Baby Killer!" at the capital during the homosexual march the couple confronted by the sign "God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!" on the streets of Mill ave college and street kids barraged by the sign "For the wages of sin is death!" signs signs everywhere Christians holding signs they say love the sinner hate the sin but all the people notice is signs

"The Jukebox"

man with crooked walk leads me through mall to Sears department store the object of his intentions a jukebox neon lights with bubbles of water inside and a roster of golden oldies that would make any nostalgic swoon bony fingers punches numbers 3 8 7 - La Bamba Ritchie Valens lives again "Baila la bamba..." man with crooked walk dances crookedly while letting out exclamation of joy "YEAH!" right foot in - shake it left foot in - shake it right foot in - shake it left foot in - shake it patrons of Sears gawk point stare laugh but can't join in with the crooked walking man dancing without caring what others think of him

"My First Hospitalization"

depressed confused scared wanting to die the door is locked i can't get out of here the door is locked i isolate myself in a corner i cry what am i doing here what am i doing in this place they put me in the high intensity section i'm not high intensity there is no room on the other side nurses look through glass windows i think tv cameras watch us for suicide attempts they take my belt they take my keys they take shoestrings they take anything one might kill himself with in my room in my bed trying to sleep i'm scared i hear a woman screaming all night i can't get it out of my head i can't sleep how can you sleep when a woman screams all night there is a door there is a locked door i think it's the isolation room i think it's the restraint room i don't want to know i stay away from the room i want to watch tv i'm the only one at the tv i turn on my show another patient tells me to turn on the baseball game he's hospitalized for wanting to kill people he wants to hurt the doctor i change the channel i leave his area the attendants bring patients in wheelchairs to their rooms they are totally out of it they don't remember anything they got e.c.t.treatment they got shock treatment the doctor might want to shock me i hope the doctor doesn't shock me the doctor puts me on meds the doctor puts me on lots of meds i'm tired all the time i'm a zombie now i read wizard of oz books i want to escape to oz i want a tornado to take me away to oz i want a tornado to take me away from this hospital attendants ask me do i want communion i want communion i need communion a catholic brings the communion he won't let me take communion i'm not catholic i yell at the catholic how can he not let me take communion i'm a child of god the catholic tells me i can watch others take communion i yell at the catholic i run away from the catholic i want to cuss at the catholic i don't cuss i call my wife tell the pastor to bring me communion i need communion it's time to swim i want to swim i don't swim i watch the locked door i look out the tiny window of the locked door i want the pastor to come i want somebody from my church to come i want communion i need communion the pastor doesn't come nobody from the church comes i'm waiting for visitors to come nobody comes.

"No Name"

lying on the brick wall next to the sidewalk on mill ave smoking a cigarette requesting prayer needing prayer illusions in his head delusions in his brain confused, lost and lonely possibly on a bad trip or maybe psychotic he doesn't know his name he doesn't even know his name

"Blind Woman at the Library"

the blind woman at the library white cane with red tip she walks straight ahead sensing some in front of her she stops neither moving to left nor right facing her two high school girls pretty wearing the latest fashions I hear them "Why should we move out of the way? She should move out of the way for us."

"Body on the Freeway"

rush hour driving home from work three lanes from the right what's that on the side of the road a body on the freeway a man looks homeless his body broken contorted like a rag doll thrown upon the ground trying to pull over but unable it takes another mile and a half to do so exasperated I wonder to myself "Why isn't anybody stopping?"

"The Angel"

(Hebrews 13:1-3) ordering breakfast at the McDonald's one day I notice him weathered clothing soiled body malodorous hair unkempt beard scraggly and unshaven I notice his feet calloused blackened by street walking toenails unclipped he doesn't have any shoes my God he doesn't have any shoes McDonald's employee notices him too finger pointing to the door "Out" she commands as one chastises a disobedient dog without complaint without breakfast without coffee he leaves he has money but he leaves hurriedly I pay for my breakfast running out the door to get him food to give him my shoes I can't find him he was just here but I can't find him looking around the corner running around the building nowhere to be found where did he go he was just ahead of me but where did he go why did I falter why did I hesitate why did I pay for my breakfast instead of following earlier why oh why this missed opportunity

"She Lives in Fear"

she doesn't check her mail what if somebody mugs her or she gets hit by a car driving by she doesn't walk down hallways beams on the ceiling might fall and crush her she doesn't go out in the rain it might rain on her and when it rains lightning might strike her she isolates in her apartment she doesn't go out she doesn't have friends she lives in fear

"My Former Friend"

I once had this friend. He helped me move into my first apartment, the apartment that I would live in with my newlywed bride. He said, "I helped you move. Will you help me move?" I said, "Sure." A month later he told me he was moving. I didn't take off work because I needed the work to pay the bills. My friend got mad at me and said that he would do it by himself. I felt bad about this, so I took work off to help him move, but it was too late, I already lost my friend.

"Doo Wah Diddy"

here comes the homeless man walking down the street singing Doo Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Day asked me for change to get something to eat singing Doo Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Day not doing good not doing fine he's going through some hard times

"Ad Libs"

SORRY WE'RE NOT IN RIGHT NOW. PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE AND WE'LL GET BACK TO YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BEEP Uh, hello (enter your name here). This is (enter name of family member or friend you rarely talk to here). Just calling to see how you're doing. I know it's been a long time since I talked to you. Say, can you do me a favor? You know that company you work for, (enter name of company here)? Can you get me an employee discount at (enter name of company here)? It's actually not for me, but for (enter name of someone you don't know here). Oh, I need an answer from you as soon as possible. Give me a call. I'm really looking forward to hearing from you.

"Flag at the Porn Store"

every flag at half mast to mourn the passing of a president but look there's one flying high bright and proud in front of the porn store not conforming to the rest


on the street corner you notice him camouflage shirt camouflage shorts yellow pastel socks almost up to the knees feet clad in brown loafers you notice him screaming obscenities at cars passing by and cursing those who are not there

"Target Practice"

it started early on my freshman year in high school P.E. class at first I protested the harassment but my upper body strength was nothing compared to his grabbing my hair he slammed my head against the ground ONE TWO THREE I don't know how many times I thought he would kill me leaving my brains splattered on the ground behind my head and then the spitting started at my locker getting dressed for class he spit on me I did nothing my classmates thought this funny so another joined the first I the target of their lugies I thought it was over but that was only the beginning everyday the intensity of the spitting increased others joined in even classmates weaker than I joined in soon the upper class men joined in I felt like it was raining at my locker this continued for weeks and even months everyday five classes a week the coach must have known about it but he never did anything it got so bad I stopped washing my gym clothes why bother they'd just get spit on again so the saliva solidified and bleached my attire it stopped during Christmas break two weeks of respite every day I dreaded returning to P.E. I would rather die than do so and at that point I didn't care what they did to me they would never spit on me again

"Just Reminiscing"

freshman in high school riding the bus stealing glances at her everyday she - dirty-blond hair - wild with teasing her face - perfect her legs -firm garbed in fish-net stockings with holes ripped in just the right places my hormones danced every time I saw her I loved her style her fashion think of a cross between a punk rock girl and Madonna
(that is, Madonna's Desperately Seeking Susan phase) everyday the transport to high school was a ride of lust when on the bus she rode one day the bus stopped a homeless man stepped on garbed in army green lugging a bag of all his material possessions forcefully he walked to the back of the bus throwing his bag on the last seat before sitting down and then she laughed my dream girl laughed followed by laughs of her entourage you know I didn't notice her much after that


GOD remember me I used to talk to you all the time it's been awhile GOD do You want to talk again
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