Repeat after Me

bitter bored and unable to object to the liturgy without being misunderstood as a hairy red and wrinkled alien despised for presuming to despise either with or against I imagine myself unable to escape in the vestibule at the rear of the congregation let me explain I want to explain but while tones of holiness be blessedly muffled by heavy mahogany my breath would echo on the mahogany and tile it takes two and a common bond for alone I’d feel like an exile angry for being there in the first place angry at the image of sanctity above and before me angry for being manipulated by the preacher’s presumption of being better than natural in nasal godliness with chin propped in the air being never angry better than anyone who disagrees angry and sweating on the wooden bench unable to freely breathe since our mission depends on your tithes and offerings thinking individuality has its limits—A B C D or None of the above—necessity spawns rationalization and so does the ego—I choose to be angry that let us pray I’m here in the first place forgive me father mother community such generalities of the highly personal make we believe such bitterness makes a snob out of me in the holy ghost

6 September 1984, San Jose