Last Supper

The first thing you need to know
is that it happens right here,
time & again. And also
that the heavens do not open

because they already gape as wide
as they will go: witness young Iscariot,
those stars in his eyes

about to go nova. He means to see
justice done, because somebody —
Tax collectors? Call girls?
must pay for this profligacy. Ah,

there he is again, on the front page,
in black & white.
That corrupt bastard

who’s married to his wife. Well,
I’ve always been a straight-shooter,

he thinks, & raises the picture
to his lips.

15 Comments


  1. I like this a lot: the first couplet, “stars in his eyes // about to go nova,” and those last three lines — ! What punch. Full of surprises.

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  2. This is great! But forgive me Dave. As usual, I seem to require a poem which ideally should be probably be absorbed gradually by osmosis or unfold showing multilayers, mainlined instead directly into my waxing brain. This one is real stunner..planted there .right in the throbbing sacred heart of the Easter season and…then.. just when I think I have a grip on it.. I find myself hanging in midair like the roadrunner with those last 3 lines.

    I figure young new ‘Iscariot” is about to go Nova and plug the infidel betrayer of his ‘faith’ whom he sees in the paper. That would fit with the straight shooter double entendre. The kissing image, however brought me up short. I keep getting this picture of a priest kissing some relic during the service. But then. look how long it’s been since I went to any service. At any rate. I love this one as I do all of them ..and I almost… almost got it.

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  3. Rachel – I’m glad you liked. I was a little surprided myslef.

    Joan – I appreciate the blow-by-blow — seriously. It helps me understand how probably a lot of readers encounter a poem like this. For my part, I’m often O.K. with a lack of comprehension when reading somebody else’s poem. In fact, sometimes i even prefer it that way, and feel a little cheated if I get everything on the first pass.

    I don’t want to give away the store here, but basically i was trying to answer the question, “How could he do such a thing?” Willful self-destruction is the one thing that Jesus and Judas seem to have in common, at least in Mark, and the latter being the agent of the former’s predestined fate, they almost blur together in my imagination. I’ve always seen Iscariot as the fanatic of the bunch. So for a modern story of a guy famous for chasing the money-lenders out of the temple, I found myself going back to that primal myth, and the Judas kiss becoming an almost narcissistic act.

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  4. Dave, You’re on fire! Both of your last two poems are like multilayered word candy!

    Here in NY, what with the King of Naughtiness’ fall from grace, the narcisism came through most strongly for me. I wonder, as I often do, if our interpretations of poetry are more based on our reading of the poem or our personal trappings that we bring to a poem. I know whenever I do a freewrite, no matter the subject, whatever is milling around in my subconscious comes out in some form or other.

    Anyway, this was a great read. Thanks.

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  5. jillypoet – Word candy, eh? That’s good to hear. And I’m glad to know that this resonated with an Empire Stater; I’ve only really been following Spitzer’s career because I was pretty sure he had a bright future on the national stage, being both a moderate and a reformer. So I was as shocked as anyone by his fall. This was pretty much a freewrite, like a lot of the stuff I post here.

    Jo – Thanks.

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  6. A very impressive poem. I really like it.

    I am saddened by what has happened. I like Spitzer. I believed in him. I think this fascination with sex in our society is morbid. It’s just sex. We should legalize prostitution. Think of the tax revenue.

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  7. Thanks, Fred and Jennifer.

    I guess what bothered me was not so much the prostitution as the hypocrisy. Just like with Larry Craig — I had no problem with him soliciting for anonymous gay sex, if that’s his thing. It’s just that he, too, had built a political career out of righteousness.

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  8. This is just what spiritual poetry should be–anything but pious! It twists around in us and awakens us to thought and feeling. I hunched that it ambushed you, and your responses to comments seem to bear that out, Dave.

    Great pleasure to be able to respond to, as well as read your work, Dave! All the best!

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  9. pmp – Thanks! Of course, the Bible itself isn’t a terribly pious text. I strongly suspect that these folks who are so shocked by the snippets of Rev. Wright’s sermons shown on TV and YouTube have never read the OT prophets.

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