I deal with a mental illness of extremes. An illness of war and peace. I wrote this poem about the sinner and saint living in me. I am in a period now where I don’t really know what faith means anymore. I feel it is neither bad nor good. Wrong nor right. I still love this poem even where I am at now. I am proud of what I write and I always will be.
Tyler Strittmatter: Neither Jesus nor the Devil from Christine Shrum on Vimeo.
The devil fell too easy.
We were promised a great adversary
and we got this.
I want my money back.
I want to return my He-Man action figure
because he ain’t got nobody to fight.
Where is this mighty Satan?
‘Cause I make all this sin by myself.
No serpent, no sharp tongue.
I make all this sin myself.
No battles lost, no victories won.
I’m the one who makes the sin.
And I’ve only just begun.
What happens when you write a song,
Is all your life comes flooding back,
All the life you forgot,
All the life you’d like to gather up,
All your life that fell on the floor,
All your life.
What happens when you sing that song,
Is all your life comes out your mouth,
And whoever is around,
Will know you better,
Even if it’s just you.
I don’t want confusing love,
the kind that stabs at my stomach.
I want peaceful love,
the kind that scratches my head
Walking into a bar and
hearing a random person
cover a song I wrote
on their shitty, acoustic guitar
would be a moment
of complete clarity for me.
my uncle said
you can’t have
on account of
being really, quite big
all of us being really, quite
I never wanted
truth be told,
but I would like to scrape together
and then give it
It’s hard to find the right poem
for “Clever Poetry Publication”
Something ‘hardy har har?’
No, way too trite and meh
Something ‘weepy weepy?’
Yes, but not quite so weepy
Disjointed? Well, of course
It can’t have those wishy-washy
metaphors or ones we’ve seen before
In fact, your meaning has to be so so
Obscuro that well, there is no meaning
Does it have any je ne sais? “Oh, loads
of it!” Editor #1 says to very cute, very cute
Editor #2 with those spectacles and the
joie de vivre hair color from Laurelle Paris
When I look at my stuff, it’s all like:
Too much concrete! Not enough postmodern goop!
Then I slink away, reduced to nothing
What happens when you push back
a little and make fun of “Clever Poetry Publication?”
“I dunno,” I say out loud to a room full of nobody
“I guess we’ll find out”