"Jesus 2002"

by Jeph Johnson


A Prayer Regarding the Crafty Coincidences of a Conniving Christ (And Other, Too Long, Sentences That Take Two or Three Reads to Comprehend and a Firm Knowledge of My Work to Understand) 

Dear God,


Christians often attribute coincidence to You and call it a "miracle." Here are a string of coincidences that could only be laid out by a God with a cruel sense of humor, much unlike the God of the Bible and even more dissimilar to the God Christians proclaim is in the Bible: As You know (or would know if You followed my poetic endeavors, and I doubt even You with your supposed "omniscience" will understand), ...I have toyed with ludicrous "fantasy baseball teams" made up of all one name (actually three: Carlos, Juan and Valdez) to be subtle and blatant at the same time by demonstrating the absurdity of my lot in life, Sort of how You did things in the Bible; subtly and blatantly at once.


...written too many poems for Denny's late night waitress goddesses like Genesee, Kayla, Maria, Sarah and Sharon


...and had overall poor luck attracting any semblance of normalcy in the area of romance (having, what are supposed to be, discreet liaisons with exotic dancers and "lingerie" models, losing my virginity to kleptomaniacs and finding little physical attraction to women my own age).


I have also written a suitcase full of poetry, spending the long hours of the wee morning (and sometimes the wee hours of the long morning) sitting in a corner booth with my pen and pad, waiting for Lori, the six o'clock waitress goddess to bring me a much needed smile. In the meantime I've waited patiently while the goddesses complained to me how their boyfriends neglected them, never told them they loved them and, sometimes even, abused them.


I've also lamented in writing and occasional cry session with my dear friend Ann, on the sadness, pain and frustration I've felt over the loss of the woman I loved most in life, Teresa, to one of the names on the fantasy baseball team, Carlos.


Here is where the coincidences of Your cruelty become more evident: Sarah, the Betty Boop goddess, who, despite her extreme beauty, I've felt might someday appreciate my friendship to a level where romance could develop (fat chance), in the matter of what seems like microseconds, has dumped her neglectful and violent boyfriend, for the cook.


The cook's name?


Coincidentally the second name on my fantasy baseball team, and also the name my forlorn (as in "deserted" not "pitiful in appearance") beloved Teresa had nicknamed my now little used penis. And no, if his name was "Dick" it wouldn't have been a coincidence.


To add whimsy and drunkenness to this story of why You would act so ironic, I also received an "honorable mention" on the PostPoems website for a poem I had written Sarah a few months earlier called "Sarah, Before Springtime."
...and look, it's mere days before springtime (March 15). ...and the first day of Spring (March 21) is my birthday! ...and the coincidences continue...


God, maybe I'm starting to believe in You again, unfortunately it's too messed up to be the kind of belief any one in their right mind could call "faith." A belief in Your divine providential coincidences masquerading as miracles. I see through Your charade. (and why am I capitalizing every pronoun of Your name like I'm still a Christian?)



Jeph Johnson 

Author's Notes/Comments: 


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John Mazur's picture

Very, very funny! I can whole heartedly agree with your insight into coincidence. I don't know what I identify with most: Your fits and starts into the world of romance; your facination with the pervercity of Lordly coincidence; whether or not grammar makes you a Christian! Very funny in a pathetically tragic sort of way.