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poetry Jesus in America

When the newly elected Governor of Oklahoma committed his state to Christian nationalism, the poet and war veteran H.C. Palmer raises some objections to such gestures.

Jesus in America

By H.C. Palmer


               Only he don’t come down                                                      

               from His Tree

               Him just hang there

                               —Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The pharisaical hearts

and pig-headed minds

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of perfervid bringers

of theological bull shit

are beating us down

white assed bigots

thump love redacted bibles

on imperious pulpits

inside walled in god boxes

while a nation hangs captive

with a sorrowing old Jesus

nailed to a bad assed place

and a bad assed time.

H.C. Palmer is a retired Internist. He served as a Battalion Surgeon with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1965-66. His poems have appeared in New Letters, Narrative Magazine, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, War Literature and the Arts, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Portside and other journals and anthologies. His first book of poems, Feet of the Messenger, from BkMkPress, the University of Missouri, Kansas City (2017) was a finalist for the 2017 Balcones Poetry Prize. He was the 2017 Anthony Hecht Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. He has directed the KC Veterans’ Writing Team for 9 years, in partnership with the Kansas City Public Libraries and the Moral Injury Association of America.