Slightly higher god | The New Engagement

Slightly higher god

By Jason Morphew
Slightly Higher God story art
Excremental Poem

Southern crap is magic—
urination and defecation
attend a kind of coronation.
So tender is the sudden Southern
regent fully enthroned
it’s impossible not to imagine
whizzy regicide
stool bloodied
by longhaired men
driven to madness
by transgender music
of flushing.
Shameful laws are needed
so that laws of shame
be not superseded.
The body is a scandal
in the South
enchanted land of waste
once where I was born.



Pike County

I need to start noticing things.
One star shines at dusk
above our hot tub in the hills
I can show that to my daughter
in hopes it will encourage the poetic
all children inherit and most
eventually decline.
I have disappeared
and thus notice little.
I'm like a country singer
songwriter suddenly rich
with nothing to write about
and decades not to do it.
Funny thing is I am
a failed country singer
songwriter well I didn't fail
the singing and writing as much
as the cocksucking.
Who can love a spitter?
He doesn't want the pain inside.
Hunger is the only genre.
George and Dolly
learn starving singers' songs
while stretching in gyms to seem
hungry for fat patrons.
George's trainer is now
Guillermo Worm
who escaped dissection
in my wife's Biology
by switching himself
with a gummy.
Corn Syrup is the name
Corpsey George has given him
pronouncing it Kuhn Srp.
Guillermo has been around the block
Guillermo is no spring chicken
Guillermo wears a tracksuit
when he eats away your eyes.
There was a worm on my brother's rainy grave
the other day in Glenwood
where everyone believes everything
on TMZ with reason.
I believe everything
I am done doubting
the blackness
of my father's lungs
the loving racist things it’s done
to his lost and racing heart
failing in Little Rock
succeeding there too
while I see now more stars
appear above my sleeping daughter.



They Know Not What They Do

The they offended
being one of them
pretending to fathom

Now that Jesus is
beneath me
I soften
on his arrogance
as if I were a slightly
higher god
by another power
rising constantly

Jason Morphew started life in a mobile home in Pike County, Arkansas; at UCLA he's completing his Ph.D dissertation, “Hamlet's Petrarchism.” He's published the poetry collection In Order to Commit Suicide, he's been interviewed about it in Quarterly West, and he read alongside Claudia Rankine and Afaa Michael Weaver at the 2014 Kingsley Tufts Award ceremony. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Gigantic, Foothill, Anamesa, Juxtaprose, Storm Cellar, Third Wednesday, and Juked; he’s been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. As a singer-songwriter he's released albums on the labels Brassland, Ba Da Bing!, Max, and Unread.

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