June 04, 2013

I Am Judas, the Son of God

The general idea of the poem below was inspired by a short story by that master of the genre, Jose Luis Borges, that I read earlier today. A few of the thematic ideas may have been influenced by my long-ago reading of Gore Vidal's snarky "Live from Golgatha."

Anyway, here goes:

I Am Judas, Son of God

I was born, I saw, and I fell;
The last part due to mythmakers
Who rejected my message.
My name is Judas, Son of God.

The lies against my name are many.
Some thought I was demon-seized
And sold the man named Jesus
For 30 pieces of silver.
Others said I was his cosmic twin,
Judas Didymus Thomas,
Later denigrated to move the focus
To the one and only.
While other yet called me Ahriman
To his Ormazd –
The dark side of a dualistic dyad.
And others still called me choiceless,
Fated to act a role,
A necessary pawn in a cosmic play.

All are wrong.

Rather –
I was the One, the Monogenitus.
I was the Son of God, the Word made flesh.

Am I jealous of the Nazarene?
But of course. I am the Word made flesh
With human emotions – emotions no less dark
Than my father Yahweh had against Sodom
And against the Amalekites, and against Edom.
This is what it meant to have been
God Incarnate.

But gods become human
Can lose their moorings.

I did not empty myself
Contra that prince of liars, Saul of Tarsus.
I was god, right to hold on to my equality.
I proclaimed the Kingdom
And had followers
But revolutionaries are often fickle.

And so the emissaries of Caesar’s gods
Seized the One, the Malakh Yahweh.
And put me to death.
And fickle rebels washed their hands
Of my name, my fame, my fate.
They crowned Jesus,
Distorted my message,
And hid him in safety,
Until a doddering old man
Had his life resculpted
By a failed Pharisee.

I was the Son of God.
But now I’m dead.
I would settle for raging in vain
Rather than being dead,
Unable to rage at all.

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