Mennonite Poetry Home | Robert Martens



the well-tempered mennonite

the boss cool behind his
firewall, but it's
sweat snap & sulk down
on the workfloor, my
fist held low, my anger
mute as only a
mennonite could, thru 10
clenched minutes all
boil no steam [thru

500 yrs i was menno
child, euronorthern bull-eyed
chunk-boned, i yapped at
luther's heels, tugged pope
whatshisname's robe, calm
down thou wicked boy
said menno simons, & i was
the quiet in the corner,
recited judgement no more,
thru 500 yrs i didn't
swear lest brimstone singe
tongue, thru 500 yrs i
didn't procreate except to
procreate, for 500 yrs
i didn't gluttonize, fat
won't fit heaven's narrow
gate, thru 500 yrs
i didn't spend, a penny's
the jingle in satan's
ass, thru 500 yrs i
didn't dance, the plough
would rock the hayloft
roll, thru 500 yrs i didn't
kill, oh how we wanted to
kill, the hooded man's
orgasm the thumbscrew
trigger, thru 10 bitten
minutes i wanted to] but

i hear a voice, & holy
damnation it's mine, 500
yrs of swallowed curses
turning the air blue
as manure, congratulations,
says my work partner,
he of murderous
greek descent, says he
you've taken the south european
, but i, oh
weary mennonite woe, i
know better, today
the cure, tomorrow
(in 500 yrs)
handguns & hellfire

© Robert Martens




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