modern-prophets

i.
back alley angels, concrete kings
we recycle prayers like plastic bottles
and wish the wings would wither off our backs
remind me that we’re holy as we bind our wrists
with garbage bags and swear
to never speak the blasphemy
that bristles on our lips.

ii.
darling, we are modern martyrs
purging promises with dime store bourbon and
pawn shop cigarettes
hoping that in the ruin of our bodies we will find
something purer than the piety
that wrecks our hearts and stains our hands.  

iii.
at night, we drink ourselves to pieces and
i can feel a baseline beating in my bones
they ask me if i miss the taste of ichor and i tell them
not if i pump my lungs so full of starlight
that my tears turn into rivers and
run silver in my veins.

—  they call us holy and they leave us hollow (modern prophets, pt. 2) // (e.c)

rejected modern prophets

kids who’ve taken a vow of silence, eyes bloodshot and throat straining with the weight of prophecy, shunned even by the burdened. charcoal-dirtied fingers and sheets and sheets of doom, destruction, deliverance. their blood collecting under the unbroken skin of their cheeks, results of fist fights with unbelievers, attempts at accommodating omens on their skin like divine Rorschach inkblots for those who look long enough. 

kids with hand-ravaged hair and ancient tear stains wrapping their arms around themselves, whispering, whispering, whispering. hodu l'Adonai. their hymns on the wall aren’t vandalism, not blasphemy though written in blood, they’d like to tell you. but unlike the prophets of long ago, their gratitude has failed them, and so they remain silent. 

i. this is what divine feels like, your skin beneath my fingertips, and god, i could destroy you, i think, but you wouldn’t let me, you’re the strong one, you keep it all back, you keep my mind from spilling out

ii. so this is divinity, this is what i’ve been yearning for, and all it comes down to is taking your hand as we walk down the street and feeling grounded, centered, present, for the first time in years

iii. this is what divine tastes like, your lips on my lips, my lips on your hands, on your fingers - is this worship? is this love? is this obsession? don’t tell me until it’s over, i don’t want to know, please

iv. divine, divine, divine, you say i’ve been muttering the words in my sleep, don’t you know i’m always dreaming of you?

v. i could never think of you as an angel but i’ve never met anyone who’s come so fucking close

—  idealisation // s.t.
we are the modern prophets:
we with dark circles and small pills,
we whose voices are
silenced.
we are the young teens;
bed hair, faded dye, ripped denim -
eyes hooded from lack of sleep,
haunted by the smell of cheap caffeine and all-nighters
spent deciphering the buzz of the riddles
whispered in the starlight.
can you hear Delphi calling?
Apollo’s gift brings only pain to those who bear it

we hear the old gods’ voices and smile -
holy, holy, holy and
blood.
oh, mama, I know what you did with that man.
we are the modern prophets,
we are the demigods -
our voices will be heard;
there will be a reckoning.
—  we are the silent ones but we know so much (insp)

i.
on the rooftops, swallowed by the city and the smoke
we dangle our legs and split
a glass bottle of something brown that burns
in my throat
you ask me if i love the stars and i say
maybe, once

ii.
we were born children of a gilded age
gods with mortal hearts and paper skin
you stroke my fevered cheeks and i
croon hymnals into the creases
of your bonfire blackened palms
we lie awake and try and find
the words to paint the ache
that blooms beneath our skin
(sleep does not come easy to the damned)

iii.
when the sun goes down
we light candles and wait in vain
for the sky to steal our voices
(if they come, swear up and down you’re holy)
you ask me if i love the stars and i say
no.

—  of all the dark and wild places (modern prophets, pt. 1) // (e.c)

emiliaclark-deactivated20150217 asked:

Maddieee so i am absolutely in love with the whole modern gods series, and i was wondering if you have any poem recs? Thanks love!

Yes! I definitely do, oh gosh! All poetry about modern deities are here; all poetry about modern biblical characters / angels / prophets are here; all edits are about modern deities are here; and these are some of the poems I love. 

Greek Modern Gods: 

Biblical Modern Angels / Prophets 

you leave burns on my skin
with your holy fire.
you ask if i’m okay,
ask if i need to stop,
but you should know the only words
from my mouth will be
thank you, god, thank you,
because you’re so close
to making me pure that
i can taste it, honey.

burn me up.
i want the only thing left of me
to be my soul.
reduce my body to ashes,
hold my soul in your hands,
can you see it? can you see that
darkness?
you’re not here
to save me, honey, i know

but you’re the holiest thing
i’ve ever known,
and getting taken
apart by you is the sweetest
penance i could have hoped for
after signing myself up
as a sinner

—  ABSOLVE ME // s.t
[[1:40 am]]
We are drug store prophets,
cut from steel and broken glass.
They said our scars would be our salvation.
I don’t believe them. My salvation is
a melted down handful of
Brand X aspirin, a cup of holy water,
21 pills in liquid form.
It runs hot like the neon prophecies
burnt into our souls.
-
[[2:04 am]]
I just want to escape the endless choir
of back alley hymns, of concrete prayers.
I can’t do this anymore.
Can’t stand the chalk stained sheets
and charcoal dipped fingers.
I can hear them in my head telling me
to tear open my ribs and throw
out my heart, to leave
the floorboards wine-dark and red.
-
[[2:40 am]]
i am sorry
—  i touched the divine and it buried me or ezekiel sends late night texts (c.w)

we cannot close our eyes
to the too-bright sunlight,
for the visions underneath our lids
are hardly any better.

prophecies stamped onto our hearts,
forged out of scar tissue 
and empty prayers,
these are our most prized possessions.

move on, they tell us,
your time is over now.
nobody is concerned with the future,
not anymore.

but godly fingerprints linger on our skin
like impressions left in plush carpeting–
how does one forget
the touch of a divine?

—  the useless seers (modern prophets) [requested by sxppho] // j.d.k.

STEP VI: ACCEPTANCE

what are they made of: your blood, your prayers, your stars. your anger. flesh cut and arms scarred . but they are happy. their tired hands beg for more. they do not want to be remembered by the mortals who think of achilles and sekhmet and what could of have been. they need, crave, yearn the touch. and when they are accepted. rivers become white. vines turn dark. spring and winter are one. the leaves become vultures and the wind rejects them. because they are no longer of this earth.

STEP VII: HUMILITY

a corner in goiania. a (unholy) cigarette bud lands in the blood soaked marble of tibet. a cathedral in istanbul, eyes ignore those who stare at things others cannot see. a bar in alexandria, a chuckle, a library burning, a dusty motel room, a willing volunteer, in pattern with the first sun ray, they are gone. back to the bronx - you will never catch them bragging.

STEP VIII: WILLINGNESS

knees brace the cold hard salt, eyes turn closed, hands (black inked and red stained) come together, and words of prophets as deadly smoke fill the whole city. some reject. some deny. some fall. silent vows brace them, the hand of god betrays them, others watch them hushed. and they are left to wander this earth. their knees fall to the earth but not in prayer. in debt.  

STEP IX: FORGIVENESS

black charcoal marks driven into white sheets; knuckles scarred clutching the air. the walls match their backs, scratched, broken, twisted. how does one live abandoned. to be touched by the only lord. bloodshot eyes, confessionals wrecked and a poor sparrow. (desperate. hooked. pathetic.) see what happens to the precious son. anger turns back to prayers and cold hands - amen amen amen.

—  [excerpt from 12 STEPS FOR THE DIVINE & DAMNED & DEAD] | r
make me the girl with the red red tongue
and the blush like a fire in her cheeks
touch my wrists and I’ll burn the ichor from your blood
tear the halo from your head
offer me your bones and leave your worship at my doorstep
i am no saintly apparition, no temple for your traitor lips
kiss me and you’ll crumble
—  they’ve made a martyr out of me (modern prophets, pt. 3) // (e.c)
We stand by the busy roadway gasping for breath,
the cars buzzing by us viciously-
this is no time for the holy.
and why- why did we fill our lungs with (rotting) feathers and holy water?
we cough it up and tear at our ribs,
terrified when our fingers come back stained red.
We bite the insides of our cheeks raw, refusing the holy words to form on our tongues.
We write down our prayers on cheap paper and we set it alight until there’s nothing else but ashes in our hands.
Our halos are gone with our chastity;
new pledges paint the insides of our wrists.
We light a cigarette for every time someone almost slips;
our lungs are turning black but our vows stays intact.
—  It almost feels like we’re still falling, Aurora M.S
The Family: A Proclamation to the World

The Family Proclamation says, “ ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents … Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

So all 15 prophets agree and confirm that gender (we can also use “sex” here as the Church views gender and sex as the same thing) is binary, and a person’s sex is eternal. In other words, the fact that one is male means that he was male before he was born and will be male after he dies. The question that arises from this is, of course, where do hermaphrodites (the preferred term is now “intersex”) fit in to God’s plan. A certain percentage of the human population is born with both male and female genitalia. So which are they, male or female? The Church cannot simply write this off as a mere earthly imperfection that is part of the mortal experience because of the fall. The Proclamation says that gender is eternal. So one cannot be different here on earth from what one is before or after this life.

If the Church tries to argue that gender is not determined by physical genitalia, then what does determine gender? If it is one’s chromosomes, then what does that mean for XXY individuals? They have both male and female genetics. 

Usually when Church doctrine is shown to be incorrect the Church says that it was based on statements of men, speaking as men and not as official Church doctrine. The Church does not have that luxury here. The document was signed by all 15 prophets and read over the pulpit at General Conference. It has been printed millions of times to be distributed to anyone who will take it. If that is not official doctrine then nothing is.

Another option is to claim that gender is not determined by either genitalia or genetics but by something spiritual. Well if that is the case then the Church should have no problem accepting transgender people. It should merely recognize that there is a mortal imperfection interfering with that person’s eternal gender.

Likely what the Church would do is resort to its second favorite excuse when faced with an error. It will twist the words into to mean what they need them to mean. Here they will say that the word “eternal” does not mean “the same forever.” They  will way that eternal has some other spiritual meaning. 

Father, Father
you can not
wish holiness
onto me

Father, Father
i am not clay
you can not
mold me a
saint

Father, Father,
do not curse
me your martyr

Father, Father
your nails are
dust on my
hands and feet

Father, Father
i do not pray
at the altar

Father, Father
i am the altar

Father, Father,
look at me

Father, Father
i am alive

Father, Father
as you are

—  Father, Father
watch me bleed
May I suggest a formula that will ensure our success: First, search the scriptures with diligence; second, plan your life with purpose (and, I might add, plan your life regardless of your age); third, teach the truth with testimony; and fourth, serve the Lord with love
—  President Thomas S. Monson, the Prophet
I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…
—  from Carl Sagan