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.

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
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)
[[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)

M o d e r n   D a y    P r o p h e t s    o f    t h e    C i t y

Prophet [prof-it]: a person who speaks for God or a deity, or by divine inspiration.
They roam their cities, their homes. Screaming about what will be. But maybe it’s the prophet’s burden to see the future, to warn about it, but have no one listen to them. They seem to be the only ones noticing the clouds rolling over the morning sky whispering about violence to come. Maybe they are the only ones who see humankind’s rage and not darkness when they close their eyes. And the hardest part may be that they see their own end. See it take one step closer at them every time they blink. See it lurking in the shadows. Because who would want to have to listen to the truth when lies seem to be so much less painful.

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
I will hurt you, he says. His arms are hanging heavy at his side. I will destroy you, he says. His fingers brush your cheek. I will burn you, he says. The match he holds is broken. I will, I will, he says. His sweet breath at your neck. Please do, you say. His hands dig a hole into you, and he buries himself deep in your lungs, honeyed and addictive like your dying breath.
—  1am; you thought you couldn’t make any more bad choices (l.d)