Jesus Is My Girlfriend
And Jehovah is her dad. They both live in outer space. And this makes me glad. Tru Tru Vanilla Luv comes to me from heaven on high. So outward, Godward, I shall fly. Not at death, but right now, in my high frequency dream-skiff. The mansion of bliss is so many light-years away it hurts to think about it. But soon I will stand at the pearly gates of the interstellar secret family funhouse, with flowers in my hand: ultraviolets, asters, and supernova sunflowers.
The Savior from the Stars
Little green men, bug-eyed bigheads, shambling grunty blob-things, vast insectoid invaders, robot monsters, clouds of sentient slime, cute TV Martians and sexy Venusian bimbos: I love them all. But they’ve got nothing on the real alien, the Salvific Hyper-Virgin. “Heaven,” he tells me in his lisping whisper, “is not up there—it’s out there.”
Head of Christ
He’s a pretty strawberry blond, just like a shampoo ad, asking “has your hair been washed in the blood of the lamb?” A billion satisfied customers sing his praises. A billion fans can’t be wrong: he’s everywhere. No picture of Jesus comes near the popularity of Warner Sallman’s 1940 masterpiece. Fair-haired—of course. Blue-eyed—of course. Always glowing and warm, always with that far-away look in his dreamboat eyes. He’s a rose, ere blooming: amber and summery gold, with warm sepias and a rosy glow. Hanging on endless walls, he’s our church-house hunting trophy, except nobody shot this Jesus. He’s got no horns, looking a lot more like a sad-eyed doe than a wild-eyed buck.
The Stolen Bride
But how can Jesus be a girl if he’s the Son of God? Better question: how can Jesus be a prissy white man with gorgeous hair and Hollywood glamor-girl backlighting? Some call it a miracle—the real transfiguration. Heretics and infidels call it theft, saying that Warner Sallman secretly extracted the “Head of Christ” from an earlier painting called “Friend of the Humble” by Leon Lhermitte. The resemblance is amazing, but that just adds luster to the self-creative miracle. Girl—boy—god—man—cinema star—silky savior: one size fits all of humanity. And if over a billion copies have floated down from heaven, then who can say he owns the sacred J-head?
Place of the Skull
Cowboys talked about so many head of cattle. There are head gaskets on car engines, head arrangements for jazz bands, head starts, head games, head cases, headbangers and headhunters, head-on collisions and headlong plunges, and at the end, headstones in the graveyard. If Jesus is the son of God, then his head is the most wonderful clump of brain and bone ever known. Pretty eyes and delicate ears, a mouth for saying and singing, hair and eyebrows and the beard. Golgotha means “place of the skull.” As does Calvary. It ends on the hill that looks like a naked head-bone.
He took me aside, and whispered all his secret names
Jesus H. Christ
Christ on a Crutch
Crying Out Loud
Cheese and Crackers
In Max Ernst’s 1926 surrealist masterpiece, The Virgin Spanking the Infant Jesus Before Three Witnesses: Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, and the Artist, Mary wears a brilliant crimson dress. Her wide hips and and heavy rounded breasts make her a maternal sex goddess. The Virgin’s spanking arm is raised in an unnatural hieratic gesture, cocked back like the hammer on a musket. Jesus’ arm is contorted too, clawing at nothing. He’s naked, lying face down in her lap, a fleshy ivory cherub getting a good hand-whanging for some unnamed and unnamable mischief. Mary’s halo is still on. The baby’s halo (he looks more like a kindergartner than an infant) has fallen off and lies like a pale sliver-crecent moon on the floor. Three surrealists hide in the window behind—the witnesses of a blasphemous crime.
What It’s All About
I’ve been doing the Jesus jerk-dance since I was a kid. Not literally shaking my pale caucasian moneymaker, but a kind of hocus pocus hokey pokey. This is my body—hoc est corpus meum. I put my left foot in and took my left foot out. And I shook it all about. Then it got a little harder. “You put your left brain in. You take your left brain out. Then you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you scream and shout, and that’s what it’s all about.” Then it was my right brain, and I understood: the hokey pokey itself comes straight from the Roman Catholic liturgy. Hoc est corpus meum means “this is my body.” From that comes hocus-pocus. And from that we get the Hokey Pokey, greatest dance craze of the 20th century.
Mad Dog Messiah
“Hey buddy, you got some Jeziz?” The old bum asked me this and when I didn’t answer (I’m a wuss, if truth be told—scared by doddering old drunks with madness in their eyes) he asked again, louder. “I’m talking to you, Whitey, you got some Jeziz?” Not “what do you think about Jesus?” or “”what church do you go to?” but “you got some Jeziz?” as if he was asking me if I had a handy bottle of Mad Dog 20 20 hidden away in my coat. The savior of the world and the greatest bum-wine buzz of all time. “I’m talking to you, Whitey.” I didn’t have a good answer for him. But I didn’t run away.
Blood atonement is fine if you don’t mind cleaning up the mess, and the nagging unanswered questions. How does Splatterdad killing his pretty Victimkid make it all right for me and my soul? I understand sacrifice. I know about sympathetic magic and burnt offerings. Sometimes the powers that be and the Big I Am really do want white goat meat, curdled milk and sheaves of barley incinerated on their altars. But the Old One nailing the Young One to a cross so that the rest of us can avoid the eternal celestial broiler—this is the best recipe the creator of the entire universe can come up with? A mix of sanctified torture porn and cosmic high school bullying. Why the cross? Why not an Indian burn, noogie-bar, swirlie, or supernal wedgie to cleanse us of our sins?
I dreamed of a divine monster who possessed the bodies of women. From just his name—Jeezolay!—I can conjure him back from the Realm of Uneasy Sleep. Jeezolay: a cross between Jesus and Frito-Lay, or perhaps between Jesus and Chevrolet. The savior as cheap greasy snack food—the savior as All-American transportation. He’s the Dreamland godhead: fast, slick, high-calorie and gleaming in the moonlight. Sing it with me. “Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse opium slayer. See the U.S.A. with your Jezzolay.”
One Billion x Jesus
He’s no Golgotha Geezasaurus Rex slicing his way through the sky with massive claws and breathing holy napalm fire to purify and rectify the earth. He’s the whitest white man in the universe, fragile as lady fingers, delicate as lemon meringue pie. No space suit like Elvis the Explorer, no armor or ray-gun. No astronaut brushcut or manly stubble on his jaw. He’s my interstellar pinup girlie-god, this creme-filled divine donut covered in powdered sugar, a tasty ice cream clone of a clone. And the tears of a clone, like the tears of a virgin, have far more power than a thousand blazing fists.
Sugared and Spiced and Everything Christ
His body fluids drip and gleam, rich with reproductive proteins and sky-shine. He is the divine chromolithograph, endlessly self-replicating, making more and more of the same cheesy jeezy mimeo faces. No voice, no body, just the head and shoulders. Dandruff flakes drifting down from heaven—manna—grains of moonlight—confectioner’s sugar—wisps of lamb’s wool—a powdering of iridescent xerox toner—leukocytes hungry to eat up all imperfection in our blood—stardust.
Everybody together—Sing It,
Amazing rays, how hot the heat,
that cooked such wretched meat.
I once was bitter, now I’m sweet.
And now it’s time to eat.