Monday, June 27th, 2011...11:03 am

dave church | severed hearts and murdered brains

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Dave Church on a church

Severed hearts and murdered brains

Severed hearts and murdered brains
on their own are bleeding alone MAD
in broken neon streets mumbling stoned
insanities and holy obscenities SCREAMING
sworn oaths of death before dishonor PRAYING
in search of virgin bedrooms and temples
of gloom for shadows like their own
searching too to eat their own
to keep from dying
on my own I’ve known more than my share
of silver tongues and smooth pearls
More than my share of blue-blood
esquires and sleazy debutantes
riding in long-white limousines flashing
morality books with pages FULL of perfumed
opinions and insanity
More than my share of promise and myth
More than my share of tears smeared frozen
in my path
And more than my share of drowned poets
On my own I’ve known well some who’ve tried
on me plastic bags of airlessness wrapped
tight with alienation
Secured with concrete fascination
And protected with bubble gum imagination
There was one especially who tried
and failed
I left her somewhere alone crying
And my own bag remains full of holes
for breath of life
On my own I’ve married four levels
of consciousness
Been divorced from all four and moving
closer to a fifth
Been left alone wandering and wondering
Talking incessantly with machine-gun words
about master plans and miracles
Cosmic awareness!
And the powerlessness
of mortal sins
Been left unprotected from psycho mind benders
and killers of soul
…………………………..Politicians
Who gather in chambers searching for flash-
lights
Earth Gods in black robes
Doctors who cure with lobotomy pills
and middle class self esteem
Police who answer “call of wild” bluesman
with bullets and handcuffs
Mothers and fathers who deaf and blind
leave child to suffer
and perish
And on my own I’ve known the likes of Mr.
Bones and tambourine
Listened to their words of whiskey and rum
Danced with them cakewalk on the run
Read their gospel of order and law
That taught me what to steal from the rich
and from my own
And once I stole a friend’s reason
for dying
And some of us die before our time petrified
and electrified
Blown away and thrown away in broken neon
streets mumbling stoned insanities and holy
obscenities SCREAMING sworn oaths of death
before dishonor Praying in search of virgin
bedrooms and temples of gloom for shadows
like their own searching too to eat their
own to keep from dying
And some of us die before our time
Yet on our own we continue
All the time
All the time being
Being really scared.

Dave Church’s “Severed Hearts / Murdered Brains” which was, as I understand it, his signature poem. Told me he was constantly editing/revising it. This version is from chapbook Roadie circa 1999 from H Silverman’s Beehive Press, care of Dave Roskos library. Very rare chapbook, went to Church’s archives at Brown University’s Hay library this week and it wasn’t there, so doubt that Church held onto a copy himself (since all his manuscripts are there under lock and key). — Jen Dunford

2 Comments

  • I think Dave was one of the greats. He is very sadly missed, at least by me, over here, where real poetry is more rare than five-legged dogs.

  • First i would like to thank Lovely Steffy’s Steffy-Love for introducing me to her uncle David Church. “Thank you” i see the man (your Uncle) had a deep passion of expression. his thoughts are worth seeking. I know in the after life of death we have eternity. This is where he will be forever remembered thanks to technology. Inscribe into time as if it was written from the beginning line ” Take me to Church” :-)

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