Mary, she calls herself,
Mary J, to be precise,
of all the fat of catteries,
of option trading,
futures and derivatives,
commodities, all speculations,
all of which
she ditched for art...
and found "derivative"
a dirty word.
Telling Melvin Bragg
how Jesus Crucified
had been the greatest installation of them all,
it seemed that she was saying
so much more than that.
(Could more be possible?) At any rate,
she left us all expecting
there was more to come,
some way down the line.
Next thing we knew,
she's in the wilderness
(her one concession
to the history man);
fresh scorpions and honey
delivered on a daily basis
by private helicopter -
and arranging the odd broadcast
to tell the world she is The Christ,
a Messianic Mistress
refigured for the age.
The Gucci Christ,
the papers call her for a while,
until the title Mrs God takes root.
No prophets please, or analysts.
Forget the boxes that you thought you'd tick,
They're staying blank, the lot of them.
no virgin birth,
nothing out of kilter
with the modern age.
She doesn't preach
or heal the sick,
no followers, disciples,
they do exist, and want to know
what they should do.
And as for miracles, there's just the one.
Asked where she came from,
all she says is: "Through the fire."
The story is of 9/11 and
a burning ball of debris
from The North Tower
floating down to earth,
then exploding outwards.
she walks out, needing plastic surgery,
but otherwise intact.
A miracle of sorts,
but who performed it?
Who believes it?
She calls it fantasy
and plays it time and time again
to build it into something more.
Not preaching, but campaigning,
advocating something new. She says:
the spirit life begins in fantasy,
but left there, is a sickly child
forsaken on the mountainside.
Pick up your sickly child,
she says, and bring it to the crèche.
God, if He Is God,
must be all-powerful,
able to reveal himself
as this unlikely Millionairess in
her limousine with darkened windows...
The question is: why would He, though?
She has a church-cum-gallery,
the crèche, a place
of videoes and installations,
each one capable
of messing with your head.
Then something happens.
Something extraordinary. This:
the world takes to itself -
and almost overnight -
the thought that it is entering
the epoch of the last extinction.
This changes everything:
not the fact of, the belief that.
That changes everything.
Across the continents
the people go to bed each night
and dream her videoes .
People who have never seen them in reality
are watching them in dreams.
And watching them, they're watching her,
the universal star -
and everything is possible
to those with power
to enter other people's dreams.
And everything they've ever
heard and half remembered
from teachers of the past,
from Sunday School and marriages,
from funerals and Christenings, from fragments
of the Talmud or the Mishnah,
Ta-ts'ang-ching or Tripitaka (The three
baskets) or the parables of Jesus
Christ (and many more - the
Buddhavacana texts maybe), all
little sticky bits that stick at times like these,
along with lives of common, unregarded things
like trees and clouds and emptiness
and moments lost in space.
She is the final arbiter
of what will come to pass,
a bird kept captive
on an ocean liner and set free
a thousand miles from land
to dream how land should be,
to dream the lore
whose messages are varied, mixed;
whose concepts have too many parts.
No more are they for simple hearts.
Her sermon in The Great Mall, for example:
"Blessed are they who work with chaos
for theirs is the beauty of heaven.
Blessed are the conservers of life's riches,
for they have understood Earth's first equation.
Blessed are the enquirers of the spirit,
for they shall be understood.
Blessed are the engineers of life,
for theirs is its foundation...."
and so on, and so on.
And if you dream that Earth has died,
then dream it back alive
become a partner to the dream,
the solace of the trees is yours -
and in the trees is everything.
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
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