I can remember when the Jesus movement belonged with the militant organizers
of the workers and the poor who would compare their mission to the disciples.
They held all in common and owned the carpe diem culture of life before it was
kidnapped and detained in some highly regulated womb somewhere abandoned.
Karl Marx was so widely spoken of that I got the Communist Manifesto out of
the public library when I was in the 7th grade, a slim volume bound in leather and
I had to ask the football coach with a polio leg what was meant by “bourgeoisie”
(which he was inexplicably unable to tell me in any kind of comprehensible way).
Instead I had to explain (as a good citizen) what I was doing with a book with a title
with the word communist in it, but what I really wanted to know was how to reconcile
the Sermon on the Mount with the Exodus account of Joshua taking the promised land
(with fire and sword).
But then that was just the Dawn of Empire and even Karl Marx, much less poor Engels,
had quite a bit of difficulty sorting out Das Kapital from what previously existed before
the Fisherman lured Columbus over so colonies bloomed exotic Alpine, lush tropic orchids.
Jesus was marched across seas Atlantic then Pacific on the crucifix affixed to the pole hup,
heep, horp marching to Zion where Jesus allowed John the Baptist to seal the commission
that passed the wand of revolution from the tribes of Israel to the dispossessed peasants
of omnivorous human production in the face of the dastardly mono-crop Roman elite.
So really Jesus and Karl Marx have been shoulder to shoulder all along the long way disciples
of disciples working together to spread the Word about the single miracle of the Word that
transforms the accountants endless record keeping for the tax rolls into, yes, a culture of life
that we are all here together reading with them right before our eyes Karl Marx meets Jesus.
James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.