Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Poem by Martin Willitts, Jr.

God Visits Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo was painting on his back
God giving the spark of life
and intelligence to Eve.
God appeared next to him, lying on her back,
“they will never believe you, you know.”
I know, he admitted, applying apple cheeks
to Eve. “But I can see the truth
and I paint what I see.”
“They will persecute you,” God warned,
“you better paint me with a beard
and make Eve into Adam.
It is what they expect.”
“You could show yourself,”
Michelangelo suggested, “show them
they are wrong.”
“They would not believe me, not even
if I brought some plagues or turned salt
into wine. They would want some proof.
After seeing proof, they still would not believe.
And even if they did,
they would want to look up my skirt,
make sure I am a woman.”
After making the changes, he said,
“I guess you have to give them what they expect.”
Martin Willitts Jr is the winner of the 2012 Big River Poetry Review’s William K. Hathaway Award ; co-winner of the 2013 Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest; winner of the 2013 “Trees” Poetry Contest; winner of the 2014 Broadsided award; winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Contest. He has 7 full-length collections including national award winner for “Searching for What You Cannot See” (Hiraeth Press, 2013), “Before Anything, There Was Mystery” (Flutter Press, 2014), and “Irises, the Lightning Conductor For Van Gogh's Illness” (Aldrich Press). He also has 28 chapbooks including Late All Night Sessions with Charlie “the Bird” Parker and the Members of Birdland, in Take-Three” (A Kind Of a Hurricane Press, ebook, 2013), “The Constellations of Memory and Forgiveness” (Seven Circles Press, web book, 2014), “A Is For Aorta” (Kind of Hurricane Press, e-book, 2014), national chapbook contest winning “William Blake, Not Blessed Angel But Restless Man” (Red Ochre Press, 2014), and "Swimming in the Ladle of Stars" (Kattywompus Press, 2014).

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