Chiclet Church
by Dan Senn

Click PLAY and read text aloud (see L21).
See Performance Note.

The Church
across the street
is where
ladies in girdles,
gartered nylons,
black mosquito netting,
covered their faces
as men
shined their shoes
on pant legs,
neck ties wide
as inverted kites.

In those days
people threw rice
at brides
with pointy bras…
at grooms
with greasy hair,
pimpled chins,
and empty cans
stalked closely

I was baptized
in that church,
plunged beneath
the chilly water
by Reverend Benke,
having spoken
the magic words
in our
19th Century kitchen
just blocks away.

It was a form of
legalized water-boarding,
this immersive hazing,
that induced
the spitting of water
and snot
for a fraternity
of happy-clapping,

Gasping for air
I thought not
of a life
on a distant cloud
but of Chiclets
in my Mother’s
snip-snapping purse,
the smell of
shiny black leather…
the sandbox
on the second floor
as a play table
when covered.

This made sense.

These days,
the Baptos
have sold out.

The Pentecostals
are in-charge.

(Sound ends about here.)

An outdoor
notice board
“Too cold to change
the message.”
“Just come on
Sundays at 11am.”

Lazy sunzabitches.

DS 010619
ęDan Senn 2019


Performance Note:
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intone text
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prerecorded tracks. Time text
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(just before "An outdoor notice board...").

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