Lords Temple Basement Men
The first Book of The Word
In Nonsense we Trust
Assembled from pre-existing works by John Burroughs, Ryan P. Kinney, Jack McGuane, Cee Williams, Don Lee, Susan Grimm, Joe Roarty, Russ Vidrick, Dianne Boresnik, Mitch James, Tanya Pilumeli, Julie Ursem Marchand, Vicki Acquah, Terry Provost, Adam Brodsky, Lennart Lundh, Raymond McNiece, Hannah Williams, MaxWell Shell, Tim Richards, Ayla Atash, RC (Bob Wilson), Chuck Joy, Katie Daley, Solomon Dixon, Mary Weems, and Gordon Downie
Mostly taken as quotes during live poetry readings. Some stolen from other sources.
Additional content from predictive text by JM Romig, Linkin Park “Powerless,” “Saga of the Swamp Thing” vol. 1, T.S. Eliot, Amalgam Mythos, Kurt Vonnegut, Kevin Smith, John A. Kinney Jr., and Psalms (chap.):13
Added original content by Ryan P. Kinney, Eli Williams, and Kadie Good
“Lords Temple Basement Men,” it says on the door in a badly photocopied sign, replaced freshly each week. The original was built from torn up pieces of bootleg band vinyl stickers left plastered all over the windows of some teenager, surely passed into decaying adulthood long ago.
They gather in the bottom of an abandoned house in the heart of mostly warehouses. Something, someone long ago forgot to bull doze in the wake of morbid industrialization and the zeal to just get more men more jobs while giving them no life, no place to live. They built in their own obsolescence.
A Man stands outside; half catcalling, half showman barker; daring, tempting, bribing people to worship with him. In paint stained torn jeans, long shaggy hair with the bald spot landing pad directly in the center of his head, and shoes barely hanging together on his feet, he bellows out The Word. Somewhere between slam poetry performance and theology lesson, he entices and seduces people to enter. Here, they do not call him Father, or Brother, just person: Man. “Hey, Man,” is how they great him.
"God not only loves a sinner, he prefers them.”
“Come to my parish. Sinners only”
“The lostness of the found, the blindness of the seeing, the spirituality of the atheist, the silence of the spoken.”
“The Covenant of the Sacred Heart.”
People enter a crooked doorway. The Man pulls the peeling door behind them, scrapping the ground as he does so, and leads his flock down the concrete stairs to the basement. Some newbie looks nervously into the stairwell.
From the rear, a maternal voice coos,
“You will be used to the treatments.
Don't worry about it.”
They come to a dingy dirt gravel floor and spread out; filling the space like gas expanding into a cylinder.
The Man steps upon his usual milk crate to open the service. He intones the Capitalist Mantra,
“God Save the Queen
Long live the King
Hail to the Chief
The Lord of all Lies”
And the people chant, “I will not kiss you. I will not bow. I will not bow. I will not be moved.
I love the idea of what I have to be”
The maternal voice steps up to explain their purpose here,
“This is a strange, mad religious service. Everything is out of place, nothing and no one seems to fit together. We all gather here, but no one seems to-gether. This is less a sermon and more a discussion where the gospel is debated. The Word is critiqued, modified, discussed, and changes between its members at each meeting. At any time for no reason, people can interrupt The Man to deny, confirm, suggest, or challenge his statements. The group then decides on the next bit of gospel to be made up on the spot or if what has already been said is still the current phase of perspective. There is no central thought or plan, just a plan for thoughts. We, people, call this Faith. Our membership makes up a multitude. There are Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Agnostics, Atheists, Satanists, Buddhists, Capitalists, hippies, goth kids, Starbuck’s sipping bloggers, just plain weird kids in the back working on their latest D&D campaign. Dual Spirituality is a possibility. In fact, it is encouraged. Multiple realities are possible. Poly-spirituality is acceptable. The only interconnecting philosophy among us is, ‘Anything is possible at any time for any reason’.”
The People are ready to receive The Holy Spirit and his unique brand of performance poetry,
“In the beginning, there was only The Word, a word. And then more. Which were collected into a story; The Story. And from The Story came creation.
And then came the questions. And The Question was man. Who are we? What are we? Why? Who am I?”
The Man explains,
“The whole point of The Word is to make up new ones. To defy God’s Word by creating ourselves.”
The first interrupter asks, “How do you say No to God.”
The Man answers,
“You don’t like The Question. You are The Question.
We are relearning how to get lost, hoping to return to the birth of The Word.
Worship yourself and serve only humanity.
No one made you.
You created yourself.
It’s all the same story. The Story of I.”
“We are a beautiful blasphemy to God’s word (because we question).”
“How do you say No?
By understanding there is no such thing as,
No, I can’t. Only I won’t.
A torn up, steel-studded, leather clad punk responds,
“we see others as they are
we see ourselves at every age
and all at once”
And the Man once again responds,
“All that we can think. All that we can imagine. All that we can write, paint, create, feel. All of this is real; somewhere. Depends on which universal perspective you are tuned to. Don’t like the current program playing. Change the channel.”
The professor sitting on the floor, shoeless, begins to riff,
“Yes, this is like that piece about imagination being the genesis of other worlds. About how imagination, all thought, is really tapping multiple frequencies from other universes. Our imaginative creations spawn, tap into, and play back all alternate universes in a non-linear time sense. Cause and effect are not in sequence. All that we think, all that we can come up with creates new worlds, but also accesses those already in effect and plays them. We create worlds that already existed by the time we come up with them in our imagination. They were already there and human minds are organic quantum analog receiving-broadcasting devices. We randomly switch channels with nonlinear frequency, simultaneously, and with varying signal strengths of each universe. We receive, but also feedback into a greater signal. So, we unknowingly create these universes, while also being fed from our own creations. Never, in order. We are the Father and the Son. Our own creators and creations. Our words are the genesis of all the other worlds, but also speak the gospel of the programs already in progress. All that we can imagine is as real as we can conjure.”
A black goddess queen asks, “Then, what do you call God?”
The Man retorts,
“You don't need his name, because you remember the man.
The idea of a memory of a man.
Perhaps the idea is better, stronger, more important than the man.
The idea of a man.
Sometimes, people are the absence of themselves.
And the absence of man is God.”
The semanticist-******* unzips its mask and chimes in, “When you name something you separate it and take ownership of it. We never name ourselves. So I ask you, what is your name? What do you own?”
A tie-dyed burnout rallies a battle cry protest chant,
“Who's the Boss?”
“Who are you?”
“I am (me).”
Another voice screams from the crowd, "I'm a monster, I admit it."
Like a rolling wave, the chatter once soft, “I’m a monster” becomes a chant. Faster and faster the adrenaline rises up, the voices rise up, thunderous shouting fills the room, threatening to burst through the walls and escape into the sky. No longer fearing what others might think they raise their fists and beat their chests, unleashing the monster they tried so hard to hide. Shrieks and guttural instinctual roars, animalistic crawling and seething anger, move through the crowd like a pack of wolves ripping apart a coyote.
The screaming voices spill out,
“God has left long ago and has taken no pity on the lonely wanderer.”
“We are not Abraham or Jesus. We are forgotten.”
“We are the forgotten demons pushed out of Heaven.”
“Or maybe we never belonged there in the first place.”
The maternal voice returns, feeling the scorch of the unrequited emotion, seeks to soothe, “Thus mollified she goes, harsh words forgiven, down highways in the dark by demons driven.”
The Man, the original instigator, adds more fuel to the fire,
“And what drive does she possess that we do not? To seek out, to be blind to the trapping of the darkness within this corridor? We must look and see how we too can move past the shame and blame of others. To move past the trappings of our own guilt. To take within ourselves, our demons, true, but take and guide and build the new. A new life that we can’t ignore, and when we fall, we feel the scorn. We feel the bad faith and lies that keep us entangled in the want-to-be-with, the fear to be-without. But we also have a fear to be, to exist in the place of a true “self” and live out our dreams. Though time keeps happening, we remain stagnant, we remain in the place of an inauthentic being, a being-for, not a being-with. We must seek to be-with. To be-with our demons, our past, and our temptations toward the dark, toward the place in which the I becomes. To be. To exist. In this. That is the place where the divine can breathe. Though we must remember to always embrace change, for everything is temporary, including our own pain.”
Having spent all his feeling and words carelessly and frivolously, The Man abruptly closes this meeting with the usual send off,
“The Word has evolved, my friends.”