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  • The Chiliad
  • Darrel Alejandro Holnes (bio)



It’s 2005 and the pope is dead.You don’t care but I do because I’m Catholic.Bush has just been re-elected.I am new to Texas.Houston is in the Bible belt    my father used to beat me with when I was bad.I am scared to     pull Christ through my belt loops,    he never kept my pants up back home.It’s 2005 and maybe I’ll wear a skirt in Texas.No, Texas is wearing a skirt    & I’ve got mirrors on my shoes.Do not tell her. Please?I know you have no reason to trust me but    St. Peter’s Basilica is a Mega Church    so really, I’m just like you. [End Page 533]

It’s 2005 and this country is heaven    so why be a good boy anymore?Gratuitous porn occupies Online America,women as girls are spanked in videos referencing 1999:    Hit me baby, one more time!Pastor’s pants sit on his ankles.

I promise I’ll be a good boy        a good old boy            good ol’ boy, yes, that’s the one.

Pray for me, TV Jesus.Or Britney Spears.I know I’ve been bad    but I, too, want the right    to be re-elected.In 2005 white smoke announces a new pope,    the pungent scent of burning pages    hangs, ashen noose in the air.Quick, light me like a cigarette.Someone, have mercy,    please save me    from touching     or lynching    myself. [End Page 534]


It’s 2006 and Twitter is a thing.I don’t care but to you it’s Internet poetry.North Korea has just done a nuclear test.140 characters against our American leader is an act    of treason.But ours is a free world, you say,    and look, Seoul has no Internet,    but I say my soul is WiFi so that can’t be true.Mother sent me an e-mail chain of Psalm 91    it comes up on my face when I’m angry.Twitter invited all who forwarded the e-mail to join its social network.I guess God answers prayers    through phishing scams    or some other mysterious way.Although perhaps the Twitter thing was a bit predictable    as the Bible has so many birds:        @TheBookofGenesis        God hovers over us like a dove. #BigBird #BigBrother        @TheBadAssBookofRevelations        Birds gorge on the defeated. #VultureChrist4PresidentIt’s 2006 and my second year in Texas.Rihanna sings “S.O.S.” on white people radio.It reminds my mother of “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell    when she comes to visit me from 1984.Like RiRi, I too am dying for someone to help me    love this country or myself    without being labeled an online terrorist.It’s 2006 and free speech is a nuclear bomb    since the Patriot Act    unless you’re North Korea, you say,    where a nuclear bomb is a nuclear bomb.But I say, perhaps nukes are just what happens    when in 2006 you don’t have the Internet    or Rihanna:        You find a way to take over the world            instead of just tweeting about it            or begging for                someone else to save you                as you join the sing-along. [End Page 535]


It’s 2007 and Anna Nicole Smith is dying,    you know who she is.    Yes, that one.The iPhone is new and so are my best friend’s breast implants.Her name is Russian Mary.She is too short to be a model and hates her face in pictures    though I think she’s beautiful    enough    to be my friend.So we dye her hair blonde.So she spends her graduation money    on looking like Marilyn, Pamela, Madonna, Anna.So we take selfies    of her new breasts with my new iPhone    and wait for Perez Hilton to tell us Anna is dead from an overdose.We’ve been in a hospital waiting room before    waiting for doctors to give out such news when Rebecca passed away    so it’s all a little familiar.So, we don’t do Coke anymore.So what? It’s only MDMA.Though it’s 2007 so some people start calling it Molly.It...


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pp. 533-541
Launched on MUSE
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