THE FIFTH GOSPEL AS DIRECTED BY LENI RIEFENSTAHL
(slow fade to desert)
Joseph and Matt tempt fate, hitchhike to Bethlehem and try to get work, they drink Miller on tap at Bartholomew’s Place, watch the Eagles and listen to cracked bells chant the time as dollars fall into slots and men are twisted in their cups. Ramona and Emily, recent grads of Brown, stop in to sell flowers for a memorial service that takes place every Saturday afternoon in Loring Park.
(close up of Ramona)
Ramona has wild hair, short heels and a suede skirt that catches Joseph’s eye. He wants to linger at the pool table and talk her into his bed. He knows Emily runs the show, she reads her rosary to any one that listens, sells candles and blonde crucifix’s from the back seat of her ’72 Nova. He asks Matt to distract her, buys half a dozen roses for her
wedding which is scheduled next Tuesday-- a new Holy Day will be declared she says. She booked John Lee to sing the processional, hired Maya Angelou to write the vows, Emily’s going to marry the Son of God, that’s the plan and no one will dissuade her. Joseph and Matt long for the days when Mark and John fed them psalms and they all got together every five years after Golgotha, reminiscing of the days when
(fade back to desert)
rivers were filled with locusts and fire meant spring was coming, the only wine they ever drank then was tinged lightly with saltwater. They felt like brothers who lived in different cities each one carving their own territory to live, raise a family, start a business. It was a daily struggle to forget the clamor of swords bursting into plowshares, a struggle to remain silent when
(slow fade to black)
their wives stood as pillars of understanding and keepers of the faith because they were too tired to give a damn. Christ only knows when they will be allowed to walk across broken sand and see the green hills of the Promised Land.
alex stolis lives in minneapolis, his fourth chapbook Playing Cards With Houdini was released Spring 2005 by Pudding House Press