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Justin Barisich

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30/30 Poetry Challenge (2015) Creative Writing Poetry Uncategorized

Day 28 – The Prophets Were All Just Really Bad Poets

By on April 29, 2015
(Photo Credit: Flickr / Manuel Atienzar)

(Photo Credit: Flickr / Manuel Atienzar)

for once, for a change, think about it:
they called themselves “The Prophets” (cuz damn that sounds cool)
and they were all members of the local writer’s group –
39 pitiful poets trying to crack it in Jerusalem
(and represent J-town right with the might of their inkpots).

and their artistic director, J.C.,
(the one who often had the best ideas
and the most practiced performance style)
claimed that his dopest rhymes
had been rumored to cure people from time to time.

so J.C. and the Boys’ wanted to make a splash on the scene,
and the collective concocted a collaborative effort –
an old-school throwback album they titled “The Bible”
(knowing it really meant “the book,” but kept the name anyway)
because this shit was gonna be fiya and hit heavy when it dropped.

they all got sections in it, and assumed it would reach
at least gold status, sell a gazillion copies by way of cross-promotion
and word-of mouth marketing, the only way it could,
because they were all pretty terrible as solo artists,
(and, let’s be honest, nobody understood
Facebook Stone’s virality algorithm yet.)

they each dreamt of the local girls
fawning over their coolness, their wordplay
(not to mention all their sex and death and family strife),
would curl lines around the marketplace
to catch glimpses of them embodying
the voices of their favorite characters.

but here was their problem: they were
always using confusing and cryptic language,
phrasings and metaphors that don’t tend toward timeless,
making arcane references to their own favorite, sacred writer –
some old guy who’d never even managed to sign a second book deal.

when the album flopped, a sacrifice had to be made;
they’d invested too much time and money already.
Judas, the group’s most malicious M.C., had the answer.

things started turning around quickly for the group
when J.C. turned posthumous, flew to the skies,
returned to the earth, and melded
personal tragedy with artistry.
besides, he’d now made enough money
to find forgiveness in his heart,
so he made peace with his boys.

“The Bible” sold like hotcakes then,
and all of Jerusalem’s who’s who
and everybody else who wanted to be cool
bought the album on vinyl and proclaimed
to love The Prophets, even if they had no idea
what the hell they were even talking about.


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