Aphorisms for a High School Production of Jesus Christ Superstar – Tom Daley

Redemption is a hectic and hairless chest,
a hubbub of cutoff shorts,

a Darth Vader Plexiglas face shield
for skinny police. Memorize your ankle

bones and the truth shall set your knees.
Never rate talent over sincere panic

or falsetto lamentation. When Jesus
is a casual Kurt Cobain,

Caiphas is a big-haired Wagnerian milkmaid
turned head jailer. Blessed are

the wannabe martinets,
for they shall obtain a brooding liability.

Suffer the little hormones, for to such belong
the pandemonia of heaven.


About the Author: Tom Daley’s poetry has appeared in Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, 32 Poems, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Barrow Street, Prairie Schooner, Witness, Poetry Ireland Review, and elsewhere. Recipient of the Dana Award in Poetry and the Charles and Fanny Fay Wood Prize from the Academy of American Poets, he is the author of two plays, Every Broom and Bridget—Emily Dickinson and Her Irish Servants and In His Ecstasy—The Passion of Gerard Manley Hopkins, which he performs as one-man shows. FutureCycle Press published his first-full length collection of poetry, House You Cannot Reach—Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems, in the summer of 2015. He leads writing workshops in the Boston area and online for poets and writers working in creative prose.

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