The Holy Runway

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I entered the fashion show

to learn about Jesus.

Extravagant ornamentation lead me

to marble coffee tables

where the faithful could devour

free fair trade coffee

while talking about the latest

My Chemical Romance record.


Through the mass of humanity,

I pushed and shoved

my way

to a cushy seat,

eager to worship.

To learn.


Before me

a sea of ironically mustached hipsters

with hair coiffed like spun gold

and jeans showing off packages

so tightly

that they threatened to wipe out

the hipster race.

Indecent young women

flaunting ample cleavage

and plastic faces.


Music from finely tuned musicians

blared

behind a light show,

distorting the message.

but the band looked good

in their tattoo sleeves,

Abercrombie skinny jeans

and five hundred dollar

leather shoes.


They made way for the

Handsome orator, who,

with pomposity,

spoke of the dangers of lust

and sex

while reminding

the adoring hipster lackeys,

so pretty,

so finely manicured,

that God looked at the inside,

man

on what adorned. The lackeys

cheered and clapped.

I could hear jewelry tinking gently

beneath the uproar.


As I got up to leave, a sour laugh

emerged longingly from my lungs.

Laughter bred from a longing

for a safe place

to worship and learn.

Where no one would care

about my fashion,

my tattoo collection,

my musical tastes,

my bank account.


A place where I could worship

without cheating on my wife

with my eyes.





all rights reserved. copyright Justin W. price Jan 4th, 2012.



Thanks for Reading.

PDXKaraokeGuy, also known as Justin W. Price, is an author with Sweatshoppe Publications, which will soon re-release his poetry collection, Digging to China. Additionally, the managing editor at eFiction horror and The New Bridge online newspaper.. Husband to Andrea, father to two dogs. writer.poet.baseball fan. tattooed. He is am amateur theologian with a rabid sweet tooth. He resides in a suburb of Portland, Oregon.He has a poetry book available for Amazon Kindle, and also maintains a blog, FirstBlog. His work has been featured in the Crisis Chronicles, efiction Magazine, The Hellroaring Review, the Bellwether Review, eFiction Humor, and the Rusty Nail. Please visit his profile page for more information. Thanks!


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Comments 37 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Kimmie,

I've actually revised this a little so when you get my new book you can read the slight revisions. I think it makes the poem stronger. My wife and I go infrequently to a little Presbyterian church. It;s simple and unassuming.. old hymns, no overheads or loud lights. I wish we could go more often.

http://www.oldscotchchurch.org/


Sunnie Day 3 years ago

You shoot from the hip, without mixing words, and I love it! Justin your sentiments have ran through my head for the last 20 years which caused me not to go and worship for a very long time. Just to let you know I did find a lovely place that is not so blingy, loves the Lord, and one can be theirselvesf. We meet in an old movie theater and have nothing but some guitars. The fancy scene is not on Gods Top ten list for sure. This was so good!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

MIdnight Lights, i agree with your point. however, the church that inspired this particular piece is one that is filled mostly with those who've been in church their whole lives. That kind of church has it's place... but it doesn't interest me. Maybe I'm getting old.


Midnight Lights profile image

Midnight Lights 4 years ago from USA

If anything these are the people who need most to be in church... lol

Honestly, what better people than people who have no clue about God, or living a just life? Hopefully they will have learned something? It is sad to see this type of thing, but maybe it's the only way to even remotely get such people to even look at a church? Better than nothing? or nothing? Otherwise, I totally get where you are coming from.. but that's the whole point of church though.. to get them IN THERE! ;) no?


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks cloudexplorer. You may be right about Lady gaga...


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City

This seemed like you began your poem as if you were lady gaga somehow, lol. It sort of sounds like something she would say in an interview.

I loved every bit of your hub, nice job bro. Awesome stuff & getting voted up indeed.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks coolmon. I'm pleased that you enjoyed this!


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 4 years ago from Texas, USA

I enjoyed reading this interesting and thought provoking poem, thanks.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

limpet, thanks for stopping by. The main point of the poem wad the phony culture and the hypocrisy of this particular church. I just wanted a simple service where I could learn and worship and instead I went to a place where people were more concerned with feeding their primal mating needs then any sense of worship or awe. it was very disheartening. I have since found a church that is what I'm looking for. Churches are supposed to be separate from the outside world, but I felt like thsi church was firmly rotted in the world. It just kind of turned my stomach even though, to know me personally, is to know that I am generally a free spirit, not a conservative and all about creativity and free expression. I can't really explain to me why this church bothered me, but it did, and it's obviously stuck with me.

Thanks for your kind read and thoughtful comment!


limpetparasite profile image

limpetparasite 4 years ago from Canada

hello pdxkaraokeguy,

i flagged this poem as very interesting. there is a distinctly wide difference between reality and what we think as ideal, sometimes we are too quick to assume that everybody behave and acts according to our expectations. from the things we are taught, to the information we are fed even from the lessons we have learned as we grow up, it is not always the same for everyone.

if you are to go to a place like a racy runway (even if the venue was set up in the house of god or for a charity event... sadly this happens) expect the cultures, behaviors and thought patterns of the fashion artist. it is their world, and the trend they set is the language of the highly ornamental painted bodies of perfection. promoting ones self through wild indulgence are the language of expression and art.

if you are to go to a conservative church, then the world of prayers, devotion and selfless service are the music that set the beat, ethical and moral guidelines are the jewelry, and compassion and understanding trumps the call.

i do not think that it is bad to experience what you just did once in a while, in fact, i am sure there is this nagging though in your head, the need to challenge yourself if you could actually fit in to such a crowd.

some people actually think they belong to a little of both... but for now at least, you know where your place is in this world.

thank you,

limpet


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

i agree, seek. A church is supposed to be set apart and holy, not a den of vipers and lust. it's distracting and disgusting. Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words!


Seek-n-Find profile image

Seek-n-Find 4 years ago from Illinois

Well--it sounds like the people who needed to hear that message were probably there! I wonder what people thought of Jesus when He went and hung out with the "sinners." Oh yeah, the Bible says it--they were offended. That's outreach. But a church building, with the church people--(the called out ones)--this I wonder about. The church is called to go be a light in the world--not to become like the world. But God does look at what is inside. The religious people of Jesus time looked "perfect" on the outside but they were the ones Jesus got angry with. I think your poem has set me off on a little tangent here. :-) Thanks for sharing--you truly are talented.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

rebecca, sadly, I think a good many people can. it's sad really. I'm sure that that's not what the Lord intended His church to be like.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I for one can definitely relate to this poem from at least two perspectives through the years from youth to adult. Another Great One from the PDX Guy.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you, Kashmir. I'm pleased you found this entertaining and thought provoking!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

A very thought provoking and very well written poem,which made it a very enjoyable read . Thanks for sharing it !

Vote up !!!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

b malin, I will be stopping by. Thanks for your visit and commentary!

Gypsy, I appreciate your unique perspective. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

Movie Master and April, thanks very much. it's nice to write and get feedback. I'm glad you guys enjoyed this!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona

Excellent poem, excellent point. Way to true and I hope it is taken to heart. Well done.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

I agree - well written and awesome hub. voted up.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

There is a time for one thing or another and sometimes we attempt to mix tog?ther things that shouldn't be. Like in Soviet Union timeshere in Latvia they changed churches into everything from shops to offices. Not only that but we still have parks which we walk through which were once cemeteries and the mausoleums and grave stones still can be seen here and there and I always wonder who I'm stepping on when there's no marker.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Isn't it Do as I say, not as I do? Seriously, I think God has a Good sense of Humor, and sees us for what we are, not what we aren't. Wonderful, Explosive Hub "PDK"...makes for good Commentary.

Now PLEASE visit my LAST Hub, not the same one...Ok!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

artist- don't worry about a thing. Comments are good, especially divergent ones. if I was really offended or put out, I wouldn't approve them!

Poet, very true, though I may end up changing the ending. I'm not sold on it.

Amy, I think they were trying to sell the same thing that those hipster kiddos were trying to sell.

Ruby, I agree. Were at church to worship the lord, the Creator, the Saviour, not flesh or humanity!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I am in full agreement with you. There are times and places for all occasions. Dressing provocative in church is a no no , my opinion..


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Brought to mind the Victoria's Secret Christmas special, a show designed to sell...I just haven't quite figured out what. Brilliant, PDXK!


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Outstanding commentary on the vast difference between what is said and what goes on in too many houses of worship!


anartiststyle profile image

anartiststyle 4 years ago from FL

I also apologize if it seems I hijacked your hub comments lol, I did not mean to.


anartiststyle profile image

anartiststyle 4 years ago from FL

Yes it does, and I don't want you to think I missed the great stuff and points about this hub, because I addressed that one comment, I did not. I also do agree with you in that way, and in that extreme sure I do not think that is right, I just felt like it got very close borderline oppressive in thought to blame woman for a guys internal observations and thoughts. :)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

artist I feel like you misunderstood my point. The main point of this hub is that some churches seem to stress style over substance and it really makes me mad. It's like walking into a fashion show, where mean and women flaunt their goods to find a mate. That doesn't seem right to me. I'm definitely not conservative in my life, religion or politics, but I do get frustrated that sometimes I can't go to church without having boobs in my face. It's my fault for looking, but it also seems indecent to dress like that at church. Does that make sense? Thanks for stopping by again!


anartiststyle profile image

anartiststyle 4 years ago from FL

See that is horrible in my opinion, guys are not the only visual beings, lol I am an artist and I am very visual, is a mans aftershave not enticing itself or his cologne. Tighter pants that form close to his body not visually jerking as well for a woman? Even if a woman wears a long dress where do you draw the line, unless it is a baggy sheet that does not touch certain parts, a woman's body is extremely curvy and thus clothes drape a certain way. Is there no ownership of ones thoughts and an easy way to understand, sure thoughts are thoughts but what keeps me from acting is my loving wife? As a wife to be soon, I know and understand my husbands humanity but in our vows I also know he would not act, just as I would not with another man. Sure there are extremes to both, guys wearing jeans that fit girls and guys who feel the need to pretty much strip for any reason to show off his pecks, or woman wearing shirts that are so low you would swear a nipple might pop out, but all and all I feel like your view is a little close to middle eastern way of thinking.---- Not trying to be offensive at all, and I wish we were face to face to have the conversation, but as an American woman privileged to grow up with just as much rights as a man, I feel that way of thinking is far from my own. So I guess what I am saying is I agree to disagree I just hope that, that type of enforcement thinking does not digress our rights as woman. (I am also far from a feminist lol!) Hope this comes off the way I mean it too in text. What I love the most is the conversation that your hub has brought out, this is one of my favorites!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

missingyou, I'm glad you enjoyed this!

Racin, those are very true words and that's what i was trying to capture with this poem.

Asmaif, you're very welcome!

Mathira, thank you. I'm glad you were able to picture the scene!

anartist, thanks for reading and for the compliment. It's a two way street. Men are very visual so when women dress provocatively, men look and then their minds wander. Women should be aware of this so that their way of dress won't lead men to unnecessary temptation. Not that I am in any way opposed to cleavage. i just don't want to be exposed to it when I'm at church :-) Thanks for the follow.

feenix, I'm glad you udnerstood the message!

Arusho, thanks for the comment and the follow.


arusho profile image

arusho 4 years ago from University Place, Wa.

Awesome hub! You wrote it wonderfully!


feenix profile image

feenix 4 years ago

Hey, PDX,

This is an awesome and beautiful work of art that packs a powerful message.


anartiststyle profile image

anartiststyle 4 years ago from FL

I really liked your hub, you are definitely on your way to 'perfecting' your writing skills :) I have to ask the question from that last sentence, or maybe it is more of a statement, what is scary is how so many guys might think this, but some actually lash out and blame the women, hurting them. Not dealing with their own feelings or putting such a hardship on natural human thought, that then they can not deal individually and turn to blaming the women. That scares me more than hypocrisy. Voted up and following :) Thanks for the brain exercise this morning.


mathira profile image

mathira 4 years ago from chennai

I could literally visualize you being disturbed by the din and seeking a calm place to seek god. Wonderful hub PDXKGuy.


asmaiftikhar profile image

asmaiftikhar 4 years ago from Pakistan

A thought provoking hub.Thanks for sharing.Voted up dear.


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 4 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

this is a great hub and for me the best PDX...yeah, we need not conform to this world for God looks at our heart not our outward look...


missingyou profile image

missingyou 4 years ago from Canada

Hello PDXKGuy. This is awesome.

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    Justin W. Price (PDXKaraokeGuy)742 Followers
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    Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award- nominated author based out of Portland, Oregon.


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