Poetry Break: No Sympathy for the Devil?
If you're offended by offensive language (and tautologically speaking, who isn't?), then you'll definitely want to forego reading this 'poem' unless you like being offended.
If you insist -- albeit forewarned -- in reading what follows, then keep in mind the distinctions between author, narrator, and protagonist. In other words, don't assume that either the narrator or the protagonist speaks for me as poet.
Not that such distinctions did Rushdie any good . . .
Once, when he thought to sit a spell,
Satan sat on his pointed tail,
which pained his downside sharp as hell --
a shooting shot! A red-hot nail!
At once, Old Scratch shot up in pain --
the point had worked its way way in --
he grabbed his tail and pulled in vain,
then screamed for help from wayward kin.
"This ain't no scratch!" the devil swore,
as damned and demons stood to stare.
"I'm pricked as deep as f--kin' whore
or stallion-mounted, staggerin' mare!"
Then, damned and demons did their best
to unhook Satan from his butt,
but all they did at his behest
did only carve a deeper cut.
"G-ddamn you all!" he thundered loud
(an otiose curse, one might well add).
Then, poor Old Scratch, his head down, bowed,
began to cry, for he felt bad.
"O Lord," he prayed, "what have I done
that I should suffer to the bone?
Oh why not have respect for one
who's served you in the breach alone?
As loyal opposition, I
have labored, lo, where e're I be,
to gather in poor souls to fry
that you might save them then from me.
You must admit," the devil sighed,
"I make your grace the more complete.
So, why do you go pierce my hide?
You'll also pierce my hands and feet?
One crucifixion was enough --
or, do you think you need a sub?
You need not tell me life is tough;
I know it well -- 'aye, that's the rub.'
Just let me do my job with class --
not force me to some bare-assed task.
In other words -- this may sound crass --
Lord, save my ass! That's all I ask."
The Lord then heard Old Scratch's call
and sent His power down to hell,
which healed the devil from this fall
but also changed his balls as well.
And now, when Satan roams the lands,
loud ring out clear damnation's knells,
for where once slung his odious glands
now hang what foul-mouthed call "Hell's Bells!"
Horace Jeffery Hodges
If you did read this far, I hope that you were more amused than offended at this poetic exercise in folk etymology. But if you were offended, then remember Flip Wilson's excuse:
"The devil made me do it!"