the difference between a rant and a prayer lies only in the position and delivery
Raising yourself to the skies facing either the biggest laugh
or the only great eye
Hands up and open in surrender or supplication or fisted in the fiercest demand
the voice modulated between a thick strangle and the soft, humble hang time of pleading
Personally, I prefer prayer
It’s not that I know someone is up there
It’s that I can’t bear to think that there’s not
Prayer is the knot at the end of the rope that keeps us from finally falling.
Prayer is the small tug at the end of the robe of a myth that always stands at your shoulder
with it’s comforting color and it’s irritating politics
Prayer is small and tentative and set against the whispering background of hope
and so we pray...
I won’t kneel, that will bring me closer to what defeats me now.
I won’t bow, because I can’t cower in the face of a question
But I can ask and hear my plea flood the air
and take comfort in the fact that I still have the strength to want
I am so tired, cliches about weight aside
the world has nested on my shoulders for a long winter’s nap
my life follows the coldest road, dark and indifferent
and quite happy to roll on without me
And sometimes it seems that I’m the only rider and that rests in me so heavily
I can only sit down and hope for a deep breath
You, who know the true meaning of the word beyond
You, who holds the lives of so many in your strange justice
You, who promise this life will be justified, send some of that folkie old narcotic this way, can’t ya?
And let me stand back a while
I ask for peace
I ask for patience
I ask for health
I ask for beauty
I ask for company
I ask for love
By Lisa Buscani
Lisa Buscani got her start in Chicago's performance poetry scene and ultimately became a National Poetry Slam Champion as well as a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has published one book of poetry, Jangle (Tia Chucha Press) and has produced three critically and publicly acclaimed solo shows, Carnivale Animale, At That Time, and Solid Citizen.
She has been featured in poetry anthologies such as Alive from the NuYorican Poets Café (Holt) and Word Up (Keyporter Books/EMI). She has appeared on HBO, CNN, PBS, Much Music and NPR. She is currently the executive director of The Poetry Center of Chicago.