He is ecstasy howling from the bleak and wind blasted top of a northern mountain. He knows God’s eye is drawn to sin and blinded by grace. He had a dream. Over a cornfield and behind a farmhouse there was a ruffled, flapping shape like a wing shot turkey-- a tattered ball thrown from the sunset and jerking in silhouette through the air. He lifted a ten gauge and blew a buckshot pattern through the cartoon sky.

He sits, shining like a gutter-washed diamond, in the city-oven’s heat, singing the psalms that reveal themselves in the secret language of the graffitied walls. In the eye of a passerby he is either funneled into the blind spot of a glazed retina or left to sit like hot glass, burning the rods, snapping the cones.

He is Monday morning. A new dawn roars over the horizon. Clocks and cars. Abdication. Everybody all bustin’ ass up the road like they have somewhere to go. In black lung baritone they brag of their virtuosity at slow suicide. He is the song of the mineshaft canary.

He is Thursday afternoon. Time is stretched and ringing like a high ivory key. Someone sneezes and the whole goddamn place holds its breath and waits for Armageddon. Bless you all. He is an apoplectic disaster in society’s brain, a crucifix with three nails.

Three nails and no Jesus.

He is Saturday night. He’ll hitch a ride and not worry about how he’ll get home. To the roadhouse, to the shot house, to the grindhouse, anywhere they say ‘don’t go, don’t go.’ A song is in the traffic, in the stomp and murmur of the crowd, in the twisted-rope bend of the trees and the desolation of the pumpkin patch. He will sing it. A pretty voice is not necessary, only the desire to sing. A high sun and rolling green fields; low, junk-basement blues; love and the death of it; desire and broken hands. In song they are all transformed into ecstasy.

He’ll blow the fucking roof off this place because someone has to. And someone else will have to talk about it. Some people need a witch trial to explain how they feel. If their bad passions cannot belong to themselves, the good, if their crippling desires cannot come from God, then they must come from His opposite. So the Whiskey Priest, giving voice to it all, must walk with the ferocity of a porcelain angel.

He is a scarecrow in the fields of ###. He does not need your heroes or your monsters, your flags or your stained glass purity. He won’t face the future as a doomed martyr of modern progress but as a bandit-souled karmanaut, slow-walking the fusillade with a wry smile and perfect nonchalance.

Go tell it on the mountain, Beulah.