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Lucky Luther

Luther in his leather jacket/As the badass of Erfurt...

Mike Mosher

Luther in his leather jacket
As the badass of Erfurt
Cool Hand Luke
Elvis Presley
Church and peasantry like mother's milk
From 14th century inroads of plague and pyorrhea
Father's alcoholism
Prehistoric mama bore so many he mighta been lost
Badly lighted and aired sleeping garret
Huddled dirty naked masses yearning to breathe free
No Great Gatsby, but bread-fat
Not a hippy
Never wanted to grow up to his M.A. at seventeen
At seventeen no spitballs, never the role of guttersnipe
College life reading Anais Nin, taking mild psychedelics
Palmistry, physics, works on decadence
Happy rapier, did the Robot, clandestine parties
Sweet tenor voice
Singin' the blues and marching songs in the cabarets
       and streets like a summer job
Liked school, couldn't get into art school, the German Army.

Lyin' hot n' holy late at night
Givin' himself a High Mass
Weird ego threats
His identity crisis
He thought of barefoot girls in skirts on boys' bikes
Never would he see a girl's butt
The sexual friskiness of deviltry
Abnormal pushes like a little girl
His "losing battle" with the hairy palm
He didn't sleep around.
His honeymoon with monasticism
Left this man as big as adultery
An undisciplined divorcée
Godful, godawful confessionals
The horniest priest in Christendom
Concupiscent as a motherfucker till
"Horny as a Luther" became part of Western language.
Sex as agony
A Ball jar in moments of lucidity
A masochist
Though no pisser in public
Lifelong constipation and retention of the applejuice
Like defiant children
Bawdy, where-to-kiss
Weird sow and shit analogies
Farting noises with his pontifical hand
       tucked under his arm
Made eleven buckets o' beer and gases
Fart on the Devil and cleanse yourself!
High enemas on sodden ground
Lusts for power revenge food women and beer.

Thunderstorms to monasticism
Bowled over by a ball and chain o' lightning
A religious career after much dada cursing
A haircut
Alternately glib and broody
Somber Jimmy Dean in a black cassock
Psalmody and denial, hallucinatory enslavement
Like the skull of a Holiday Inn
Blood sacrifices like the stomachs of deer
He wore antlers
Butterflies in stomach during the Mass
Doctor of Theology, Ecology
Mass at 23, pop drunk
Spiritual lampshade on head
Harmonicas at party after the Mass.
Cupons—Save for 1400 Years Off Purgatory!
A World's Fair
Relics like meteorites, hubcaps from Chariots of the Gods
The workings of the Church-State
The Church as cash
Appliance salesmen like Tetzel
       and the finance company Fuggers.

Smarmy philosophucker
Breaks out in a cold sweat hot at thirty-five
In hives and colors
The homo religiousus crying "Bonjour, Tristesse"
Yelled paternosters
Crying in parking lots, rolling
Like a small unborn animal
Jonathan Winters in devil horns
Devil reality a moral addict
"I was holy" "I killed nobody but myself"
"Cursed" he said.
The bustemupedness of an artist
Like Christ on the Cross like corn on the cob
Calling him back with cries of "weltanschauung,

In as much spiritual confusion as in prisoners' cells down south
Chucked off his vestments like
The finality of silk, the essence of satin
His Halloween prank of the Ninety-Five Theses
Smashed the Church's pumpkin
Pulled out a hammer n' nails like thorns thru
       Our Lord's paw.
"I won't kiss Pope ass"
"I won't kiss God's ass"
"Let all men kiss my ass."

Hus got burnt so Luther learnt
He fascinated listeners on reality
Vengeful braggart in the oft-caned German language
"Foolishness of the Cross", of God-oaf
Nothing between us
In gelassenheit, just letting things go...
One great "Atta, boy, slugger!" in the ballpark of
       Holy Roman Christendom Field.
Sanctified washing babies, tying shoes, fixing lawnmowers,
Programming computers if done with faith.
Smoked out the simple folk
A pillar of work
A religion of stars
A faith sailed out by romantic gangsters eager to
       spread any faith.
Like murder over god, princesses' breasts, models
His propaganda machine
Men like Apollonian planets orbiting round his moon
Of course the 95 Theses, The New Testament, the Fortress...
To fat burgesses' wives
To Luther like four melancholy twins on the landscape.
Until a pudgy burgher with his piece of nun
Could not fly
Called murderous peasants assholes
A Police Chief
No liberal squaremouth
"We all know what he means" wrote a melancholy Dane.

And the Devil lost his greatest battles in bed
       right next to his Katie
He also said deep sweet humorous and novel things
       about marriage
Nuts to son Hans who became a dancer
Lucky Luther.

—Hanover, NH
28 August 1975

Mike Mosher wrote this poem in college, in response to Erik Erikson's psychobiography Young Man Luther, assigned in Dr. Michael Carter's History 1 class.

Woodcuts by Albrecht Durer.

Copyright © Mike Mosher. All rights reserved.