To begin with, let me say that this collection of poetry and prose is both metaphysical in its themes and at the same time grounded in the psychological reality of the author, who is indeed a priest, a priest of hidden mysteries, a priest of strange and radiant epiphanies and a priest of the hidden heart of language.

Jerry the Priest’s world is literally a marvelous invention, so much so that, on entering it, one must first expect the unexpected and then be prepared to enjoy the work as it is proposed or to share in the trials, tribulations and ecstasies of an extraordinary imaginative terrain. These pieces present Jerry’s view of the world, a world that will reveal its extraordinary features while preserving a good measure of mystery and allusion. Invention, free wheeling thought, and creation define the basic activity of this poet, define his unique features, define what he does in every piece and what he does best.

Tempting as it is to explicate the work in advance, it is better that the reader discover it for herself, to enter this astonishing realm without prejudice, with the starting point being our own experience of the Word, our reactions, emotions, visions, situations to the world that this poet summons into existence for our contemplation, edification and awe.

Richard Modiano,
Director Emeritus Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center
July 2022

Editor's Note

Holy Palenque!

Do not be fooled, as most are. For the one known as Jerry the Priest was there, at the very top of the temple, far above the tourists, the gardeners, and the guards skulking below in the manicured green.

And while perhaps it is true he did not have his usual trays of Persian saffron, baskets of oranges, or carafes of Tibetan beer as proper offerings, he did, he did indeed, burn the sacred letters of lost love, the stones did tremble, and the injustices of history, if for only a moment, were resolved.

I saw this for myself in his dream. Yes, in songs of ecstatic praise—prostitutions and vibrators of earthly sadness aside—he shows how one must carry one’s Lightning Rod to the highest possible point, to see the electrified views intended for the few, and here the Priest takes us, in a sacrifice of immolation, toward the sun.

Michael Lane Bruner,
PhD Chairman of Rhetoric, UNLV

evangeline, or

I saw it happen once that a fan fell, spinning. The heads it hit got cropped. The blade just a hair sharp for a buzz cut. Blood flew. Cops showed up.

I’m sorry, dad and mom, that it’s come to this. I sold the pooch. I screwed the pond. Let nature put me in a darker grudge weighing tons to the rhythm of ocean waves, those chiste, birdcall serenades…

Beau, man—84 years old, face down, blind drunk, flat out of seething air, so hoping to go down brawling, having fought his way under the lock.

The naked glee as we stood him up and he sighs, “Oh! How I’d love to go right now! Take all the bastards with me straight to hell!”

And Pulque took after that cat like a shot…




The way we met when I maybe made out with you, all hot; when you made your selection and slowed down for me to follow.


Blink your eyes and I’m 1,000 miles gone. Homeless, friendless and pointless as shit. Is it really only 10 days since you pulled me outa the bar, Eva, so hiding sentiment?

Yeah, write me, she says, as if I ain’t been these past days bent high on words whispered lightly; slights that slyly left me reasons to stay, no matter the searing embers.

Just a new best friend with no time to waste in her rude-ass bed, keeping track of the members!

Now that focus, honey. Viewed from the web of space, you, by nature, banged up against the coattails of grace, even as others rose to make their point with you.

And what better friend than me to mark that place we

fled to, where you were so uncommonly heard, and baby,

what lingering, gorgeous chat, more pointed than sex,

even if…

Well, maybe you weren’t pretty as all that Evangeline

just the prettiest thing I remember.

And didn’t I see you, child-daughter of tyranny,

caught with your pants down in the streets of

abandoned luck tonight?

And didn’t I see you in the Garden of Heaven,

where the preachers warble as if impaled by their

very belief?

And was that not you on the promenade, guitar

case open and empty of coins, wailing The Wind

Cries Mercy into the market stalls?

Was that you I saw?

Or just my own horrid feedback in the structureless

wasteland of Too Far From God?

Once you find your own way, you can really leave home…

Was I deluded to have believed that?

In this, of all impossibly foreign cities, I think

of you often and feel your questioning,

Your frustration.

I am moved by the genius of your simplicity, just

as you are wrapped to me lie a favorite and flattering

gown. Can you touch me one more time?

Will we ever kiss, like old burglars, the shackles

of our own freedom? Will we, will I, will you

accept, accept the accepted ‘Conditions of Life’?

Do you think anything besides the gaps in your

own attention span will deliver you?

Where were you the first time you heard this song?

Losing your virginity in the upper berth of a sleeper

traversing Poland?

Had you known your flashpoint would you still have

combusted, still have thrown yourself headlong into

that frying pan? Regardless,

Do you feel like I’m wasting your time yet?

Waiting for sunset in some sleepy little dive

on the shores of Antiquity, refusing

The comfort of family and friends in favor

of naked revelations as to the depths of your

own self-loathing?

There’s a wind.

There’s a friction in the Garden of Heaven

where I’m hunched in my familiar posture.

Were it not for my beloved afflictions I would

seriously hitch a yacht and blow this graveyard.

A street peddler trundles his cart through the flower

beds. The excited cries of shine boys obsessed with

curb-side one-up-manship.

A wind. A light rain in this downtown, like

miniature golf park.

I wish it could’ve been more.

A soccer ball winged within inches of this woman’s

veil. The loveless cackles of the homeless warping into

bronchitis. Children wrestling in the fresh, green grass

of their Golden Years is all I have to give you.

It’s all I have.