The Bible Bash Podcast

Poet, Maya Williams: Judas and Suicide

September 30, 2021

In mid-August, Liam and Don were joined by Portland Maine’s Poet Laureate, Maya Williams. Maya is not only a creative, gifted spoken word artist and poet, they are also a suicide survivor, theological thinker, and utterly enchanting person.

In this episode, Maya shares their poem, “Judas and Suicide,” and offers us a thought-provoking and spiritually penetrating reframing of the traditional religious views of suicidal ideation and suicide. Maya, Don, and Liam then talk honestly and openly about this sensitive topic, as Maya offers us a glimpse of a God who is present in our suffering and accompanies us, rejecting human views of sin and drenching us in grace and loving understanding that the world is, sometimes, a hard place to be.

Before closing, Maya offers us another poem to consider. 

Read about Maya and read Maya’s work at https://www.mayawilliamspoet.com/

 

Maya’s other text:

Curses, Suicide, and “Just Pray About It”

“So the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs. Then the herd rushed down the

steep slope into the lake, and about two thousand were drowned in the lake.” Mark 5:13

NET

 

I jump off and hold my breath.

 

There on the hillside, a great herd of pigs was feeding.

 

My father

asks

Can you focus

 

And the demonic spirits begged him,

 

on having fun

today

at the lake house?

There is

trouble

in your spirit

 

‘Send us into the pigs. Let us enter them.’

 

Bubbles rev through my nose as I sink.

 

My father

says

you can’t change the past.

 

Jesus gave them permission.

 

He never

says

that

when I describe a

positive

 

memory to him.

 

So the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs.

 

I want to keep myself from floating up.

 

I try to I hold it all

in

so the lake can swallow me.

 

Then the herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake,

 

The coward

in me

returns for air.

My dad

affirms

curses can be broken.

Just

pray

about

it.

 

I did not conjure my depression.

 

I do not

tell

him

there is little to no

correlation

between prayer and wellness.

I ask if we can go

swimming

again tomorrow afternoon.

 

and about two thousand were drowned in the lake.

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In Trans-Forming Proclamation, Liam Hooper tenderly explores gender and the Bible. This book actually defies genre. With rich patches of poetry, memoir, and devotional, Liam weaves together inspiring literary insights with grounded, original, and informed scholarship. Trans-Forming proclamation: A Transgender Theology of Daring Existence is new wine in a new wine skin. It is Inventive, artful, and liberating. Available on Amazon and published by Otherwise Engaged.  

About US

In each episode of Bible Bash Podcast, , Liam Michael Hooper, a white trans Bible scholar and Don Durham, a white, cis, heterosexual farmer, minister, and podcaster take turns presenting the text. They then discuss. In addition, each episode they present another text, a non-Biblical text of note--religious or secular--that may or may not correspond to the Bible text. 

Bible Bash Podcast is a collaborative project created by Liam Hooper, Don Durham, and Peterson Toscano.  

Our theme song is Playbill by The Jellyrox. It is available on iTunes, Spotify, or through Rock Candy Recordings. The show is edited by Peterson Toscano

To share your questions, comments, requests for passages to be discussed, or suggestions for guests who can talk about texts, email Liam & Don:  convos@biblebashpodcast.com 

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