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The Great American Cultural Success

I don’t have much to say about my relationship with Christ lately… I don’t think you’d want to take a lot of advice from me about that right now. To put it lightly I’ve been a bastard and a schmuck in that area of my life, and that’s some of the reason for the absence of blog posts.

So I can’t tell you what’s right.  But I sure can tell you what’s wrong.  I hope it’s still productive writing though.  It’s hard to find the right answers until you know the right questions to ask.

Like everything that comes between a person and their personal relationship with Christ it’s been a pride issue.  I was ignorant enough to think that some of the demons I’ve sleighed in my life wouldn’t grow two more heads and come back with twice as much force to open the old wounds.

Touche Screwtape.

I’d like to clarify that some of the elements in the poem below that American-culture considers successful aren’t bad things (i.e. healthy family relationships), rather it’s just to illustrate how everyone needs the grace of Christ.   God doesn’t hate material things.  He hates materialism.  And this poem is about getting caught up in that.  It’s about me confronting my deep, selfish sense of entitlement in the world, a world which has already given me more than my due.  I’d also like to clarify that I sort of “got into character” in this poem (I call myself good-looking in it… I realize I only have my mom to second that!).

So here it is…

The Great American Cultural Success (the big mess)

(read slowly with a cocky Texas accent)

I wanna be complete like all hell

That’s when I all break loose.

Hard to separate filthy lies from dirty truths

It’s messy as shit.

And I’m hear to tell you

It don’t get any cleaner from here.

I’ve got those good looks

and that natural charisma

that blind talent

those God given gifts

physique like some sculpture of an adolescent Roman

the two parents

the brothers tattooed on my wrist

get along with my sisters real good too


college educated


Armenian tan

European man

can sing in front of pretty girls

talk sports in front of muscled boys…

I’m the definition of an American-cultural success.

(drop the Texas-accent)
That’s why I am such a mess.


I got caught up in the culture

With all the pride and all the lies and all the vultures.

A loose tooth and a broken nail away from drug-addict-despair

Not much separating the two of us there

Both guilty of pulling out our hair

Although I scratch at my chest instead of my face

It’s better that way —


Soul-wounds no one can see

the bloodhounds got the best of me

came on like talk radio

tracked me down

like a Rottweiler on a mailman.

I tried to send you the world in a package once:

“Ms. Pot, 6 Billion Lost Souls Drive, Helena-hand-basket, Montana”

It came back

A little hope stamped on it

“Wrong Address.”


About ananiasgo

Charles Westerman is a freelance writer, songwriter, school bus driver and murder mystery theater actor living in Portland, Oregon. He grew up on a ranch in Chugwater, Wyoming as the youngest of five kids and graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Journalism and English Lit. in May 2012. In between driving his Jr. High minions back-and-forth from school, he is currently at work writing his debut literary novel, Where Heaven Meets Cheyenne and its sequel. A two-part telling of the story of his ordinary family that came together in an extraordinary way. For the past two and half years he has worked to tell this story with honesty, excellence and honor to the characters who made it possible.

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