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The first time God met King Saul face to face,
He was sitting on the roof of His old house
ready to slide Himself off.
As He walked Himself to the ledge,
looking down
over His earth,
blurred as in a dream,
God noticed Saul
climbing up the chimney.
Saul sat down next to God,
and put a firm hand on His shoulder.
And Saul said,
“I’m here for you.”
And then he said,
“I’m here, also to be you, whenever you need not to be.”

Though God did not know the King well,
Saul had a sense of comfort and familiarity about him,
one He felt like He could trust.
So God said,
And then He said,
“I’ll leave now, but you’ll call me back if I get too far away, right?”
And Saul promised Him,
he said,
“Of course.
I love you.”

Upon God’s return,
He found that Saul’s word had been pleasantry,
not promise,
For as God sifted through the blood of His children,
trying to gather Himself,
He could not help but notice how grand a display Saul had prepared Him.
There were so many bodies.
So many men,
fallen on their own swords,
watching their heads roll
into the fire place,
trying to slide higher
for a better view.
But God’s seat,
as it always was,
proved the best in His house.

In God’s absence,
Saul had put in place a sea of obstacles and distractions
to stand guard for him,
so he could slaughter the whole litter
on the other side of the door,
right under His nose,
and not even make Him sneeze.

Saul wished up torture
until he was tortured.
until he was pitiful.
until he was deep.
at least,
until he was sunk enough to not know the difference.

God was so disgusted with what He saw
that all He did was do nothing
for a long time.
It was not until after most of the bodies in His house had rotted beyond recognition
that He at last gathered up the courage to confront the King.
And God said to Saul,
“You can’t stand there like an idiot
and sit there like a king
and make believe until you’re real.”
And Saul said,
“I am all that you have left me,
and no more.”
They argued with each other
across the gates of heaven
for what seemed like forever.

after Saul had exhausted his arrogance,
he stopped fighting
and tried to listen.
Instead of getting caught up
in concepts,
in slogans,
in myths,
in metaphors,
and every other form of facade
he wore around everywhere he went,
Saul tried to be a bit more honest.
“For if you can’t be honest with yourself,”
God said,
“you have no business trying to be honest with anyone else,
do you?”

And soon enough, Saul died.
And God died with him.

being the creator of all things living,
God was born anew the next day,
while Saul was cast downwards,
Left to rot with his sacrifices
in aging oblivion.

Beneath a shell of myth,
from a cradle of fire,
He emerged fully formed.

And it was then,
that I,
the prophet _____,
began to climb the chimney.


from Better Than Death, released July 15, 2016
Harry Gilboa - Vocals and Voice Memo Recordings

Alex Musca - Artwork

Drew Minnoch - Recording for Spoken Word

Lumi Sugazawa-O’Neil - Laughing Voice 1

Ronan Hagarty - Laughing Voice 2

Mixed by Harry Gilboa and Michael Aboutboul



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Maltese Los Angeles, California

Maltese is undoubtedly, indubitably, a band. It is also a dog and a falcon. But mostly a band.

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