From an interview with REM on NPR's Morning Edition:
Steve Inskeep, NPR host:
"I wanted to get to that line,
'All you sad and lost apostles,
hum my name and flare their nostrils.'
That could be wicked, it could be playful, it is fun, it could be Biblical, it could be profound, it could be meaningless."
"I'd like to think it's all of the above.
Speaking as the man who wrote the line. You know, there's a lot of fun rhyming "apostle" and "nostril." I don't know that it's been done before."
I think I need to buy the new album. It's called Accelerate.