Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Rib —a fractured fairytale

Adam and Eve Claude-Marie Dubufe, 1827
I always thought that Eve got a raw deal in the Judaeo-Christian creation myth. She makes one misstep and is punished unduly with menstrual cramps and the pain of childbirth. Sucks, right?

But in retrospect, someone else may have suffered unduly from the start. Before the snake and the apple make their way into the story, did Adam have agency in any of his actions or decisions?

I don't think so.

What if Eden was less a garden of earthly delights and more a pen where God kept his tortured playthings under force? When I started questioning certain premises in this tale that serves as the foundation for much of modern western culture, I didn't like what I found. In a certain slant of light, the God in this story strikes me as an abusive, negligent parent. Like the kind of entity who shouldn't be allowed to adopt a pet from the SPCA, never mind design all life on earth.

It makes me feel sorry for Adam, Eve, and all of us, really.

I wrote a poem re-framing this myth. The Rat's Ass Review recently published it in their Love & Ensuing Madness series which features "poems from all points of view on the broad topic of love." My poem is entitled The Rib—a fractured fairytale, and you can read it here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Runoff—a poem featured in The Gorge Literary Journal

Me and my son enjoying Hood River.
Time is slippery. We can't grasp it, will it to speed up, or force it to slow down. My son is now 6 feet tall and 14 years older than when this picture was taken. While I enjoyed that day and many others like it, I remember how slowly the hours crawled by when my children were in diapers. That the years have hauled ass in comparison makes no mathematical sense, but is a concrete fact, nevertheless.

Once my son was dependent upon me for everything, and he didn't mind it in the least. Now he's dependent upon us for much, and it irritates him to fess up and admit it. This is only natural and good. I would worry if he seemed content being waited upon. He neither needs nor wants hand-holding now. He often makes it clear that he'd prefer if I made myself scarce. I thank him for his honesty, tell him that I believe him, and also softly suggest that while this may be the whole truth of the moment, it may not paint a picture that accurately characterizes our entire evolving timeline. Occasionally he still needs me. Sometimes he still likes me around. And, perhaps as important, I depend upon him and am grateful each day that he is part of this world. With time and maturity, I imagine he will come to see these factors as self-evident. Wondrous, even. I have.

I wrote a poem reflecting on the circuitous route we take towards and away from our family. And back again. Many thanks to Julie Hatfield and John Metta at The Gorge Literary Journal for publishing it. You can read "Runoff" here.