blackbirdonline journalSpring 2010  Vol. 9  No. 1
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A Man Writes “Human” and is Not Punished

There is a man infatuated with desire and its crossroad with disaster, how the body can bend wanting it, not wanting it, then wanting the “not-wanted.” There is a man wanting to explore what it means to love the body and the many ways it can be broken—in half, into, in love.

In the prerequisite to peace there is chaos, which gives credence to peace by making it just as necessary and wanted as the peace stemming from it. In that, a need to say, a present tense completely dependent on the past tense that is trauma and unspeakable only in that the body has been jolted completely from one “hereness” to another. So how to properly record the body’s past when the past has been so wrenching and so blindingly cross-stitched with the present?

There is a man trying to figure out how death could be, in simplistic terms, a good thing. What in death, in the battle between angels and devils, grows from the aftermath? In “In Harmony” mentioning angels and devils seems a natural fulcrum from which to turn the poem toward the “abomination” of two men in a sexual relationship. The stories of the great-god aunt and an uncle with death at his mouth are just doorways leading to what is the real force behind the poem: understanding the mythologies behind our beliefs and doing away with, flushing down, what simply does not work.

Now the man is writing about sin in “Prayer” by not writing about it, by not writing about interpretations of sin from those who do not fit into his beliefs as they assume he should fit into theirs. Would God save a lover dying from his body, dying from a blood battle he is losing? Some say the death being prayed away is God punishing the man for his relationship with another man. But that would not explain to the man—who through prayer is not seeking an explanation so much as a relinquishing of his lover’s pain—what is not in the poem, that the virus has impacted the world in ways that his interpretation of God would completely heal: the virus as a wake up call for unity, for love, for a prayer for all who live because all are impacted.

And the man, wanting to believe his hands are as human as any other’s hands, has put his two hands together in prayer and created with that gesture a form of knowledge. In “Bend as Would a God” the hands are miraculous, are miracles, are the central figure to an extended meditation touching on all that live and die, that feel pain and take pain away. Here, the man sees in himself how he finds love in the body bleeding, the body loving its owner through warning and using that warning to lengthen the life of its owner. “It hurts” the body says, and spills, reddens. Or how the hands are themselves a prayer, a mother’s smack as a sign of love, a warning to another that if done again—the action that made the slap necessary—then much worse harm will come to pass. Here, the man sees that other bodies express answers to his questions about who experiences moments of vulnerability, and the answers are a profound silence, the space inside of a hand closing, then the closed hand itself.  end