Really, the first thing you should do on reading this: click through to Judith Arcana’s poem, “You Don’t Know,” if you want to know what should be known about a woman’s—a person’s—right to their own life, and to the decisions made about that life…even when it includes the potential life of another. The buck has to stop somewhere, and why on earth we have this fantasy that it stops with some old guy with a beard and his abstract pronouncements, I’m sure I don’t know.
After that, if you’re up for a little ambling in the fields of what has been, what might be, and what is to come, I suggest “The Tower of Babel’s Brief War on Heaven,” by Colin Dodds, for a perfect—and perfectly amusing—reminder of what comes to mankind when it has the stupidity to think itself the Lord of the Universe. On that same theme, including some particularly apt karmic vengeance, is “No Moksa in the Offing for Albin Balbus,” by Charles S. Kraszewski. It’s a reminder to us all to avoid those actions that may result in an unfortunate rebirth as an obnoxious gardening implement.
Then you might want to have a look at “Who Was Robin Hood?” by Bruce E.R. Thompson, EAP’s favorite modern puppeteer. I did send this one back to the factory after first read, since I felt it was slightly too empathetic to Ammon Bundy, who I (and most of Oregon) consider one of the prize Ayn Randian asses of this American century. Fortunately, Bruce was all over fixing that. I’m all for empathy, but honestly, it has to stop some place. Not quite at the boundary Ayn Rand suggests, more like, “It should stop at Ayn Rand.” Hey, she started it. (And I’m still on the lookout for someone to write a good bio of Ayn Rand’s poor husband. I’ll publish it. Swear.)
Brian Griffith fans will enjoy, as always, his thoughts on superstitions of the past—which probably tell us something about superstitions of the present (see Judith Arcana, “You Don’t Know”), with “Evading the Evil Eye.” And long time, much-valued EAP contributors Marie Davis and Margaret Hultz do their usual skipping lightly over muddy terrain, with “Her Feet Belonged to the Ground.”
Finally—it’s always a pleasure to see what work comes over the virtual transom, especially when that work is like nothing else I see every day. So poetry editor Marissa Bell Toffoli and I were completely engaged by Benjamin B. White’s long poem about Viet Nam, “Scarecrow Angel.” We could only include an excerpt here, but we’re looking forward to more contributions from Ben. He is, as we like to say around World Headquarters, ‘very EAP’.
And if you’ve roasted a chicken lately, and thrown away the bones, you might want to have a look at my rant about waste and “Chicken Pot Pie without the Pie,” in the Jam Today blog. I’m working on a revised edition of the first “Jam Today: A Diary of Cooking With What You’ve Got,” and when you’ve got a roast chicken, one thing you’ve got is bones. Thank goodness.
Welcome spring. And welcome back.