Looking Back but Through a Curving Beam of Light that Meets us Again at the Beginning

We have the green around us grown full and we are feeling lighter, making plans, letting the masks slip (literally, figuratively) while a stronger variant and other strains roll-on. We will all collectively see before the summer ends a brighter light than the past solstice, up ahead, out of our antic haze. We are already buzzing with its glow, resonating with what looks somewhat familiar yet new and strange, and we take it to indicate a “post-COVID” future – while the pandemic’s tail elongates.

We speak of returns, to what was, in order to slow the whiplash; or we turtle inward with hesitation, uncertain if the wounds we’ve sustained will heal properly in the new air. We were excited and scared and we don’t know, we just don’t know – so some of us risk it to live with imagined impunity (never mind the elderly, never mind the immunocompromised). With autumn’s shadow soon to fall on our doorstep, things are even more uncertain – the shadow of the next wave, most likely.

You can deny it if you like, to ease the mind and body, but know that the remainder of this decade until 2030 will be gloomy. It’s the gloom through which you see a light that’s supposed to be at the end of some tunnel – not a tunnel of death, mind you, but a tunnel of life! You know it will be the most trying decade on planet Earth ever lived by our species, and also, that we did NOT pass Year One (or Two) of this pandemic with high marks on any scale of humility or sanity.

But don’t freak out – maybe freak out a little – more so, do not suppose that “normal” is what we are ever heading back to (please Higher Power, let that hallucination pass). We’re actually heading back to ourselves, our habits, our sleep, unless we take some of this wakefulness with us into the new but shadowy atmosphere. It could slip our grasp, this new reality, or, we could disconnect from the dream, going with Dud on this one:

In the past two years, I haven’t posted much on my website, and not much has been published IRL. I’m still grappling with the loss of my father and 5 other family members in the last 6 years. I’ve taught in two schools, soon to be three, but that’s for the application/interviewing process to determine. I’ve written many new poems, but none in the last three months, the longest dry spell I’ve had in my 24 years of the craft.

However, I did write/crafted two zines that were made from a group invitation/prompt with Reciprocal Works, headed by Katie Ford and River Wharton, a real gem of an experience in the rough times. That’s the true purpose of this post, if you got this far – and both are available for FREE to download below – one from the Reciprocal Works website (definitely check-out the other zines!) and one just through a public link to the PDF on my Drive.

Both are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without my permission, but the permission to take them in and reply back to me with thoughts and feels are most welcome.

Preface to a Work on Masculinity

Trying to Wield the Jesus Stick: A LOST Fanzine

Thanks for reading – GDB