Friday, October 31, 2014

Monsters, for Halloween

All Saints' Day, a Christian/Catholic festival for bonding with the dead, comes up on November 1.  The night before is Halloween, also called All Saints' Eve or All Hallow's Eve.
In other traditions too, there are explicit festivals, opportunities to make friends, or at least make peace, with death.
 Two models I know of for rationalizing death as life:
Reincarnation, that is, the ancestors come back in our descendants. 
Incorporation - maybe there is a better word for this - that is, the spirit can not die, just as matter (mass/energy) in physics is not created or destroyed, but this goes beyond conservation, just as dead plants are food and fodder, mulch and manure...
Egungun Dancers. Photo credit:

Some examples of incorporation:
- If you loved or were loved, then you invade your companion(s) and they imbibe your essence.  They continue your life in this act of solidarity.  I think of it as eating the hearts of the dead, cannibal-like, gaining their powers and their support.  Have you ever done this - eaten someone's heart, symbolically or not?  Sometimes they choose us, it's weird. 
- If you did great or small works, you live on in the imprint, the impact and the tales.  Sometimes the tales multiply a tree into a forest.  You continue to manipulate the world from beyond the grave. 
- If you had children, voila, you left a small or big piece of you in them.  Should I have put this example first?
Mexican Day of the Dead: November 2
 With a little imagination, we can see that reincarnation is incorporation is reincarnation.
Another model: Heaven and eternal life in another place.  I nearly forgot.

In time for Halloween, I created a cover for my fifth little book.  It's called Monsters.  I regret that there are a few misplaced pixels in the cover art, maybe you won't notice.
I hope the front, the back, and the contents scare the crap out of you.
I hope you let these poems change and rearrange your life.  At any rate, this is my work, my gospel.  An exploration of the beauty in ugly.  An expression of the art in hate.  An analysis of fear - because I analyze everything, God help me.
 In Monsters, we peer into the dark side, so that it'll be so much more fun next year when I unveil the work of brightness and the bright side in another collection of poems.

Tradition has it that when Jesus Christ was 33, the same age I am now, well, you know what happened.  The ultimate contempt.
He had to go, the people thought.
They got rid of him.
They beat him up, then killed him slowly and publicly.
He only came back stronger.
 I used to think (around ten years ago) that I would be that person that pissed off the existing order so much that prison would be a second home.  It looks like I don't have to worry about that any more.  The world has changed.  The world has learned to tolerate rebels, I think.   


Erik Donald France said...

Good reminder to order a copy soon ~! :->

This post triggers a memory of a dream from just last night or very early this morning ~ my father, who died on Nov. 2nd last year, returned and didn't seem to know that he was dead. He just wanted his own little bed to sleep in, so we set one up for him in "the living room," all knowing there was something weird about the whole episode. The dream -- my memory of it -- trails off from there . . .

t said...

Dear E,
"the living room" is a funny choice. :)
One year is not a long time :( Hugs. Wish I could keep my dad forever, you know?