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Fear and Trembling

ISSUE:  Summer 2010

We want to leap with Abraham and believe a ram will be provided.
Isaac is so beautiful—his curly hair, his wide trusting eyes.
How heartrending to find that faith has nothing to do with happiness.

Pain comes from darkness, writes Jarrell, and though we call it wisdom,
It is pain. Yet darkness let Jarrell master a cadence as beautiful and terrifying
As Lear’s lament for Cordelia, the never, never, never, never, never

Of unremitting death, before it ran him down one humid Carolina night.
So what if we’re ravaged by Scofield’s desolate performance of that foolish king?
The community theatre, all false beards and miscues, feels the sorrow, too.

Reading Shakespeare, we’re like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner
Off a cliff. We’d better keep our legs spinning and not look down,
For comprehension is a river-bottomed canyon opening miles below.

Like the borzois the cartel lord lets roam through the open hacienda
And handles lovingly, feeding them veal, though he’d have them shot
If the police ever raided his home, our lives all hang on the master’s whim.

We live in a lost world every day, an old Hollywood set in shambles
Where ruby-throat hummingbirds, those delicate flowers of hell,
Delay an hour on their epic migrations, the air awash with their wings.


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