Joy of Living
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This book is less unified (I almost said "less homogenous") than Graffiti. That's as it should be • Graffiti was an intense project, intended from the beginning to hang together. The idea of this book, in contrast,is to gather what I've been doing since my SIP. A few poems here were written in the Graffiti days; one is much older. The prose is all fresh, from this summer. Many of these pieces are like McCartney songs: they have no deeper Significance and are meant only to amuse. Some of them are like dropping my pants for a laughs rather embarrassing for me and perhaps not funny, even offensive, to you. Ifsome of this' stuff, well, disgusts you, realize that part of my intent is to show the variety of ways my (often dirty) mind works.' I trust that my reputation as a poet is safe among friends and will find some justification among these pages. Do not ask me why there are so many pieces here with (unorthodox) religious themes.. There is no one answer. I am a sincere Jesus fan, and the idea of writin~ about Jesus in modern (or any anachronistic or ahistorical) situations has appealed to me for years. "American Parable" exists because I like the sound, as well as the genre and content, of Jesus' parables. I~Images" and "Gospel Lesson" are intended to do more than just get me some hard stares from nuns. The other stuff dealing with Christianity isn't so bad that it will burn down any churches (unless some clerics stage a book-burning). Anyway, to mock religion is not necessarily to mock God. In order to show how some of these poems grew out of events in the lives we've shared, I'm including this readers' guide. It is a set of mostly pointless remarks, so it should put some of this stuff in the proper context without helping explain any of- it. Deciding what it all means and why I bothered to write it is your job, and I don't want to spoil your fun.