HermAphrodite is one of my newer poems, and Michael Salinger was kind enough to post it as 31 October’s “Blind Review Friday” selection on the Cleveland Poetics blog (http://clevelandpoetics.blogspot.com). The point of “Blind Review” is to allow poets to give and receive feedback on their (and others’) work without necessarily having to reveal their identities.  I know if I post one of my poems on my own blog, most folks will say either good things or nothing at all about it.  So I thought it would be interesting to anonymously throw one “to the wolves,” so to speak, and see what response I got.

I originally submitted Can Do to Michael last month.  But when he asked if I had anything “less scatalogical” (love that word), I ended up blogging “Can Do” and sending him HermAphrodite instead.  I enjoy the comments and discussion that follow most of his Blind Review postings.  Unfortunately, my entry did not receive nearly as many comments as most because it happened to appear during election week, while potential readers and critics were (rightly) paying attention to much more important matters.

Now that Obama has won and I’m feeling a bit more hopeful overall, I view HermAphrodite a bit differently than I did when I wrote it.  But I’m still hoping to get a bit of feedback on the poem. So please click here to visit the Cleveland Poetics blog, read my offering and tell me what you think.  Thank you very much!

A note on the poem:
My regular readers all probably know it already, but I’ll say it for anyone else who happens to stumble upon this blog.  The title HermAphrodite is a combination of the names Hermes (divine messenger and Greek god of thieves/poets) and Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love).  War and love, male and female, yin and yang – we all have elements of each in us, I believe. And if we are made in God’s image, as someone’s book claims, I think it’s fair to assume that God, if he/she exists or is distinct from us at all, has elements of each in her/him as well.  Oh… and I mean for readers to pronounce the e at the end of the title “HermAphrodite.”


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As for the flu, I believe I may be succumbing to it.  Diarrhea and other symptoms too distasteful to discuss have visited me this morning, and now I’m wondering if I’ll even be able to make it to the Zygote in My City poetry extravaganza this evening as planned.  Even if I feel like going at 9 o’clock tonight, I’m not sure I should.  Don’t wanna infect my fellow artists…. I didn’t even want to mention this in my blog, because my Mom (who reads it) tried to press me into getting a flu shot earlier in the week and I never got around to it.  I suspect no one, especially a 42-year-old man like myself, likes to admit he should have listened to his mommy.  But I feel I owe an explanation to the folks who expect me to be there.  And it’s easier to inform everyone in one fell swoop here than send out a bunch of individual messages.

Now I’m going back to bed – with my laptop, though I’m not sure how much I’ll actually feel like doing with it.

Peace, love and poetry,
John



Me in bed with the laptop but without the flu in December 2006 [photo by Geri]

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