Job, Isaac and the Barrio

Forgive me my Father,
if I sleep with one eye open.

. . . . . .

Let me understand this:
you were having tea with Satan
and in casual conversation
made a bet with the bleak, red one.
You killed my herds, forcing me to debtor’s prison;
when I complained
you killed my wife;
when I complained again,
you slaughtered my children;
when I still complained
you covered my skin with rotting, bleeding sores
which the dogs licked as I slept in a bed of soot,
wearing only burlap;
when I still complained
you berated me with your omniscience
and belittled my powerless existence
demanding repentance for a sin
I did not commit;
when I did not repent,
you won your bet.

. . . .

Forgive me my Father,
if I sleep with one eye open.

. . . .

Voices, you said you heard;
and coaxed me to the hill of blood
where you slash the lambs;
you bound my body with hemp
and lay me on the cold stone,
the stench of your last kill still lingering;
a crooked dagger you raised,
shouting prayers of adolation and obedience
to your Voices,
ignoring my pleas and tears;
but all is well now you assure me;
the Voices relented and my blood
stays with me.

. . . .

Forgive me my Father,
if I sleep with one eye open.

. . . .

Mama’s brow wrinkles
as she watches me and Katie
sitting expectantly at the table
picking at the black tape
patch over the peeled veneer;
she seems to pace as she hears us argue
over who is the most hungry;
the look on her face acknowledging
the empty rumble in our stomachs.
Mama walks into the room
chiding us for our petty argument;
sending us to our rooms without supper,
punishment for our transgression;
we cry quietly in our beds,
praying for forgiveness,
confused by the echo of Mama
sobbing downstairs at the table.

. . . . .

Forgive me my Father,
if I sleep with one eye open

David E. Cowen
Copyright 1997
All Rights Reserved.

avatar

David E. Cowen

David E. Cowen is a native of Brownsville, Texas who now lives in Houston. Besides being a trial attorney by trade David is a published poet and author of a volume of poetry entitled Sixth and Adams (2001). His poems have been published in various hard copy and online journals for the past many years including those published by George Mason University, Stephen F. Austin University, Sam Houston State University and many privately published journals as well. His poetry was featured in the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s Radio radio journal "Outfront" in a 2005 tribute on 9/11. This April, Thisibelieve.org published an essay of his in its collection "On Motherhood" currently available in bookstores. Also, three short scholarly articles on the subject of zombie films written by David will appear in June Pulliam's "The Encyclopedia of the Zombie: The Walking Dead in Popular Culture and Myth" to be published later this year by ABC CLIO publishing. Earlier this year CineAction Magazine, Canada’s leading film journal, published my essay review of Danel Olson’s The Exorcist: Studies in the Horror Film published earlier this year, also by Centipede Press. PS Press will be including a short story by Cowen, “The Goth Thing”, in its 5th Volume of its acclaimed Exotic Gothic series scheduled to be published in 2013. David E. Cowen is the Vice President of the Gulf Coast Poetry Association as well as a member of the World Fantasy Conference, Horror Writers Association and the Science Fiction Poetry Association.His most recent poetry publications include poems placed in “Dark Portal” (UH Downtown) and Harbinger Asylum.UPDATED:Thisibelieve.org published an essay of David’s in its 2012 collection "On Motherhood" currently available in bookstores. In 2012 CineAction Magazine, Canada’s leading film journal, published David’s essay review of Danel Olson’s The Exorcist: Studies in the Horror Film (2012 Centipede Press). Three short scholarly articles on the subject of zombie films written by David will appear in June Pulliam's The Encyclopedia of the Zombie: The Walking Dead in Popular Culture and Myth to be published in June of 2014 by Greenwood publishing. David has a number of fiction and analytical projects in the works. His short story, “Goth Thing,” adapted from his unpublished novel “The Goth Sabbatical”, has just appeared in the Exotic Gothic 5, Volume 1 published by PS Publishing. The Exotic Gothic series, edited by Danel Olson, has been the past recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award and the World Fantasy Conference Award. David is an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, a member and attendee of the World Fantasy Conference, the Austin International Poetry Festival, the Houston Poetry Festival as well as a lifetime member of the Gulf Coast Poetry Society. His novelette about civil rights in a zombie apocalypse entitled “the zombie appeal” will be published in Breaking Fate Publications Anthology The Dead Walking set to appear in January of 2014.“Goth Thing, Exotic Gothic 5 (P.S. Publishing, UK; Olson ed. 2013) can be found at www.pspublishing.co.uk. “Hope Dished Out in Plenty,” This I Believe On Motherhood (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint; Geidman, ed., 2012) can be found at www.amazon.comReview, The Exorcist STUDIES IN THE HORROR FILM, Cineaction Magazine ((Cineaction 86 2012) can be found at: http://cineaction.ca“The Cycle,” Peripheral Distortions(King, ed., Death Throes Publishing, 2014) available at www.amazon.ca/UPCOMING: Pulliam and Fonseca, ed., Encyclopedia of the Zombie: The Walking Dead in Popular Culture and Myth (Greenwood May 31, 2014) (contributed three articles on Asian Zombie Films, Night of the Comet and Bruce Williams) can be found at www.amazon.com“the zombie appeal,” The Dead Walking (Anthology) (Breaking Fate Press March 2014) (novelette)

More Posts

Share

Tagged with →  

One Response to Job, Issac and the Barrio

  1. avatar Eugene "Gene" Novogrodsky says:

    …a wonderful poem, one I heard several hours after I read it! I’d like to hear it – aloud – now that I read it, and it has become part of me ….A seductive flow it has ….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*