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“O Abraham”
Eternal Man Triptych
Faculty Exhibition, Mason Gross Gallery, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Installation and performance
September 2002
And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold I have blessed him,
and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly;
twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation

—Genesis 17:20
Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?—Malachi 2:10

O Father you banish us to die in the desert, Mother and me.
Then you would murder Isaac—a killer-father you have to be.
Isaac you spared from death, was it just your choice?
No, you old bastard, you say you heard God’s voice.

Abba you denied me your love, now I give you my hate.
Maybe thousands of years to the minute—but I’ll not be a second late.
You can stand in the sun’s shadow every centuryday after centuryday at high noon.
Until David’s star by the Stars and Stripes, fights my star under a crescent moon.

Star wars, maybe Armageddon! I too am a great nation—as foretold in Genesis.
In the Third Millenium, I, your first born son with Hagar, must be your nemesis.
My name the angel said, May God hear—and Isaac, Sarah’s laughter, still and how?
If I humiliate or kill you, who but Allah will have the last laugh now?

Image of Alessadro Cavazza's sculpture "Hagar and Ishmael", 1872, Modena, Italy
Lifesize marble sculpture
Photograph by Virginia Bruner, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, New Jersey