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“His Adam’s Apple, My Achilles’ Heel”
From Eternity’s Door
Mason Gross Gallery, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Installation and performance
And take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.—Genesis 3:22
Why seek ye the living among the dead?—Luke 24:5

He asked me, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
I couldn’t answer with a blue collar foot-in-my-mouth and no voice in my head.
Dad’s Adam’s apple swallowing…a necktie beneath his black preacher’s gown.
Son of Achilles—me and my heel falling through a bottomless down.
No sacred tongue…Hebrew, Latin, or even Achilles’mother-love Greek.
My neck-throat was foot-tied. I couldn’t walk or speak.
Dad’s dead since 1981…yet his God-fearing voice…
No need to seek the living among the dead—life is the choice.

Mother’s eyes saw Death tailspinning me in his parallax view.
In 1968 hearing her nothingness, I waved goodbye—what else could I do?
I was catapaulting head-over-heels—screaming…”ap—prehen—s—ion.”
Then astronauts walking on a 1969 moon—apotheosis or condescension?
“Creator you can kiss my foot,” said Everyman.
God replied, “Creature, eat your dead-father-totem, forget the Tree of Life Plan.”

Looking at my sockless heel, his collarless throat swallowed and said, “Good deal.”
Suspended animation, time-feeling him as father-with-me love I could really feel.
His no collar neck and feet were real, not like clay, I could taste his salty sweat.
God’s tree-of-life promise? Death’s gift if I take the bet?

Four year-old me, 1945. Sunday School every Sunday—I had to go.
Thy will be done…then forty years later, sucking John Doe’s eighty-year old toe.
Sunday afternoons, Dad singing Old Dan Tucker…died with a toothache in his heel.
Religion, myth or history, my parallax view alone—to touch his feel.

The benediction? A mixed blessing behind memory’s closet door.
As Ever, never Love…he often wrote to say. My last words to him, “Forever more.”
Still, a thirty year free-fall to white collar hell, and no handbasket for me to land.
Now, sucking old John’s naked toe-foot, I hold time—wrist-stitched in my left hand

Installation View
Mason Gross Gallery, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey