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Postreproduction Man

“I, Corydon”
From The Soul’s Four Hands
Faculty Exhibition, Mason Gross Gallery, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Installation and reading
September 2001
Every shepherd is an abomination—Genesis 46:34
Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me;
thou hast made me an abomination unto them
—Psalms 88:8
But then shall I know even as I am also known—I Corinthians 13:12

I am Corydon, Virgil’s hapless shepherd, but no Arcadian lover do I seek.
Like David the shepherd in 2001, a has-been-man beyond his cultural peak?
Corydon, my birthplace in 1941, is a small Civil War town in southern Indiana.
An American place, like Dixie, light years from Milan and Mantua’s Virgiliana.

Eternity’s inbetweeness as a man and a place is embodied in me.
Like in David’s psalm, I feel as an abomination about-to-be.
His words then, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I hear them now, naked before God, in Corydon’s silent glade.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…
Although I walk that shaded Valley of the Haunt.
My soul’s four hands perform in grace—by God’s choice.
Grief transfigured to joy gives Eternal Man his heart and voice.
I, the Abomination, can’t stop history’s race across Last Man’s masked face.
Knowing here and now even as I am known, Time is a place.

The Soul’s Four Hands
Life-size digital inkjet print
Photograph by Virginia Bruner