Happy New Year! We begin 2021 by welcoming BRUCE BOND back to The Common.
Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-seven books, including, most recently, Black Anthem, Gold Bee, Sacrum, Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997–2015, Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods, Frankenstein’s Children, Dear Reader, Plurality and the Poetics of Self, Words Written Against the Walls of the City, and The Calling.
Richard Hoffman|A Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory
Calvary Bruce Bond
What you have heard is half true, half forgotten. It’s what we have, a rubric written in old blood whose spirit of inclusion admits the occasional invention, the apocryphal goat at midnight, for one, who has broken down the gate again, and wandered through the refuse of our neighbors. Forgive him. Him and the others of a now more distant Jerusalem whose pattern of lesser hardships and small routines goes largely unreported. No less imagined than the clouds of certain portraits of the killing, the same weather that hung above the clueless who pulled in their laundry, looking up to see future there. What they do not know cannot save them. Or bring them comfort.Or the vague weight of clouds when they make a night of day. Imagine then, once the body is deposed, the men who take the burden on their shoulders go nameless through the margins to the grave. Forgive them.They know not what they do. Take this young man, a soldier of low rank, his wave of nausea slow to gather and withdraw into the obscurities holy books are made of. He is sitting beneath an olive tree, counting coins, fouled with blood, less a true believer in the entitlements of kings than an otherwise impoverished soul with a wife, an oath, a child. A drudge of circumstance.That is the story he tells himself, and the need for the ever better listener feels fundamental, as work is, and wine at dusk, and whatever cut of meat and means the heirs of grief and privilege refuse.