Against Itself Cannot Stand: Poems by JeFF Stumpo. Number 3.05 in the Seven Kitchens Press Editor’s Series.
Cover design by the author.
Release date: February 18, 2018 [100 copies]
JeFF Stumpo has been a bookstore owner and a part-time professor, a slam poet and an apologetic telemarketer. He is the author of five chapbooks and a spoken word album, yet remains the prologue to his daughter’s novel.
The Hulk’s Lamentation
“‘But why are they burning their own ships?!!! Why are they
destroying their OWN tea.’–said none of the history books.”
–justified agitator (@Awkward_Duck)
Reuben tells me people used to cake on ashes
to appear dead when mourning. They’d pull
out chunks of their beards, shave their heads.
A procession of keening women would follow,
not just the body or bodies, but the mourners
all day. All night. They’d rend their clothes,
so it says in the Bible. The language of lament
is largely forgotten in our culture, he says,
and we know that we’re not talking about Baltimore
when he says that. Dan says the tearing
of clothes is a metaphor for grief, repentance,
and sometimes anger, and Gabrielle says
we’re forgetting about The Incredible Hulk.
How his anger is his power, how his clothes
stretch and rip, how those shredded pants
do nothing to stop whatever damage
this month’s villain has already done, but damn
if they’re not just part and parcel of
The Hulk’s Lamentation. When I say we
forget that anger and sadness go together,
I know we’re not talking about Baltimore
like it’s another planet, like it’s the planet
the Illuminati send the Hulk to
when they decide he’s too dangerous for Earth.
They load him in a rocket and fire him off,
and when he crashes, the aliens there
make him a slave until he rises up
and becomes the leader of the rebellion,
The Green Scar, Sakaarson, Worldbreaker.
How Scott says that you can’t call it rebellion
on the other side of the world and
crime when it’s the same thing here. The Hulk,
he comes back at the end of that story.
He’s angry. When I say you wouldn’t like him
when he’s angry, I might be talking
about Baltimore, but are you sure
who I’m talking about when I say we?
- Purchase Against Itself Cannot Stand here or send an e-mail query to sevenkitchenspress at gmail dot com.
- Read poems from Diluvium at Tarpaulin Sky.
- Purchase El Océano y la Serpiente / The Ocean and the Serpent here.
- Read two poems in The 2River View.
- Purchase Villains here.