BC: The Lion, The Gorilla, and The Bear c. Corinne Whitaker 2015 all rights reserved www.giraffe.com firstname.lastname@example.org
1: The Lion The Gorilla and The Bear Corinne Whitaker
2: When Adam was three A lion, a gorilla, and a bear Were lurking in his bedroom.
4: I took the lion, the gorilla, and the bear By the hand And led them outside.
6: It was only a doll, soft and touchable In a family where hugging was questionable Where quasi humans Rationed approval In grudging teaspoons.
8: You will be, they said, What we need you to be. You are a vessel Filled with the ashes of our despair. All hopes, wants, dreams Spurned. Burned
10: Got it! That soft huggable doll. She became Baby Jesus in a school play. Gotcha! grinned child. Grimm child.
12: Robo parents were aghast. Robo teacher wagged her finger In dismay. Baby Doll was rejected Ejected From the birth Scene/unseen.
14: The wise men said Eat it. Swallow it. Crush it, hide it, smash it. But don't, ever, Face it. Name it. Picture it.
16: The wise ones said Go to the cemetery Change your name So that cancer cannot find you. Until it does. Wash your hands So that death will not touch you Until it does.
18: We save fragments of ourselves So that those yet-to-be Will understand who we were. Will humans one day Be labeled "use unknown"? Discontinued relics Toxic to the touch Shameful to the eye?
20: Whose eye? Where is the Who That sees me? That sees you?
22: Perhaps, to the universe, There is no you No motorcycles No giraffes No galaxies.
24: What if these are human-invented trinkets, Mere memes. What if we are no more than figments Of an elusive imagination?
26: What happens when no one No thing No force Sees us...no more?
28: Perhaps I only exist In the nightmares of imagination And you do too.
30: Her name was Sarah Lubin. No one speaks of her. She is not mentioned in any scripture. But without her I would not be.
32: Without the forebears Shivering in ancient forests Vomiting in the bowels of lurching ships To escape the powercrats With their shiny buttons And heavy treads.
34: Sarah Lubin obeyed The shaggy gray-beards To bear more, and then more, Offspring Until her body could bear No more
36: Perhaps she could not bear The thought That she dwelt in a Garden of Evil. Perhaps she might have been a poet A full-throated soprano A soaring architect.
38: Why does history Not tell her story? Shout her name to the rooftops? Even see her?
40: Sometimes, when we see nothing Much is there to be seen. Did you know that invisible particles Pass through your body By the trillions Second by mysterious second Leaving no trace?
42: Are we meant to pass through time Through space Through amplitudes and emptitudes Without a trace?
44: Are we both matter And anti-matter? Do we in fact matter At all?
46: What I see Is that we send life-crushing missiles As often as we lend A helping hand.
48: Wrapped in our tinseled hubris We drop nuclear weapons On those we would not see.
50: We drop drones, Without pilots, So that we need not enumerate The children we incinerate.
52: We starve the Palestinians Annihilate the Armenians Incarcerate the Differentians.
54: Does the universe shed tears At what we do? I don't see any. Do you?
56: Face it. In the soft sculpture of our souls We hide From what we have done From what we might have done.
58: The soul, in its insanity, Crouches in that wild terrain, In that crazy field Of crippled dreams.
60: The soul is your lion, your gorilla, your bear Take it by the hand If you dare. Show it that you care. Because, you know, I care.
62: List of Images Cover: Leaf Body Out and About in the Cosmos Chop Sui Young Fire in the Belly A River Runs Through It Openings Cracking Bones Wrapping Red Ribs Back Feet In the DNA Garden History Fire Within Mona Femina
63: List of Images (continued) When Soldiers Come Home Vertigo Orchid Takes Flight Sentries Floating Intersections Pipelines Gestures Spiked Buds Automatica Sapiens Toe Nails Molten Side Blue Pathway Embrace Back Cover: Forks
65: After reading Orhan Pamuk's Nobel Prize acceptance speech, in which he asks himself why he writes, I asked myself why I create. I create to keep myself sane in a jabberwocky world. I create because I cannot not create. I create to touch the hearts of others. I create to put the graffiti of my soul on the walls of living. I create to build bridges from yesterday to tomorrow. I create for the sheer joy of creating. I create as a form of love. And I continue, passionately, as the Digital Giraffe, after 34 years of digital joy, 21 years of publishing online (www.giraffe.com), hundreds of worldwide exhibitions, 10 previous books, and exabytes of inspired pixels. We understand each other, the digital world and I.