February 12, 2015

Julie Price Pinkerton

WHAT IS MY LIFE ABOUT?

This naked, lonely question
is still simmering in a crock pot
on the counter of a beach bungalow

where no one lives. But if you like,
I can show you some examples of what falls
out of my life when it’s whacked like a piñata:

My friend Emily reminisces about the cat
she used to have, and still misses.
“Clearly, Pippin and I were telepathic.”

In my collection of very bad Christmas decorations
there is a cloisonné manger scene with a baby Jesus
who has a snout like a piglet.

I have been criticized for always looking downward
when I walk. But in only five decades I have found enough
coins to sink a rowboat.

If I were a household object I would insist
on being a gooseneck lamp or the yarn mane
of a toy horse.

Most of my prayers are like drive-by shootings.
Please help me. Please save her. Thank you
for the parking spot.

from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith

[download audio]

__________

Julie Price Pinkerton: “I am a poet of faith. I’ve never written that sentence before. I was raised in a Baptist church on a gravel road on the outskirts of Brazil, Indiana. All of Brazil, Indiana, is kind of an outskirt. The church of my childhood was weird and toxic. Long story. At the center of it: Our pastor’s son (who became a pastor himself) was a pedophile. Nobody knew this until many years later, but something was off there, and I could tell. I hated going there. I stuck with my faith, though. Went to a really small Methodist college, the University of Evansville. A battering ram hit my faith in God when I was a freshman and our school’s entire basketball team was killed in a plane crash. Among the lost was the boy I had just started dating. But faith was still there, flailing. Post-college adult stuff. Marriage, divorce, the switching of churches, the switching of denominations (within Christianity), jobs, cities, marriage again, and hobbling along with my belief in God, which never leaves, but baffles me repeatedly like a train I can hear blaring somewhere in the woods but I cannot find the tracks. I’m 54 now. And Christ is still the only thing that makes sense to me. My atheist friends find this quaint. That’s OK.”