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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.

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Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock

"The introduction of my new publication, Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock will be launched on Sept 14 2019 at 1:30 PM at the Henderson County Court House 500 Main Street. A talk and a brief slide show follows with refreshments afterward. …"
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Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8

Metamorphoses

 (Part of Living Poem)

Hear audioMetamorphoses%20181004_0192.MP3

 

So Apollo committed the first rape.

He’d come back from exterminating Python,

The Bane of Humanity, now his arrow-victim,

And stopped to mock Cupid’s puny shafts—
“Fit for girlish romance,” Apollo laughed.

 

Like any miscreant embittered by dismissal,

Cupid weaponized his stigmatized missile

And provoked in Apollo himself an infatuation

With Daphne, a river girl Cupid had dubbed virginal.

Captured, she becomes a tree, which Apollo caresses.

 

I shudder at Daphne’s abnegating withdrawal

Once she’d seen no escape from the rapist’s thirst.

That’s the second example of rampant evil

Cited by Ovid in Metamorphoses.  The first

Is when Lycaon feeds human meat to his guest.

 

The guest was Jove, who’d assumed human form

To see if creation had gone sickeningly wrong

And learned humans were worse than he’d thought.

The twist is that Jove’s son Apollo comported

Himself with the same depravity deplored in mortals.

 

And, of course, there’s Jove’s abduction of Io.

He’d changed her into a cow to avoid detection

By Juno, his wife, who’d then penned the heifer

In a meadow to moo at the horror of her transformation.

How can we let that image die in our perspective?

 

I look up to our pantheon, the courts, the Senate,

And see the male gods’ ethos represented:

Apollo’s creed.  And conclude that rape is central,

Along with pride and avarice, to the illness

That seems to be historically ever with us.

 

It makes me reflect on the question of ALS.

How can something systemic be coaxed to reverse?

Checks and balances fall to rampaging forces,

Causing indelible traumas and fueling hysteria.

It had begun, in myth, with Apollo’s assault on evil.

 

And now I laugh at my birthday, April 23rd,

The day of St. George who slayed the cursed serpent.

“The dragon represents Winter, and I am Earth!”

He says as he slides his long sword into its sleek sheath.

It’s symbolic.  No need going off swinging bollocks.

 

Why do rapists rise to the upper echelon of society? 

I’m simply drawing from classical mythology.  My theory

Is: They must compensate for their damaged morality.

Look at how many sin-hating senators are sinners in practice.

Amorality, that’s the topic; and how it works as a tactic.

--Rob Neufeld, Oct. 3, 2018

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Poignant in so many ways!   

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