Leviticus is my second poem in the ‘Autumn, That Bastard‘ poetry collection. Check out the poem here before reading ahead to get a better understanding of the rambling ahead!
The first thing I want make clear with this poem is what a passage like Leviticus 20:13 implies for myself. So I start with realising my own sexuality, acknowledging that my old way of life has been to an extent dispossessed. My own rituals that I refer to is my own practice and ways of living I have since developed, similar to what Leviticus is meant to be for priests as a sort of rule-book. The fear I then refer to was exploring this new found sexuality and acknowledging this deviance. Setting fire to my dead-past, (River Styx) is what grounds me to move forward. I am essentially saying that yes my Bisexual revelation was an interesting revelation, and it has implications for certain aspects of my life, but it is only affecting me in now sense that I am moving forward and not burdened with the hate that the likes of which Leviticus preach. And yes, it is hate, because killing is quite an extreme for consenting adults for their sexual escapades.
The poem can be perceived to be divided in two parts. The first part is a celebration of sort of my own sexuality saying how I will not blindly listen to the ‘faculty of slaves’. Slaves denotes racial connotations now because of our changed context and is a slight against people who do not take texts at the value of their context. This extends to why Looney Toons had some low-key racist undertones and black-face was accepted in theatre. Because their context permitted it. All texts, including the bible and a passage like Leviticus, must be taken with the grain of their original context. This doesn’t even account for the missing translations that could have occurred and even further, including that it was mostly oral until centuries. But more to me, I am simply stating that I am not because of Leviticus and will not according to Leviticus.
The second part of the poem is more of a critique of the book of some of the arbitrary rules. Some examples are: giving specific attention to the fault of the adulteress, not having sex with a woman on their period, not eating shell-fish and not tattooing your body. I also critique sacrifices that are specified like pigeons, doves and bulls. The alliteration of ‘what prison prevents you from purgatory’ is used to emphasise what the three words have in common, an inability to do a certain action. Mainly, I am asking what is stopping the reader from evaluating their beliefs in this matter (if they believe what I am critiquing to the maximum), understanding that losing faith in God regarding sexuality would put them in an awkward position that is akin to the feelings presented in purgatory.
The last line, ‘No Questions? No Question.’ implies that for some, there will be no questioning of the bible, undoutably. Or if they do question, it will be a fleeting thought hence the lack of a plural for the last question.