“All of us ought to be ready to laugh at ourselves,” wrote theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, “because all of us are a little funny in our foibles, conceits, and pretensions.” Yes, to a greater or lesser extent, we all belong to Hypocrites Anonymous. Laughter helps us to preserve sanity in a crazed world; provides the lubrication we so desperately need to deal with irritating people and situations. Furthermore, it accents our need for humility by pricking the balloons of vain pretension.
These vivid poems are thick with allusions to literature, theology, spirituality, history, and legend. They range from sentimental impressions of the Iowa State Fair to a fantasy visit to All Saint's Night in Dublin; from musings on the extinct dodo to a whimsical take on the pranks mischievous angels play; from a litany of the likely suspects in a murder mystery to a beatnik's view of the ascension.
In life, no doubt we will become the butt of many well-deserved jokes. As Don Quixote's sidekick, Sancho Panza, once acknowledged, “Master, I confess that all I need to be a complete ass is a tail.” Laughter, then becomes, in the words of Niebuhr, “a vestibule to the temple of confession.”