Corrupt the World With Drum2

I hear the drum beating.

What is it saying in the heartbeat of the world

other than look at the earth?

And the earth is there,

and the earth is always there.


I was conceived in Cades Cove

in the Smoky Mountains. In a tent.

Aren’t we always in a tent?

The red tent, the biblical tent,

the tent from other books I was never taught

that are also holy. I was conceived

in a tent and God came down

where the deer graze and the cars move

slowly over the long roads where people graze

on McDonald’s and peanuts and Coca Colas

and slowly roll through the park.


My parents rolled in the dark,

and I was conceived. My twin and I.

In Cades Cove. Perhaps this is why

I look at the earth and make a muddle of myself

wondering why people toss garbage

instead of making love and making children through love

and making children through the Bible

(or whatever holy book or unbook

or unBible or anything else, for I believe

in everything, including the Bible).

Make a muddle of myself and toss my hands

in my hair under my hat, for I am strong,

and weak, and do not understand how

to accept the ways of men

who toss and leave muddle on the ground.


Where will we go when we don’t conceive

ourselves properly? Where will we go

when everything is overrun with the wrong

kind of strength?


I would like to find the place of my conception

and sit there and feel God

and draw power from that spot

and perhaps bless the earth that way

or at least teach how to bless the earth that way

by finding our place of being

and being there and showing others

our being there.


And thus sing. And thus beat two sticks

together. The way God is always beating

us together at the very beginning

when sperm meets egg, beating sticks

together and making dry dead things sing

to do what’s needed on this dry earth

that is so in need of our blood’s water.



2 From a quote by Babatunde Olatunji


Author: Alicia Cole

Alicia Cole is a writer and artist in Huntsville, AL.  She’s the editor of Priestess & Hierophant Press.  Her work has appeared in Asimov’sStrange Horizons, Mythic Delirium, and Uncanny Magazine’s Disabled People Destroy SciFi, among other publications, and is forthcoming in SageWoman and NILVX.  She’s Asperger’s, learning disabled, mentally ill, bisexual, genderfluid, and a practitioner of non-normative religions.  She lives with her husband, five animals, and five plants.  Her work has been a finalist for Best of the Net, won Honorable Mention in Hermeneutic Chaos’ Jane Lumley Prize for Emerging Writers, and been selected as Longform’s Fiction of the Week.  She loves coffee, tattoos, animals, plants, and art. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.