The Good Men Project Publishes “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer”

I am really happy that The Good Men Project has chosen to publish a new of poem of mine called “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer.” Too often, I think sites like that ignore the potential for poetry to speak truth to the cultural conversations we have about all kinds of issues, in this case gender, sexual violence, heterosexual male privilege and other related issues. At least I hope that’s what this poem does. Here’s the beginning–and please be aware that the poem does contain graphic descriptions of sexual violence against both men and women:

Just before his mother
pushed him through herself
hard enough to split who she was
wide enough for him to enter the world,
I touched the top of my son’s head;
and after he was born,
the midwife—her name,
I think, was Vivian—
held my wife’s umbilical cord
in a loop for me to cut, which I did,
freeing our new boy’s body
to enter the name
we had waiting for him;
and then Vivian laid him
against the curve of his mother’s body,
giving him to the breast
he would for years
define his world by;
and once that first taste of love
was firmly lodged within him,
she bundled him tight,
placed him in my arms
and, while I sang his welcome
in a far corner of the room,
turned to assist the doctor
sewing up my wife’s
birth-torn flesh.

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2 Responses to The Good Men Project Publishes “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer”

  1. 1
    AMM says:

    I haven’t gone over to the “Good Men Project” website to look at the poem, because I have not had a good impression of what they do there.

    I visited the place a year or two ago and read a number of the articles, and they tout a version of masculinity which, underneath all the verbiage, is basically just a “kinder, gentler” version of the same old male privilege. I remember that he-who-must-not-be-named (but whose initials are HS) was an honored contributor, which IMHO does not speak well for it, but was entirely consistent with the rest of what was there.

    Since I respect Mr. Newman, based on what he has written here, I would like to believe that his poem is not in that vein. If so, I wish he had found another venue, because I’m afraid it may suffer as a result of the bad company it is keeping.

  2. AMM:

    Thanks for this. I have responded to you in a separate post.