ANC056: Threshold by Tom Snarsky
If my place / in the universe were at even a small remove / from yours, my ugly heart would pirouette / out across the roof of the world to a ledge / off which I’d leap / towards you.
Social constructionism suggests a communal development of the traditions dictating our shared reality. These conventions codify the beliefs and practices of a dominant class to the detriment of those less powerful, reinforcing both the customs and the imbalance they depend upon. Instinct often guides us to accept precedent as natural, regardless of its effect. One theory we have resigned to hold as truth is our irreducibly finite worth in regard to modernity’s unceasing need for more. We are the sum of our productivity, limited by our subjection to those who depend on our time and energy for their own gains. As we move ever closer to fully embracing a culture of work, new rituals and wisdoms quietly ensnare.
Tom Snarsky’s Threshold aims to reestablish a meaningful temporality despite the crushingly nihilistic course we find ourselves traveling, to find joy in the relationships caught between the strides of its onward march. He contemplates the desires and dreams defining a meaningful human existence, refusing to concede to the sense of futility governing so much in our twenty-first century. From free verse to sestina, Snarsky calls upon the lyrical medium to revel in the delicate curiosity of a world where “death stands such precious little chance / against a flock of birds, although it takes / its human lovers with embarrassing ease.”