The black-suited ministers that populate this free PDF chapbook have their “crossword-puzzle God / figured out and written with ink.” Theirs is a religion of certainty and bigotry, a religion of “Hate, / a mosquito spray fog,” that leaves us “all coughing / asthmatics,” in a world where “the ambulance always late.”
The “Fitting Parts” of the title are explained by yet another of these sinister ministers in terms of divine design: “God didn’t intend / homosexuals because / our parts don’t fit.” The hatred, not the stupidity, is what’s focused on here. Pobo rages against the dehumanization of homosexuals. As he writes, one certain people “define me / as a lifestyle choice– / the rest comes easily.” Indeed, the real threat, as Pobo sees it, is in parents who “strap down / their kid’s brain…so the kid grows up / to be like them, / flat, / hateful– / anxious.”
These poems are “speaking out” and expressing something of the human reality of those who feel their existence disregarded by the world of black-suited ministers. Yet there are moments of awe and humor–appreciations of Sappho and Whitman, musings on cocks stalking men in dreams–amidst the anger. And Pobo tries here to voice an alternative to, for instance, the path taken by one character, whose situations expresses the stakes in play for this slim book:
Steve turned himself into a lie
to satisfy them, hoped to die,
hoping his death could stop the threat
of violence. He hid so well,
but felt that everyone could tell.