David Ebenbach


I'm going to write a poem about Halloween,
because of all the easy symbolism: masks,
disguises, the lives we don't get to live. Though
of course we're also trying to ration our kids'
candy intake, and steal some on the side, which
is more like the real world than symbolism--
or we're recapturing our lost youth--anyway,
this year it's really cold, which could actually
say something about how our moods overtake us
unexpectedly, or it could just be a matter of
global climate change, though that story is an
allegory for human hubris, probably, but in any
case now all the kids are going out in their store-
bought costumes--a metaphor for our society's
surrender to commercialism--with winter coats
on top, which is maybe about how we all hide
those lives we want to live but don't get to, or
about how easily we lose our warmth, even
when we're small, or especially then, and in fact
there's so much symbolism that the amount of
symbolism is a symbol for the clutter of our lives,
or the way that we see ourselves from the outside
instead of just living, and all this time my son is
putting on a transformer costume in which he can't
transform into anything and the mask is too big,
if you see what I mean, and we're talking about
an awful lot of candy.

David Ebenbach is the author of Autogeography, a chapbook of poetry (forthcoming, Finishing Line Press), two collections of short stories--Between Camelots (University of Pittsburgh Press), which won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and the GLCA New WriterŐs Award, and Into the Wilderness (Washington Writers' Publishing House), which won the WWPH Fiction Prize--as well as The ArtistŐs Torah (Cascade Books), a guide to the creative process. Ebenbach has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He teaches creative writing at Georgetown University.

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