Explications


Not a final draft.

Edward Lacie (edwa318@webtv.net)




Interesting in light of the Catholic sex scandal, "In Which We Serve" addresses consensual sex rather than pederasty. The poem sympathizes with the priest who is its main character.

A sort of short story, it is compactly communicated. In the first verse we are introduced to the priest who, when it's not Sunday, dresses in "leather jacket and blue jeans".

The second verse sets the scene at "a bar" so "the boy" is not a pederast's prize. Both characters are speaking Spanish.

In the third verse, a reference to serving "God or Mammon" makes of the literary or military reference in the title a Biblical reference. Baysans often employs such layer-upon-layer of allusion and double entendre. The information is crucial in telling the reader that the "boy" does not know the other character is a priest, crucial to the plot.

The final verse is a coy but direct sex scene "in the safety of darkness," an image familiar to those who have endured any kind of closet. The sacrilege of the final line, "Thank you, God," whispered unintentionally by the "boy" to a priest begs the question, "What exactly is a priest's work?"

"What is a priest's work?" reverberates again off the title of the poem. The brief, voyeuristic look into these lives has been uncomfortingly revealing. Like a soap opera, however, it is compelling, lurid. The reader almost wants to "look again," this time with an eye over ones shoulder to see who might be looking.


-Edward Lacie, 7/17/2002