Mel Gibson is a Menace to Your Love Life: Listening to Rasma Haidri

By Natalie van Hoose, Audio Archives Editor

In honor of National Poetry Month, we will be spotlighting one poem each Friday from our Audio Archives.

Today’s feature is Rasma Haidri’s “The Passion” from Issue 21.1. Buckle up for this one, audio fans. That Haidri manages to skate away with two-ton words like “soul,” “substantiation,” and “primal scream” may be nothing less than a miracle, but there is no denying that her punch-packing poem about a couple’s first fight—over Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ—will leave you stinging in the best of ways (just try to think of another poem in which “incarnation” occupies the same space as “shit”).

This poem comes armed with explosive and implosive potential, an “Upper Room oration” in a basement garage. In the gospel according to Haidri, redemption still comes at a price, the currency flesh; though the poem ends on a moment of intimacy—which should be an up-tick, right?—this listener’s ears keep burning. I can’t shake the sensation that Haidri just swung us close to something dangerous and freighted.