» What God Has Joined Together «
Kevin McGowin
Wednesday 27 - Holy Wednesday

From: Donnell Bickham
To: Damon Sauve dsauve@www.levee67.com
Subject: Kevin McGowin's Novel

Dear Mr. Sauve:

We've corresponded before, twice when you rejected my short story submissions for Oyster Boy Review and once at a reading in Oakland. You were quite cordial on all three occasions, and I respect what you've achieved as a publisher.

But shame on you, Mr. Sauve, for publishing McGowin's latest novel, What God Has Joined Together, on your website. It is filthy, offensive, and blasphemous and even these terms do not do this trash justice.

This is especially disturbing to me in light of the fact that I had been an admirer of Kevin McGowin for some ten years. I was moved and impressed by his books of poetry, Wild Afflictions and Desperate Resolutions, which are imbued with a strong sense of spirituality and informed by both a social conscience and a deep knowledge of art and culture, qualities utterly absent from the present book. I was affected by his play, The Cold Distance, with its solid moral structure and character development, as was his first novel, Death of a Dancing Bear, which put forth a strong case against child abuse and for animal rights. I suppose now that he's entered his 40s his sensibilities have been dulled, if not utterly destroyed.

I am most offended by the utter blasphemy of this coarse rubbish, especially the reference in yesterday's chapter to "God's Pussy." This is odious, and I hate to think of such a phrase online for my children to be able to read. Moreover, the Bible is clear on the fact that God is a man — and His name is Jesus Christ. The suggestion that Jesus has already returned in the form of a crazy, evil monk who did nothing but somehow become thrown together with the Russian tzar is, to my mind, proof of McGowin's unsound one, and perhaps yours as well.

I am deeply disturbed by the perversion of the Calendar of Saints, and during this, Holy Week, of all times! Yes, I am a Catholic, and the Church made saints of those whose lives were found to be blameless. Such cannot be said for the figures McGowin gradually substitutes in his "fiction" as "saints": Roedy Green, a homosexual, Oscar Wilde, the same; Marilyn Monroe, who was promiscuous, as was John F. Kennedy, who was an adulterer; John Coltrane, a drug addict; pedophile children's book writers; Mario Lemieux, who has never professed Christ; Jack London, an alcoholic (isn't the device in which the reader is unclear as to who the narrator is just another ploy for McGowin to hide behind his own filth?); and, of all people, Freddie Mercury, who as a sodomite, died of AIDS! Is Mr. McGowin suggesting we would do just as well saying our rosaries to these reprehensible individuals?

And then, among others, McGowin denigrates the Church Fathers and encourages the reading of noncanonical "Gospels" while promoting to Sainthood persons as disagreeable and unrepentantly sinful as Gustav Mahler, John Lennon, Julius Caesar! Pontius Pilate, even! Goya, Thackeray, people with no connection to God or anything else. Rabelais? Poe? Having himself photographed with Paul McCartney for the About the Author page, a man who was once arrested for drugs? And his disgusting characters as well, you for instance.

Not to mention the references to drugs, astrology, and the tarot. And he has the gall to dedicate the book, in part, to his own son, Holden McGowin. He has no right to do any of this, and I ask and pray that your sense of decency will prevail and that you will see fit to take this foolish and sinful lunacy off your site. Not only is it not funny, and repulsive, but it has no literary merit, and it is totally random and unconnected.

You will be in my prayers, Mr. Sauve. Mr. McGowin will not — he is already beyond repair, and should be arrested for his foul and worthless ramblings.

Glory to God,

Don Bickham
St. Paul, Minnesota

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