Since publishing “Marrow” in September 2013, the response has been interesting. One man said as a compliment that the poems were “raw”. Beyond that, the book has been met with silence.
This might deter some. But it merely mirrors the worldwide response to Childhood Cancer itself.
Do people really think that by being silent the problem will go away? No, it only makes it worse. Silence equals condoning and participating in one of the worst crimes of modern society: the systematic torture of children of all ages with medieval treatments and 7 deaths a day in the U.S. alone; neglect and torture of sick children and their families, friends, and communities.
If a pedophile was hurting children in your neighborhood, would you keep silent, hoping that the predator would stop or go away on his/her own? Or would you go to the authorities and demand justice and safety for those children?
What’s the difference? Childhood Cancer robs the innocence and lives of children everyday. No matter what you’ve heard, it is not rare. So the pharmaceutical companies can’t make a profit by researching and producing better, safer treatments for children. Does that really make it okay for them to ignore and neglect these children? If you had to choose between your life as an adult and your child’s life, which would you choose? Then, why don’t you?
I knew when I wrote these poems and published this little book that it would be controversial. I knew that some would question whether poems that tackled such a horrific subject could really be considered poetry at all. I knew it would shock and offend.
But people need to know.
What if it was your child who was diagnosed with cancer? What if it was your child who was tortured by unacceptable, outdated, ineffective treatments? What if you were faced with literally millions of dollars in medical bills for this? What if you had to listen to your child plan his/her own funeral and try to give you strength to get through it when it comes? What if it was your child who was buried, 7 times a day in the U.S. alone?
Because it very well could be.
So controversial or not – poetry or not – I had to write and publish this little book. Because the silence must be broken, regardless of how uncomfortable it is to the world to be brought face-to-face with this unspeakable injustice. Because the children need a voice. And they need research for better, safer, effective treatments.
That’s why 100% of the proceeds (minus paypal processing fees) goes directly to St. Jude’s Research Hospital upon payment.
Stop the injustice. Stop the crime. Learn the facts. Spread awareness. Don’t close your eyes anymore. Don’t condone with silence anymore.