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Topic: Ken Victor

A Lifetime Spent Scratching: We Were Like Everyone Else by Ken Victor

Ken Victor’s We Were Like Everyone Else is his first collection of poems. “A Lifetime Spent Scratching,” the first section of the book, carries the weight of Victor’s rabbinical assertion that men generally fall short of the mark. This mark is established in his first poem, “The Discovery Of Mouths,” which is set in Eden, where satiation and communication are second nature to Adam and Eve. The couple bathe in delicious, ripe fruit, like plants basking in sunlight, and they converse using telepathy. They have not discovered their mouths because they have no need for them. Victor uses his hyperbolic version of the Genesis story to simply say that “those early days” are over and that men, in particular, need “Freud” to deal with their debased minds, and gossip to cope with unhealthy relationships, and they, of course, suffer hunger as a symptom and metaphor for their physical and spiritual malnutrition.