Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 18, Vol. 2. Vernal Equinox 2010

Inclinations, David B. Harrington.
Revolution Press: Yakima, WA, 2009. 55 pages. $13.33 USD.

review by J.S. Kupperman

Inclinations represents David Harrington’s first published collection of poetry. A regular contributor to the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition, Harrington’s present work is reminiscent of previous works the reader may have seen in the virtual pages of the Journal. However, Inclinations is not a random collection of poems. Rather, it is a complete book, delving into many spiritual themes while maintaining its overall cohesiveness.

In some ways Inclinations may be likened to the Divine Comedy; the reader is left to determine whether or not the author has in fact undergone some deep, mystical experience himself or if it is a political exposition on what is wrong with religion, specifically Christianity, today. Or perhaps it is both.

Beyond this, however, Inclinations reads like a new American Protestant Book of Revelations. Within its pages is a vision, or series of visions, of a coming spiritual revolution that will shake the world. As might be expected, then, Inclinations warns of false prophets, taking the shape of twin arguing goats, angelic intervention, and how the cycle of evil will ultimately destroy itself, taking down all who have fallen into sin with it.

Inclinations holds several messages to us as well. There is, for instance, a reoccurring anti-abortion theme as well as what appears to be anti-Catholic rhetoric, though by no means of Dan Brownian levels. But for the apparent doom and gloom there is also a possibly surprising stream of ecological concern here as well, especially as found in “Great Mother.” In this poem we are warned “Disregard the Great Mother and she’ll disregard you when it comes time to suckle her breasts.”

Despite this, however, there is a great deal of apparent doom and gloom in Inclinations. This should not, however, be overly surprising. Many texts of dealing with the end of one time and the beginning of another are concerned largely with the end of the current era first, and how it will come about. In this Inclinations takes on the role of a prophetic, mythological text. It not only tells us of the ways that are unpleasing to god but also shows us how we may recognize the sacred from the profane and the profane from the defiled. There is no happy ending in Inclinations because it has not come to tell us good news. Instead it is a book of judgment, of Christ with a sword of fire from his tongue, the wicked falling to his word. There may be a time of joy after judgment, but only those found worthy will know of it and its time of Honeywine.