The Leopard Lady and the Bible
April 29, 2019
David Halperin, an eminent scholar of the Old Testament and UFOs alike, wrote this incredible essay on the Bible in Leopard Lady. Here's an excerpt:
"This leopard-skin come onto me / when I lost love," this Lady begins her tale. She adds in parentheses, "this is not for the marks to know," these being the "rubes," the hicks come to see her circus act, who gawp at her as she lets the enshrouding red silk fall away from her leopard-spotted body.
" … the letting-go of that man–
him of me then me of him–
left me streaked, specked, and spotted
like the flocks of Jacob,
and I opened my mouth to say
the true things that underprop the world."
You already can feel her voice: earthy, uneducated yet eloquent, drenched in the language of the Bible, which (we later learn) was the essential book on which she grew up. She alludes to the story of Jacob and his flocks in the 30th chapter of Genesis, but more tellingly to Jesus's quotation of Psalm 78: "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 13:35).