Issue 100, Summer-Fall 1986
Two sharp eminences with a valley between
Through which the erratic witness of a loosened tongue
Flows to the sea: Mount M__________. Mark it well.
It is the same mystifying letter that masks
My middle name. At confirmation that became
Mark, but neither name nor sacrament stuck,
And I was tumbled into a universe
In which that M could stand for almost anything,
Into the infamous Modern World where meanings
Are all relative and relatives don’t mean as much
As they did in A.D. 1000 in the Mediterranean basin
Where our earlier world-view was formed by conniving
Clerics (cf. Jack Goody, The Development of the Family
And Marriage in Europe), but that’s not to say
They don’t mean a lot or we wouldn’t be travelling
Thousands of miles to visit them, would we?
The engine hums, the road swerves, and the valley
Opens to a view of the Pacific. Wow. One sees at once
Why science believes the moon to have been
Scooped from its basin, for it is huge. Meanwhile,
High above our tiny Dodge (named for Aries, alias
The Ram), the angel of my middle name
Sings of sunlight, sea and shore, praises
The magma at earth’s core, swings his censer.
Scents the air and shouts. Behold, am I not fair!