BY JAN HAAG
ESSAYS + MUSIC
CENTURY Xs FOR THE 2001 POEMS
Today is my Brother's birthday. Art thou thy brother's keeper?
70, a vegetable, a slow, still animated vegetable. He can say "Yes,"
can say "No." He eats, sleeps, watches television.
He had a stroke
when he was younger than I
am now. Happy Birthday,
Today, in addition, begins a new Poem Series -- rather, a Dual
Series, maybe more than one Dual
Today, I start the Z People Biographies.
But they take NET
which I cannot do at home.
So each Z Person may take several days
*(Through a mistake, I never got to the second Z
The mistake was so amusing, who needed to go on?)
To preserve my sanity,
I need to write at least
one poem each
Simultaneously with the Biographical
Z people sketches,
the Xs. Do them all.
All, that is, that inhabit my
Dictionary. However, it's hard to
how many all is.
*(I never got started)
Skipping X, itself,
the other eleven topping the
alphabetical X s are derived
from Greek "yellow. " The question is:
Are they the same -- belonging in one poem?
Or are they
different? That was the great question
when I was picking
foraminifera: Are they the same or different?
Sameness/difference may be the magna/summa
along the obstacle course
of the human race.
Yellow is appropriate for my brother.
three, I was
the youngest and pink, my sister was middle
so there was only yellow left for Con, the eldest. How
assigned in reverse chronology I do not know.
*(Pink is the most
choosable of all colors.
Blue and yellow are facts of life.)
always a little out of it,
odder than me,
and certainly a whole magnitude different
than my normal sister --
tends him devotedly.
So the stroke may have been a
He got to stop trying to fit into a world that has no place for him.
Anyway, the Xs:
It's the 24th letter of the English alphabet.
It denotes an unknown quantity, person or thing.
You see people, the Xs, strolling the streets
of Seattle or (by now)
any other town or country lane, talking
-- maybe to Kuala Lampur,
Paris, Urumqui, Angkor Wat -- surely distributing
electricity of some kind
-- a student radiating from UW's Red Square
to a student in Moscow's
Red Square beside the Kremlin.
It was always difficult to be present in one's own life.
possible for "friends" to walk along,
one talking to Peru, the other
When they part they say:
With ears occupied elsewhere, they "See ya."
They do not speak to
One wonders if they wonder where they are.
means ten. But the Romans couldn't do it --
math and higher
-- with their cumbersome, elegantly
carvable, complex numerals. So,
along with a bit of Islam,
the West adopted Arabic numerals.
where it's got us!
Also, it tells right there, under X2 , how
be Xmas, and Christian (though I
have never seen this one) got to be
Via the Greek, of course, from their X which
rendered in English as Ch.
So here we begin running with the Chi's
with an introduction longer
than any poem will be
-- except maybe X number 2
with eleven jaundiced Xs
*(it never got written),
xanthopsia, which means seeing everything tinged
More of The 2001 Poems
Copyright © 2002 Jan Haag
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: email@example.com
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
BY JAN HAAG
+ TRAVEL +