A digression from within THE 2003 POEMS

I so enjoyed doing the "Ps," I thought I'd try the "Ms" from my 1933 Century Dictionary



" who exploits, or busies himself with, something in a sordid or petty way..." Century Dictionary, p. 1083


So there is only family life and war mongering
left, and economic development.
Down through time and space we have eliminated
the soul and art (now reduced to cartoons).

We have eliminated handmade and hand calculation.
Mongering has become our sole activity.
Do not dare to create unless it can be sold.
Breed, breed children, recommend the Republicans,

" used only as the second element in compounds." CD, p.1083

with their war-mongering, white, Yale savage
in the White House. We know what that means:
cannon-fodder -- can't be righteously at eternal
war without a good supply of stalwart boys.

Can't look in God's eye, call him our own
unless we have sons to sacrifice,
foreigners' blood to pour on our Nasdaqian
altars. After all, their lives are meaningless.

Go directly to other Anti-War Poems.


"To make a low, continuous sound..." Century Dictionary, p. 1110


Nice to be all alone in my private composition
again. Nice to have the pipes crackling, the soft
paws of the cat encircling my leg, the itch in my ear,
the swollen jaw.

My heart is murmuring to me: be gentle, be soft,
be good, as if I had some control over the muscle
and blood, the heart's own palpitations,
the long, low, continuous, soft dissolution.

"...also, an expression of discontent in a low voice, privately..." CD, p.1110

O wondrous of lives that I have lived so muscularly,
so soft, discontented, with desultory hope and abundant
fear. It is its nature: Life! -- agitation, exasperation.
"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Some will rise from the dead.
Some, dead, stride among us, doomed by the single sin.
Some feel death in each breath of life.
And I? I walk with soft muscles and despair.


"One who muses." Century Dictionary, p. 1111


Sitting in the forest, perhaps, sitting on a flagpole,
preferring meditation to management
of the unmanageable world -- I muse. He muses.
They muse. Is that what life is all about?

Or is it splendiferous action? Absolute power (corrupts
absolutely) to dictate my response, his response, their
responses? Linguistics shot through worlds, altered human
thought forever, fifty centuries after writing began.

"In the frount of the chafron a goodly plume set full of musers or trimblyng spangles of gold." Muser1 "...possibly an error." OED, 1933, p.781, 1548 Hall Chron.*, Henry VIII 9 b

Were those musers sitting on the head of that pin?
-- beside the golden spangles? But then one needs,
also, to know "frount," for sure,
and "chafron" -- which may perhaps mean:

"The frontlet of a barded or armed horse." OED, p.259

The language shifts and whirls, the musers maintain their
balance whether tied to horses, or sitting quietly beside
the golden pond catching the spangled reflections
of musics from the stars.

*Edward Hall's Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (1548)


"The Muse is the muzzle or tube of a bag-pipe, without the bellows." OED, Muse3, p.780, 1782, Burney, History of Music


"A "muzzle" as well as those nine ladies,
daughters of Zeus and Memory (Mnemosyne), presiding
over intellectural pursuits: music (3 kinds), poetry (2 kinds),
tragedy, comedy, history and astronomy:

Terpsichore, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, Calliope,
Erato, Melpomene, Thalia, Clio, Urania -- how well known
"nine muses", how little known their names.
Like the Seven Dwarfs, how many can cite them all?


"...a soft pastoral melody...imitating a bagpipe air; a dance to such a tune." Century Dictionary, p.1111

A particularly American obsession, those dwarves,
dybbuks of the mind. They dance with veils, obscure
the salvered heads that roll before their piping feet.
We remember the mathematics, not

the occupations, not the Goddesses, not the arts.
We forget that all is re-writeable, speculation,
a hypothetical; the pastoral may pass, wind-bags
may be found, added to the tune.


"The science of arranging..." Century Dictionary, p. 1111


Well, yes, the whole place is going to be a museum,
sooner or later, We already exhibit ourselves
as objects, one to another. Soon there will be
nothing left, except items of curiosity

for the archaeologist, the anthropologist. Take this
nunnery, where I spend the latter days of my life,
the gardens, the attics are undoubtedly full of specimens
left by the wayward girls of yore.

"...and managing museums." CD, p. 1111

The Good Shepherd nuns arranged lives, works,
gardens, consolations. So successful were they that, when
artists were given the fifth floor south, the soothing, left-over
vibes cradle-rocked them, launching them into imaginative spaces.

Where, on the first anniversary of my moving in, the space ship
Columbia, for unacknowledged reasons, exploded returning to earth:
body parts, debris, collectibles scattering for a thousand miles
across Texas and Louisiana.


"Systematic study or knowledge of the subject of music..." Century Dictionary, p. 1112


I remember Challenger, studying Qawwali at the time,
setting the spaceship's demise to the music of the Sufic stars.
My ex-husband once said: "You read every book as if it were
a novel." Undoubtedly he meant it judgementally.

But now, at 70, I can calmly reply: "Aren't they? -- the novels
of human's time on earth." Nothing less, nothing more.
There will be others. Aren't they all fictions? -- mere
theories of what is. Any physicist can tell you that.

"...its, history, forms, methods, principles..." CD p. 1112

The genome, it turns out, can be played like a sarod,
or with the tinnier sound of a sitar. It can be played
with the intricacy of a tabla. But what is written
is fiction. Notes disappearing into air,

one supplanted by another, harmonic, discordant.
And what is air? Even that is too intricate to define.
What is is; what will be gone will be gone. The novel
theories woven by our limited brains will leave with us.


(Aedes aegypti)
"Any of various dipterous insects...the females of which..." Century Dictionary, p. 1096


I'm, more or less, a nine pint, 8% female,
so it would take 851,718* simultaneous bites
for mosquitoes to drain my body of blood. Does it
help that they'd all be female, stabbing away, sucking?

Would it be possible to put up with this blood-sucking without
flapping one's arms, hopping about, crooning and shouting?
What would be left? A flaky wasp's-nest-like tissue?
Or just the fat that floated on the fluid?

"...puncture the skin of animals (including man)..." C D, p. 1096

Even I am two-winged about this. Should I
fly away? Stick around? Be drunk to the dregs?
Animals usually only have tails to swish. We have
intellect to wield, yet we stand still for this draining

by the "self-revealing grotesques"** now in office -- mostly male,
a sex change must have taken place -- who suck and squeeze.
Tiny as mosquitoes, they manipulate our lives,
cannibalize our life blood. And they can be fatal.

* BLOOD FACTS , MOSQUITOES, PHYSICS: Volume One, Resnick, Halliday and Krane, 1992, and UW, OUGLibrary Question Board

**discription (of Trent Lott) borrowed from The New Yorker, 01-06-03, Remnick, p. 29


"...lit. 'of the Muses...' Made of small pieces of stone, glass, etc., of different colors, inlaid to form a design..." Century Dictionary, p. 1096


Small bits of almost anything gathered together
form a life, sometimes, of splendid and nuanced design.
At other times, the pattern is hard to describe,
seeming so random, so unlike the creating vision,

seeming unhoped-for, unpleasant, frightening, marginal.
Or do we all come in whole? All of a piece?
And some anvil of experience smashes down upon us --
randomly, crushing, separating, as we try to mosaic

"...sometimes, a mosaic map." C D, p. 1096

it all back into place, reform the map, the plan, reposition
the myriad pieces while clinging to some picture
pigmented from our infant desires,
as if we had seen it when light

dawned on us at the open womb-door?
When did the chipping begin, the breaking apart of the tile
into constituent pieces, inchoate, incoherent, in chaos?
Which glue or grout should we use? When?


"a. In a state of strong nervous excitement and dangerous irritability, as a male elephant or camel." Century Dictionary, p. 1113


From Sanskrit "matta," via Hindi, meaning "intoxicated..."
Buried deep within the language of long ago
are insights more rare than even mine of today.
Intoxicated by the must to do something, like an elephant:

implacable, huge, determined, driving. Even a single foot
of an elephant able to crush, incapacitate, slaughter
a human being -- such is the inevitability of "intoxication,"
of "must," leaving no choice, no reasoning power intact.

"n. The condition of being must." C D, p. 1113

Like a dawn lit, fog blanket leaving only the tops
of trees, Rainier, a skyscraper, the top of columnar, black smoke
free to investigate the cool air of the sky's dome,
a single plane,

one bright, horizon-trapped con-trail, Venus. Worlds
alter with slow majesty, intoxicated by inevitable processes
too slow to be perceived by the must of sunrise, human thought,
speeded occasionally by elephantine seepages of volcanic fluids.


"...chew..." Century Dictionary, p. 1026


The sun rises, masticating the earth -- for now.
Eight billion years hence, finding us no longer a masticate,
it will swallow us.
None of us, of course, will be present to feel the pain.

Not even our children's children's children. At some point,
having been here much less time than the dinosaurs,
we shall look to the sky, look to the earth
and perish -- probably without physical pain.

"...a medicinal substance to be chewed, as to promote the secretion of saliva." CD, p. 1026

The heat will be intense, the water will have been absorbed.
But these will be meaningless terms, as we will have been
gone by several billion years, at least,
taking our language with us

and our capacity for pain. Meanwhile, secreting saliva,
while volcanoes not only secrete but create water -- believe it or not,
that's where the oceans came from -- they'll be sucked
dry by the sun's maw.


"Sexual self-abuse." Century Dictionary, p. 1027


Ah, forbidden word ("masturbate" isn't even in the CD)
and certainly not the stuff of poetry.
How amazed I was, and hootingly delighted, when I discovered
in the great Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary, that there were

dozens of words pertaining to sex and sexual play.
Worth studying Sanskrit (at 66) just to discover that!
We're so used to English prudery, that we
forget the rest of the world has more fun.

"The action or practice of self-abuse." OED, p. 222*

Even the OED is terse on the subject,
though it goes on to speculate the word itself may
come from "mazdo- virile member + turba disturbance."
Nobody seems to think of it as pleasurable, entertaining

-- except maybe the Chinese! and O those Indians!
Imagine the deliciousness if you're old, young, ugly,
lonely, virginal or have a neutered husband, to bring
yourself to those heights that fuel half the world's engines.

*If the surgeon wrote this one, it was before he cut off his penis.


"Vain or unprofitable discourse." OED, p. 223


Well, well, well, my eye fell on this before I could
get back to the Century, but such a perfect description
of the present state of affairs in the Bush-impacted
White House, which may indeed lead to the end

of the world, is not to be resisted at 6:00 o'clock
on a Saturday morning before going off to Fidalgo.
My guess is, useful though it may be, the word
wasn't much used after 1716, but then splendidly:

"Those Sacerdotal-Secular Mataeologues of..." OED p. 224

as if the scribes were describing Bush coming along
a couple of centuries later with his cohorts. Self-interest and private
agendas don't much alter through the ages: greed is greed, war
mongering war mongering, idiocy idiocy, and puppet handling

was honed to a fine art long before the usurpation
of the world's most powerful chair by the little Bush's
corrupt coterie. Every empire champing to rule the world
has its comeuppance, though many lasted longer than we will.


"A fresh-water turtle..." Century Dictionary, p. 1027


Time to drop another poem into the bin of time:
strolling in the cool air this morning, I was accounting for
all those things I have not done -- which I thought
I wanted passionately enough to do.

I never spoke to the Dalai Lama -- too shy.
I never found a man I could love and live with
and who could live with and love me.
I never got to Lhasa, Angkor Wat or Borobudur.

"...having a brown carapace covered with pyramidal eminences." CD, p. 1027

I never lived long enough in New Mexico.
I never got the great novel written. I have
never found peace or comfort in any spiritual belief
for long. On the other hand, I have lived long enough

to realize the humorous futility in wanting anything at all,
to recognize the futile humor in desiring huge, American
houses for everyone. Laboratory rats go crazy when given too
much space. Crazed Americans are probably beyond recovery.

The kitten, Shiva-purna, is who he is who he is
who he is. He is not different. He does
what he does what he does. He does not
write poetry to drop into the bin of time.


"A minuscule letter as distinguished from a capital or an uncial..." Century Dictionary, p. 1067


In general use: very small, but not so small
as foraminifera. Seeable. Useful. The small cursive script developed
in the 7th Century. Perhaps it includes those minute ways
of writing on the human heart,

the calligraphy of pain, awareness, sorrow, foreknowledge
of what the children will go through. We welcome them,
and then, right away, we make it unpleasant for them,
teaching them deception, devious ways, malice.

"...opposed to majuscule." CD, p. 1067

Nothing much changes. The majuscule is almost unknown
except in airy-fairy, surely unattainable ways. We define
ourselves as human by our faults. He lies. It's only human.
He kills things. It's only human.

Once in a while we get tired of death and destruction.
A few 100,000 or a few 1,000,000s protest,
but this hardly registers in our common-currency minuscule.
Outside the pale? Ignore it. Continue.


"...a...surpassing example of some quality.." Century Dictionary, p. 1067


Hmmm, it actually doesn't mean, according to the CD, more
than just "wonderful thing." Something to be wondered at.
The OED shows more largesse toward the word,
invoking "Deity," "supernatural being,"

or an "...agent...either divine or...specially favoured by God."
Pious, it seems, were our friends, Murray and Minor,
whereas Emery and Brewster, apparently, were being more
circumspect, American, man-centered, matter-of-fact.

"...chiefly, an act (e.g. of healing) exhibiting control over the laws of nature..." OED, p. 486

Worlds apart, even in 1933. Who would have thought
the dictionary would speak to me of such things, especially
in reference to the word "miracle." What happened
to our Puritan vigilance,

our forefathers' conservation of God's pervasive will? The OED's
1154 use: "...manifealdlice miracles..." looks suspiciously like "many-field-lice
miracles." Or is it "hand-feeled-lice"? Try it on. Before stealth,
stolon*, stoma* is speculation.

*CD, p. 1851


"Readily perceived by the eye or the understanding;..." Century Dictionary, p. 1013


I spent the last days of my life manifesting in the light.
That's what Eva's pictures, received yesterday, state -- unequivocally.
Eva mourns not being exactly there when her mother died.
I was lucky. Jana, Helen Sue and I

were there, holding mother's hands as she left. It was so simple.
And, I was there to catch Isabell's baby being born.
Birth and death are simple. A moment, either
way and one's universe alters forever. We add

"...evident; obvious; apparent; plain..." CD, p. 1013

the rest. Having seen change's simplicity, neither, the beginning
nor the end bother me now. It is life itself, the exasperating,
minute by minute, going-wrongness of it all, learning
repeatedly, constantly, continually that, NO! it will never

be different. Life and inertia are at odds. Irreconcilable.
What you want has to be obtained by stealth, intrigue, ingenuity,
deception. Nothing favors your desires. Everything will thwart you right
to the end while, brilliantly, the light manifests.


"A military engine formerly used for throwing stones, etc." Century Dictionary, p. 1012


It has many forms: mangonele, mangenel, mangunel, mangenele, mangurnele,
mangnel, maungenele, mangonelle, mangonell, manchonel, manganel, mangonel,
magnel, magnale, magnelle, maggenell, magonneaul, mayelle, magonel, magonell,
mangole, mangonneau, manganella, mangona, mangonnum, mangon-em --

then there's the Greek magganon -- all meaning, quite singularly:
"an engine of war." The OED traces the first usage
back to "Mangunell," 1194. So many many engines "...for
casting stones

The OF feminine form is: "...mangonelle... [or]...It. manganella..." OED, p. 118

and other missiles..." (One wonders what the feminine form
was used for.) So many words, now useless --
just as silo-ed missiles outdate, become useless before a decade
is out. If

only we could get men concentrated again
on piling stones, Obelisks, Pillars, Towers, encourage them to play
with their "engines [sic] of generation,"
leave death and desolution to gentle Lethe.


"A kind of feldspar with the same composition as orthoclase..." Century Dictionary, p. 1055


There is a picture in my Century of "Microcline as seen in polarized light."
And its definition is straight forward, so straight forward
that it seemed unnecessary to check it in the OED.

there it speaks of "green and blue" and "anorthic potash feldspar."*
But it is the picture that holds my eye, black and white, layers
built upon, towers and levels, and a sprinkling
of gardens,

"..but belonging to the triclinic system." CD, p. 1055

more elaborate than Lhasa's Potola. I will endeavour to scan
the picture for this page, perhaps even color it green and blue,
then take your hand so that you may visit
it with me.

"...the angle between its cleavage plane differs a little from 90 degrees."*
Step carefully, conserve energy. There may be more
than a hundred stories to climb. The picture is cut
off top and bottom.

*OED p. 411


"...suggestive of Mezentius, a legendary Etruscan king who is said to have had living men bound face to face..." Century Dictionary, p. 1055


Both the Century and the OED suggest, by "legendary" and "mythical"*
respectively, whether they mean to or not, that Mezentius
may have never lived. But living, let's you and me,
spend a moment thinking of his purported action.

Stand, embrace your brother (or mother) and be bound,
face to face, lip to lip -- smooth, maybe silk ties, around
your neck, around your shoulders, layers upon layers
of bondage, so you cannot move, or sit or walk.

"...with corpses and then left to die." CD, p. 105

Possibly you can lie or fall down with his (her) body
beneath or above or beside you while eternity
passes, while starving to death you contemplate the horror
of your captivity, the putrefaction of your bondsperson. Look steadily

at this image. See if you can recognize your fellow man,
see if you can recognize yourself suffering
as the legendary perpetrator of this Mezentian action.
Ask the purpose, poetic or mythical, of our hatred of one another.

*OED p. 404


Mass1 may come from "...dismissal..." OED, p. 205


You'd think somewhere in the four pages of "mass" in the OED
there'd be room for "mass demonstration," but the classifications
of "mass," "the masses," in both the OED and the Century concentrate
on the lower classes:

"...the great body of the common people; the working classes or lower
social orders; often contrasted with 'the classes'..."*
Of course, both carry the thoughts of the 1930s.
Today, February 15, 2003 may help revise the lexicon.

Mass2 is probably from Gr. "...barley cake...knead..." Century Dictionary, p. 1025

An estimated 10 million people will be demonstrating today,
in cities around the world, against George Bush's war.
10 million people turning out for peace, 10 million people
asking America to stop its mindless aggression against others.

Even years of Inspections and Negotiations is preferable
to another event in George W's ubiquitous war plans
to subjugate the world and its peoples to the corporate-ruled will
of an unelected madman gone ballistic with his superpower.

*Century Dictionary, p.1025


" in step in an organized body..." Century, p. 1018


Ten to twenty million people around the world, yesterday,
marched to protest George Bush's manufactured quarrel with Saddam Hussein.
Half of the signs carried in Seattle -- home of the 80,000
turn out for the WTO and for this new

turn out of 90 to 100,000 -- cried "No Iraq War," the other half
shouted: "Impeach Bush." "What kind of peach?" "Impeach!"
"What kind of peach?" "Impeach!" But there has not been one
mention of these signs, this consensus in

" go somewhere at one's command..." CD p. 1018

any media. Listening, watching, reading assiduously, I have heard
(here in Seattle) just one report that said -- out loud -- that there even was
an Anti-War March in Seattle. The media reports
1,000,000 in London, 3 million in Rome and,

additionally, the 1/2 million in New York. But not one word
about Seattle's protest, nor the protests in at least 50 other
American and non-American cities with -- who knows what signs.
Ah! Freedom! Democracy! "What kind of peach?" "Impeach!"


"Having a memory..." Century Dictionary, p. 1042


I have slept in a cave in Malibu, high in the hills
in the golden rock, looking out over the dark chaparral to the Pacific.
I don't go there often
in memory. I seldom go near my

former lives. Yesterday, I ate camas -- a little white onion-like, crocus-like bulb --
at the Mima Mounds. It was slightly sweet, starchy, dissolving
to a gelatinous-pudding-like substance. The Indians cropped it
in the Mima Mounds.

...fraught or associated with memories." p. 1042

That, too, will become a memory. And the movement of the neck
East Indians make, so slight, so full of secret delight, ambiguity
so well described in the Burma* book I am reading --
more accumulations of memory.

And the Peace March of 10 or 20 million, Saturday --
that, too, will dissolve into memory unimpeded by failing to cause
the White-House-madmen who rule the world, who don't listen
to the people, to change their minds.

*"...she tilted her head slightly from side to side... a habit he had seen in many of the Indians. It was quite subtle, as if she was enjoying an inner joke that was much funnier, and much more profound, than her words suggested." The Piano Tuner, Daniel Mason, p. 219 -- the subtlety of this neck movement and its meaning -- which is somewhat like a jeweled serpent's swaying to music -- is here well described.


"...responsiveness to musical sounds or harmonies..." Century Dictionary, p. 1112


A Sufi in Poona, at whose feet I sat for an afternoon
sipping a cup of sweet chai, suggested the tempered scale might
be the reason the Western World is so out of tune
with other civilizations.

For, though we love our music, all but unbeknownst to us
it sets our teeth on edge. We have divorced ourselves
from the harmony of nature, from the restful, natural
tones of the just or harmonic scale.

"Mad -- ultimately derived from Indogermanic "to change"... OED p.13
"Ungovernable anger, rage, fury... " OED, p. 18

Thus, we have suffered disjointedness, an aggressiveness ever since.
Equal temperament was first used in the early 16th century
and, in the early 19th century, universally (sic) adopted
by the Western World -- significant dates for the mad

European-American aggression against all other peoples,
nations. I, who have lived within, Nada Brahma, vouch
for the soothing effect of the natural, non-tempered scale, the rejuvenation
of equilibrium, a return to humane love, dulcet tones, revelation.

"To tune in equal temperament meant deliberately creating beats, adjusting the strings finely so that only a well-trained ear could discern that they were slightly, if necessarily, out of tune." Daniel Mason, The Piano Tuner, p. 214


"...coin or certificates...also, any articles or substances similarly used...hook-money, knife-money..." Century Dictionary, p. 1083


There is no hope.
In Gandhi's day people still had the land. They
walked it, sat on it and, for the most part, could even
till a meal from it. They grew cotton and fought for salt. We? We

touch the earth at no point. We walk on concrete,
drive, fly. Food comes from the grocery store. It's price,
dependent on manmade, owned, patented seeds, rises,
rises, with food controlled for profit, used as weapons of mass destruction.

"...also, property considered with reference to its pecuniary value..." CD, p. 1083

Remember, it takes only 40 or 50 days to starve to death.
No, its not a conspiracy. It's a business deal. The end
of the world will be contracted out to the highest bidder.
He will proceed. For profit.

just one chapter: The Great Game. We, you and I, are neither
pawns nor obstacles. But then, one day they will miss us,
finding the world contains only oil, money,

body parts, luxury items, not even an expendable flunky to carry
in the tea. I used to blame England for destroying other civilizations
But, as it turns out, they were only the gruesome overture
to Imperialism's God Blessing America.


"...single...+...flower..." Century Dictionary, p. 1082


Poignant sounding, isn't it? Odd how words create our world.
Apparently the OED thought so, too, for they define monanthous as:
"Bearing a single flower (on each stalk).
Was it the mad, perhaps lonely, surgeon who,

all alone, felt the necessity: There must be others?
But note the triumph of the single Amorphophallus
stinking up the jungles of Sumatra, so beautiful,
so extravagant, uncaring if any but its beetles dare come near,

"" CD, p. 1082

self sufficient, unattached to its own species, letting others do its
reproductive work, opening in slow majesty, thrusting skyward,
closing in collapsing grandeur, setting the human agog --
like the lapping cultural strata of the mummy stuffed with Posidippus's

poetry, descending to us accidentally, mysteriously from time's grave.
Amorphophallus is nurtured in greenhouses now -- throughout the "civilized"
world. Huge, independent, ornamental, fragile, artificial, but essentially
unchanged from its jungle heritage. Observe, O Man, and despair.


"In Japanese use, a personal or family device..." Century Dictionary, p. 1082


The heavy silken drag of the kimonos over the polished
grey cypress floor, so clean that even on white tabis
no dust leaves a trace: the sound, sibilant, the perfuming
wisteria, intoxicating, the aloneness, devoutly to be wished.

Flickering pictures, mons of the mind. Flowers from worlds of
slowness and ancient time. Coveted, misunderstood by the West. Coveted
to be destroyed. Coveted, to force nuclearized Japan to re-arm,
to re-engage in the aggressive, regressive world's demise.

"...or cognizance." CD, p. 1082

If you don't know this one, it is an heraldic
crest or distinguishing badge used by the Japanese. Exquisite, often
monanthous-embroidered. The chrysanthemum mon is well known in the West.
But there are others, or were. No! Are

is correct, for the rich, the powerful, the elite are
always with us. It is the poor who disappear, are
replaced without warning, cognizance, compassion, evidence. Their ubiquitous mons are,
meanwhile, unimportant, festering to claim their own singularity.


"To give the character of money to..." Century Dictionary, p. 1083


I want to leave this page, to think something else,
but my eye falls on the definition of this age.
Each thing in the world: item my item is monetized.
I cannot leave. I am shackled. I first noticed

the phenomenon when I was studying the law.
This was 1988, and just beginning development, like a "developing"
country was the "economic theory of the law" -- essentially:
Charge more and more until the people bleed, and bleed, and bleed,

"...legalize as money; coin into money." CD, p. 1083

die of terror, fear, frustration, die of starvation, incarceration.
A most effective way to limit use of your resources is:
find out who really wants what, then make sure
they pay and pay and pay and don't get it.

Peace, justice, compassion, food. Don't limit birth on the overpopulated
earth! We NEED the cannon fodder. One talent the poor
and ignorant have is to reproduce without end.
The rich? Well, they're deep into cryogenics and cloning.


"...vulgar form of Morsel, v. " OED, p. 683


Being distracted this morning, the dictionary I grab
is the OED, and there is "moslings" --
kind of an adorable word (like a kitten).
In the 1875 quote "...used in wiping off metals while

grinding and polishing." But it's not in the Century.
Too old? Not even an "archaic." But Morsel v!
We have to look into that. Oh, my God,
there's not even a "morsel v."


"To divide into 'morsels' or small pieces." OED, p.672

in the Century, only an "n." -- and in The American Heritage,
the Random House, no v. : "to morsel."
Even as late as 1861, we have from Lytton and Fane:
"The split and morselled

crags." O look how it started out! 1598 Florio, "to morsell,
to bite." And 1621 Molle, "Chopping into pieces, morselling
and deuouring their prisoners." Well, now, we don't
do that today, do we?

Just nice clean carpets of bombs macerating the millions,
Vietnam, Cambodia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq -- it's not only okay,
it's good for them, and they should appreciate it as
much more sanitary than "moselling."


" chiefly poetic, except in proper names..." Century Dictionary, p. 1099


This will be my fifth visit to the mountain that exploded.
Ten years after it roared in 1980, I was there -- twisting up
the gray mountain in the gray fog, alone,
up, up, up to sleep the night. Awaking

at Windy Ridge, with four women, each alone in her car,
and one couple, we gazed into the sun-filled, barely domed,
steam-venting crater of 1990, the log-jam in Spirit Lake, the gray,
the purple penstemon. In 1996 I visited

"Mount2... To a higher position..." CD. p. 1099

the other side with my sister Helen, on a journey
to get possessions from my California life, and Windy Ridge,
returning. Again with Helen, a 1997 visit to the Ape Caves
on a geological trip. Now, studying geology myself,

and the disintegration of the world, I repeat that trip.
The new mount has grown. St. Helens is rebuilding itself.
I won't be alive for its next explosion, but I might
be here for Rainier's -- due to volcanize next.


"In the metric system, the fundamental unit of length..." Century Dictionary, p. 1052


If I had any doubt I was getting old, I found
affirmation yesterday in the Ape Cave on Mt. Saint Helens. I
stepped about 20 metres into the utter darkness with a weak
torch, stumbling on the rock-littered, slick,

wet floor, wavering like a grass blade in a high wind.
My fellow students had all gone on. There were the lava
ridges, and there was the darkness. I was not interested in
risking a hip or an elbow

Supposedly " ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the pole...39.37 inches..." CD, p. 1052

or a wrist. I went topside. I walked the path. Huge
eructations, on either side, could be seen where, from time to
time, the ploughing lava, had heaved up rocks and cracked itself
into angular, black-boulder-bordered cauldrons which yawned,

accumulating chartreuse, moss doilies, in the frigid, sunny air -- a draught
heady as an opium elixir. And here and there were rough
arched openings into the earth leading into darkness, a little snow
on the ground, twinkling, pristine, slippery.


"Of or pertaining to Meton, an Athenian astronomer of the 5th century B.C..." Century Dictionary, p. 1053


19 years ago it was 1984. Long past now, that famous,
literary year, it passed by with little drama, but its prophecies
coming true year after year after year. In 2003 we're not
as susceptible to shock at lost 6

of liberty, lost of ethics, rip-offs, get-richer schemes of the rich,
the power-mad egos of madmen. America's propaganda machines is more oiled
than Orwell's; black is white, war is peace, no-see-um enemies lurk
behind every bush while big-brother Dubya

"...the Metonic cycle...of 19 years...[when] the new moon recurs on the same day of the year..." p. 1053

plucks away our rights, freedoms, way of life in the name
of saving our rights, freedoms, way of life. He creates new
monsters for each occasion, bombs while his buddies pipeline for oil
saving some for him too, should

he outlive the new order. If people get in the way,
those who protest the bombings and those whom the bombs land
on, no matter, Dubya assures us he will hold firm in
The Great Game, Imperialism, Colonialism, Globalization.


"...prob. from the root of AS. mithan,. conceal, OHG. midan, G. meiden, shun. Century Dictionary, p. 1072


Shiva-purna and I look in the mirror, and I realize
he came to earth expecting to find life full of tigers, panthers,
cheetah. As I murmur "Cheetah," he bites my neck with
his saber-sharp teeth -- doesn't quite draw blood --

pointing up, I think, that I've defined the problem -- at last.
Half Siamese, part Yeti, touches of Snow Leopard and Cheetah
from the savannah, he misses his kind. Was it kind,
to catch him from the jungle? Imprint him

"To fail to hit, light upon, meet, receive, obtain, attain, accomplish, see hear, etc..." p. 1072

to the love of humans -- one human, occasionally two.
"Miss": the disappointment verb par excellence, suitable to describe
the white and fur-colored, tawny, re-arranger of my life, objects,
smooth skin, night's sleep, peace of mind, my silence, expectations, desires.

He hides, he arches, he fluffs, he jumps like a salmon, higher,
higher, rips art from the walls, clears tables, sweeps counters, steals
paper-clips, embraces my plants -- to death, attacks, flushes the toilet,
and never misses my vulnerable heart.


"...sometimes regarded as constituting a distinct phylum (the Myxophyta), and sometimes included among the thallophytes." Century Dictionary, p. 1118


Well, for my last "M" poem I thought it would be easy
to choose the last "m" in the book, "myxophyte,"
but then, checking it against the OED -- it's not there.
Instead the last word, "myzostoma," is marked

as being use: "Only in foreign (or earlier English) words."
And instead of referring to "low" vegetable organisms (slime-molds),
it refers to worms -- with suckers. Although, as I read further under
"myxomycetous," I find it, "myxomycetous," has "characteristics

"...small worms parasitic on crinoids, having disc-like bodies provided with suckers." OED, p. 820

of both animals and plants, and..." occurs ..."in slimy masses on decaying
logs." Thus, I've reached my favorite number, 33, for sequentials
-- and look how many "M"s are left. I daren't
follow out the obsessive desire to count

-- for the CD and OED disagree, and that might tease
the brain toward a madness to reconcile this, choose that,
be dissatisfied with my small portion of the myriad misses
and mullioned mysteries of the miscellaneousness of life.

Copyright © 2003 through 2015 Jan Haag
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail:


Mangonel, 02-12-03

Manifest, 02-11-03

March, 02-16-03

Mass Demonstration, 02-15-03

Masticate, 02-06-03

Masturbation, 02-07/10-03

Mataeology, 02-08/09-03

Matamata, 02-09-03

Memoried, 02-15/17-03

Metonic, 02-25-03

Metre, 02-24-03

Mezentian, 02-14-03

Microcline, 02-13-03

Minuscule, 02-10-03

Miracle, 02-11-03

Miss, 02-26-03

Mon, 02-20-03

Monanthous, 02-19-03

Monetize, 02-21-03

Money, 02-18/19-03

Monger, 01-29-03

Moslings, Morsel, 02-22-03

Mount St. Helens, 02-23-03

Music And Madness, 02-17-03

Musicology, 02-05-03

Mosaic, 02-05-03

Mosquito, 02-04-03

Murmur, 01-30-03

Muse, Musette 02-01-03

Museology, 02-02/03-03

Muser, 01-31-03

Musicology, 02-03-03

Must3 , 02-06-03

Myxophyte, 02-26-03







21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context