BY JAN HAAG
ESSAYS + MUSIC
ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS
THE THIRTY-THREE "M" POEMS
I so enjoyed doing the "Ps," I thought I'd try the "Ms" from my 1933
"...one 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
Down through time and space we have eliminated
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
"...now 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
-- can't be righteously at eternal
war without a good supply of
Can't look in God's eye, call him our own
unless we have sons to
foreigners' blood to pour on our Nasdaqian
altars. After all, their
lives are meaningless.
"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
and blood, the heart's own palpitations,
the long, low, continuous, soft
"...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.
hope, ye who enter here."
Some will rise from the dead.
Some, dead, stride among us, doomed by the single sin.
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
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
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
whether tied to horses, or sitting quietly beside
the golden pond
catching the spangled reflections
of musics from the stars.
"The Muse is the muzzle or tube of a
bag-pipe, without the
Muse3, p.780, 1782, Burney, History of Music
"A "muzzle" as well as those nine
daughters of Zeus and Memory
over intellectural pursuits: music (3 kinds), poetry (2
tragedy, comedy, history and astronomy:
Melpomene, Thalia, Clio, Urania -- how well
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
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
nothing left, except items of curiosity
for the archaeologist, the anthropologist. Take this
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
setting the spaceship's demise to the music of the Sufic
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
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
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.
"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*
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?
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,
sex change must have taken place -- who suck and squeeze.
mosquitoes, they manipulate our lives,
cannibalize our life blood.
And they can be fatal.
* BLOOD FACTS
Volume One, Resnick, Halliday and Krane, 1992, and UW, OUGLibrary
**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
myriad pieces while clinging to some picture
pigmented from our infant
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
implacable, huge, determined, driving. Even a single foot
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
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.
of us, of course, will be present to feel the pain.
Not even our children's children's children. At some point,
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.
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,
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)
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.
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 +
Nobody seems to think of it as
-- except maybe the Chinese! and O those Indians!
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.
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
of the world, is not to be resisted at 6:00 o'clock
on a Saturday
morning before going off to
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
don't much alter through the ages: greed is greed, 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.
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,
recognize the futile humor in desiring huge, American
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,
"...opposed to majuscule." CD, p. 1067
Nothing much changes. The majuscule is
except in airy-fairy, surely unattainable ways. We define
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
A few 100,000 or a few
but this hardly
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
"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,
Emery and Brewster, apparently, were being more
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
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
miracles." Or is it "hand-feeled-lice"? Try it
on. Before stealth,
*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.
Eva's pictures, received yesterday, state -- unequivocally.
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.
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
the end bother me now. It is life itself, the exasperating,
minute, going-wrongness of it all, learning
continually that, NO! it will never
be different. Life and inertia are at odds. Irreconcilable.
you want has to be obtained by stealth, intrigue, ingenuity,
deception. Nothing favors your desires. Everything will thwart
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,
magnel, magnale, magnelle, maggenell, magonneaul, mayelle,
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
The OF feminine form is: "...mangonelle... [or]...It. manganella..." OED,
and other missiles..." (One wonders what the feminine form
for.) So many words, now useless --
just as silo-ed missiles
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
"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
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
But it is the picture that holds my eye, black and white,
built upon, towers and levels, and a sprinkling
"..but belonging to the triclinic system." CD, p. 1055
more elaborate than Lhasa's
I will endeavour to scan
picture for this page, perhaps even color it green and blue,
your hand so that you may visit
it with me.
"...the angle between its cleavage plane differs a little from 90
Step carefully, conserve energy. There may be more
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
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
"...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
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
be room for "mass demonstration," but the classifications
"the masses," in both the OED and the Century concentrate
on the lower
"...the great body of the common people; the working classes or lower
social orders; often contrasted with 'the classes'..."*
both carry the thoughts of the 1930s.
Today, February 15, 2003 may help
revise the lexicon.
Mass2 is probably from Gr. "...barley cake...knead..."
Dictionary, p. 1025
An estimated 10 million people will be demonstrating today,
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
"...to...advance in step in an organized body..." Century, p. 1018
Ten to twenty million people around the world, yesterday,
to protest George Bush's manufactured quarrel with Saddam
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
mention of these signs, this consensus in
"...to 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
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
American and non-American cities with -- who knows what
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
in memory. I seldom go near my
former lives. Yesterday, I ate camas
-- a little white onion-like, crocus-like bulb --
Mima Mounds. It was slightly sweet,
to a gelatinous-pudding-like substance.
The Indians cropped it
...fraught or associated with memories." p. 1042
That, too, will become a memory. And the movement of the neck
Indians make, so slight, so full of secret delight, ambiguity
described in the Burma* book I am reading --
more accumulations of
And the Peace
March of 10 or 20 million, Saturday --
will dissolve into memory unimpeded by failing to cause
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.
MUSIC AND MADNESS
"...responsiveness to musical sounds or harmonies..." Century Dictionary,
A Sufi in Poona, at
whose feet I sat for an afternoon
sipping a cup of sweet
the tempered scale
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
"Ungovernable anger, rage, fury... " OED, p. 18
Thus, we have suffered disjointedness, an aggressiveness ever since.
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
for the soothing effect of the natural, non-tempered
scale, the rejuvenation
of equilibrium, a return to humane love, dulcet tones,
"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,
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.
Read John Pilger's THE NEW RULERS OF THE WORLD,
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
tea. I used to blame England for destroying other civilizations
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.
the OED thought so, too, for they define monanthous as:
single flower (on each stalk).
Was it the mad, perhaps lonely,
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,
uncaring if any but its beetles dare come near,
"...one-flowered..." CD, p. 1082
self sufficient, unattached to its own species, letting others do its
reproductive work, opening in slow majesty, thrusting
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
world. Huge, independent, ornamental, fragile, artificial,
unchanged from its jungle heritage. Observe, O Man, and despair.
"In Japanese use, a personal or family device..." Century Dictionary, p.
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
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
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
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.
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
Peace, justice, compassion, food. Don't limit birth on the overpopulated
earth! We NEED the cannon fodder. One talent the poor
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
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,
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,
bite." And 1621 Molle, "Chopping into pieces, morselling
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
it's good for them, and they should appreciate it as
much more sanitary than "moselling."
MOUNT ST. HELENS
"Mount1...now chiefly poetic, except in proper names..."
Century Dictionary, p. 1099
This will be my fifth visit to the mountain that exploded.
years after it roared in 1980, I was there -- twisting up
mountain in the gray fog, alone,
up, up, up to sleep the night.
at Windy Ridge, with four women, each alone in her car,
couple, we gazed into the sun-filled, barely domed,
crater of 1990, the log-jam in Spirit Lake, the gray,
penstemon. In 1996 I visited
"Mount2... To rise...to a higher position..." CD. p. 1099
the other side with my sister Helen, on a journey
possessions from my California life, and Windy Ridge,
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
in the Ape Cave on Mt. Saint Helens. I
stepped about 20 metres
into the utter darkness with a weak
torch, stumbling on the
wet floor, wavering like a grass blade in a high wind.
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 "...one 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
on either side, could be seen where, from time to
ploughing lava, had heaved up rocks and cracked itself
angular, black-boulder-bordered cauldrons which yawned,
accumulating chartreuse, moss doilies, in the frigid, sunny air -- a
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,
year, it passed by with little drama, but its prophecies
true year after year after year. In 2003 we're not
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
than Orwell's; black is white, war is peace, no-see-um enemies
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
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,
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.
Siamese, part Yeti, touches of Snow Leopard and Cheetah
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.
disappointment verb par excellence, suitable to describe
and fur-colored, tawny, re-arranger of my life, objects,
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,
paper-clips, embraces my plants -- to death, attacks, flushes
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."
instead of referring to "low" vegetable organisms (slime-molds),
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
logs." Thus, I've reached my favorite number, 33, for
-- 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
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: email@example.com
Mass Demonstration, 02-15-03
Moslings, Morsel, 02-22-03
Mount St. Helens, 02-23-03
Music And Madness, 02-17-03
Muse, Musette 02-01-03
Must3 , 02-06-03
BY JAN HAAG
+ TRAVEL +