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November 27, 2023

More Than Macaronic

By Julian O. Long

More Than Macaronic

—A work of art is an act of aggression.
          Gulley Jimson

Praise be that Orlando Ricardo
Menes’ “Tower of Babel” gives
syllabic utterance. Praise
with him be to speakers of dead
and dying languages in whose
grammars, universal lexicons
word-hoards made in patois
argots, pidgins, spanglishes we
plot the Maltas, Elbas, diasporic
unplaces where the poet’s art

flourishes, having taken root
in quicksands of genocide, cleaving
flesh and marrow like a knife—

the poet, himself, an assassin who
retired, checks his mail at the local P.O.
in case his services might be required
again but with an eye out for a stalker
like himself representing a former client’s
call to put him down because he knows
too much; in which situation he will retrieve
his packed bag and abscond

       taking with him
such purloined treasures as the moon
knows, descending blood on blood
into water Méditeranée, his passports
in Esperanto, Gullah-Geechee, Catalan
Provençal, Comanche, Yoruba, Manx—
and many another, so many indeed as Joseph’s coat
to learn that their memories not forget to be
like parts of his junked automobile, left hollow
with windows smashed, radio, catalytic
convertor, other saleable
items removed, outside the church
in Madrid where he recently said
a novena for his late mother.

Article © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
Published on 2023-11-20
Image(s) are public domain.
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