Friday, July 30, 2021

Mark My Words

To be a unique monster
Is to have monstrosity
As a name, the opposite

Of being ordinary,
Which requires an exact name
To be clearly distinguished.

Monsters are originals,
Recognizable on sight—
Hello there, Elephant Man.

If their names are remembered
It’s because of their bodies,
Which often eclipse those names.

This is not fame. This is not
Infamy, not exactly.
This is more like Gulliver’s

Sense of his “Ignominy,
Of being carried about
For a monster.” Nameable,

Memorable, but bodied
Beyond name, an excessive

Wondrous, weird, unique, not great—
Peculiar category,
Monsters. Extraordinary.

But there are subtle monsters,
Also, those just misshapen
Enough to be remembered

At a glance from one prior
Encounter, not marvelous,
Not wondrous—how to put this?

Unfortunate, a bit off,
But mostly, maybe, making
Up for it, decent people,

Potentially quite moral,
Potentially competent,
The kind you might give a chance.

The names of subtle monsters
Waver in the haze between
Wholly normal, alien.

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