SAFARI seems to no longer work
for comments...use another browser?

Saturday, February 09, 2019

A merchant, a stylite, and a maiden walk into a bar--

Two of my new poems are up at Mezzo Cammin here. Snips with title and first two lines:

     The Merchant and the Stylite

     Whether he was comely, I cannot say,
     But he was born in Sis, Cilicia;

     The Maiden-saint of France

     While still a child I was a thing men fear,
     The fire-struck one who has the ears to hear

I'm looking forward to reading the issue after I finish bushwhacking my way through an author questionnaire... See editor Kim Bridgford's facebook announcement below for a complete list of contributors. There's also a list with biographical sketches and pictures here.

* * *

Kim Bridgford: It is with joy that I announce the latest issue of Mezzo Cammin, with featured visual artist Morgan O'Hara, featured poet Kathleen McClung,reviewer Alexandra Oliver, and poets Barbara Crooker, Alexandra Donovan, Jehanne Dubrow, Kathleen Goldbach, Colleen S. Harris, Brittany R Hill, Katie Hoerth, Lynne Knight, Jean L. Kreiling, Angie Macri, Carolyn Martin, Mary Mercier, Ann E. Michael, Leslie Schultz, Myrna Stone, Jean Syed, Ann Christine Tabaka, Sally Thomas, Doris Watts, Joyce P. Wilson, and Marly Youmans. With profound gratitude to Anna M. Evans for technical expertise and to Pete Duval for the cover image.


  1. I think that it is Huizinga who mentions a rural community that made an attempt on the life of a saintly hermit in their neighborhood, having it in mind to do a good trade in relics. Cavafy said that people came from as far as England and India to see Simon.

    1. That's very curious and weird. I don't know anything about that story. Usually people were content to sell bits of saints who were already dead, with or without positive attribution. Crazy!

    2. I'd have to go back and check, but I believe one of the prominent Crusades preachers and popular leaders—I forget which one—was torn to pieces by a mob of followers immediately after he performed what they believed was a miracle. I recall which book includes the story, but out here in the woods, we're still unpacking from a move.

    3. Astonishing story. Mobs are still forces of terror, but that's particularly strange. Tell me if you find who it was...

  2. When I was in college and just beginning to discover early Christian history and the Middle Ages, I had a stretch where I was obsessed with Stylites. All these years later, I understand why: They're a memorable fodder for a centuries-old debate about whether the people of the Middle Ages (very loosely delineated) are our recognizable cultural ancestors, or whether they're inscrutably "other." It's been ages since I've felt it right or necessary to be all binary about the matter, but Stylites really do make one think more carefully--and hopefully, more humanely--about the past.

    Congrats on these poems. I like them both, but the Joan one in particular has a natural ease to it, plus an admirable, effective concision: an entire life and career in 14 lines.

    1. I find that interesting about you and your medieval interests. And the past is so curious--yes, we are the same, and no, we have changed a great deal. And the way we have changed is gain and loss.

      Glad you liked them, Jeff...


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.