The Naming


“‘Listen Red Comb,’ said the ass; ‘would you like to run away with us?
We are going to Bremen, and you will find something better there
than to be made into soup; you have a fine voice and if we all play
together it will have a good effect.’” --from the fable “The Bremen Town Musicians”


Mt. Tam held my name on it’s tongue like a secret.
My father, my mother, young,
pouring down from it, saw,
the wild irises yawn like purple lions;
wild pocks on the mountains blue arched back.

I was named still floating
brackish in the belly jar.

Mountain, Mountain, O where to begin.
now you turn like the corner
a mite in my eye              my              nemesis
my      begin                                      again

In the myth the animals had to stand on each others backs in order to complete  the crime or solve it.

So, much like a live-periscope, we go through life metaled and looking
for suitable living backs to stand upon:

I was lucky, my mountain,
born with you already blue
under my bare feet.

When I woke up miles away from my birth
I was more tired than when I had begun.
I didn’t recognize my own face
looking back from the mirror.

(That was because it was the face of a lion;
I must have swallowed the animals
I was standing on.)

Now mountain
you’re all that I’ve got
will you accept
this false history I’ve left of you for a clean slate?

I’m coming home


I’ve eaten the myth, parents, metaphor and all and my tongue’s still blue still dripping sky, I’m ready to become more than my name.

– iris jamahl dunkle