The Truth Is Out There

Maria Cecile

Congolese pygmies tell of mkele mbembe,
a living specimen of the lost brontosaurus
lumbering through the African jungle;
Tibetan sherpas speak of Yeti,
the Abominable Snowman hidden in the Himalayas;
Fijian fisherman believe in mermaids,
sirens that lure helpless men into the sea;
Scotsmen talk of Nessie, the beast of Loch Ness
that sometimes comes ashore in the moonlight.

The skepti-West sniggers:
Ignorant natives,
superstitious natives,
duplicitous natives pandering to tourists.
Elephant, wild bear, dugong, boat wakes,
lies, fantasies, hallucinations, fairy tales.

the need to see monsters,
manifests suppressed anger, discontent,
a desire to escape reality.

Modern Western Science
sits atop a concrete mountain
chanting its mantra of
supercomputerized quantitative technopsychologibop—
gloating over tanning booths,
pasteurized processed cheese food,
and thermonuclear detonators
while, in the darkness
on the other side of the mountain, Something
laughs back.

Illustration by Mike “Warble” Finucane

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