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The Man Who Must Be Named

There is a name for the man with a hundred hands who lies under your bed, the one with fifty mucked-up faces for the fifty bad-luck places where your loved ones end up dead. 

Rumpelstiltskin and his fairy-tale denominations will not do. Call him Briareos the Hecatoncheir if you see him when he’s bone-breaking strong. 

Gyges, the fox, when he snaps and curves around your traps and lures. When all goes wrong, he’s Torquemada, the inquisitor, in disguise. Haman, the schemer, when he lies to the committee hearing. Pharaoh, slaver, when he’s chairing the committee hearing. 

Hitler when he comes with gas for you. You think you know him, is that not true? So then: name him or he’ll name your fate. And you’ll find out when / it’s way too late. 


Cash Myron Toklas is the pseudonym for a new American poet and playwright whose work has recently appeared in or been accepted by Balloons Literary Journal, Coffin Bell, Piltdown Review, and Riggwelter, among others. His current project, from which the poem published here is drawn, is a reboot of Hesiod’s Theogony from the perspective of Saturn (or Kronos). In general, Toklas’s work explores the lessons that ancient myth can offer for postmodern life.

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