The Ecphorizer

Fallout
Joseph Raffa

Issue #46 (June 1985)



It's a rainy spring morning at theĀ  campus that lies like a tiny prehistoric bone in the palm of a believer. Weather reports promise a long rain. Mountains arc the University like stubby fingers. The Flood didn't destroy everything. He whittled the bone into a crude tool. But it's a nice town, here in the mountains.

A bell rings in the distance over an empty church and Catskill breasts appear to bounce freely across the campus. The infirmary prescribes preventive medicine but not much birth control. Few care about the affairs of the community. A dozen or so have strong feelings about Reagan. But it's a nice town, here in the mountains.

An undergraduate chooses to dress as a prostitute and goes to a bar and enjoys the scene and says what the hell. Professor Sunna lectures his seminar of four about religion in the contemporary world. They have t.v.'s in the classroom now. Few watch them. The Political Science Department still has two colors for its map of the world. But it's a nice town, here in the mountains.

It's a rainy spring morning at the Catskill campus as students, still veiled in the shroud of last night's beer bust, wander vaguely to class. Professor Test, Chairperson of the mostly male English Department, pleasantly greets Dr. Frost, poesy specialist, in the early morning cafeteria. The professors splice sips of breakfast tea with droll secondary source material explicating the current best sellers' list. Students gag on coffee that tastes like lava. But it's a nice town, here in the mountains.

Students doze in history class as an instructor mumbles through his yellowing notes, head lowered as if in prayer about the lost war. A janitor hobbles through the hall on legs ripped from the Mekong Delta, his cleats ticking an odd rhythm on the tile. In geology class a red-headed student insists that no two volcanoes ever erupt in exactly the same way, and successive eruptions of the same volcano don't necessarily conform to a uniform pattern. But it's a nice town, here in the mountains.

It's a rainy spring morning today at the Catskill campus that lies like a tiny prehistoric bone in the palm of a believer. Weather reports promise a long rain. Mountains arc the University like stubby fingers. The Flood didn't destroy everything. He whittled the bone into a crude tool.

We've honed the tool.

-------------

"And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together."

-Swift, Voyage to Brobdingnag

Contributor Profile

Joseph Raffa

A poet and writer, he who grew up in Connecticut, lists as his "travel experiences" Spain, France, England, and Peoria, Illinois. He has presently come to rest in Maryland.




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