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That Time I Wrote a 300-Line Seduction of a Desert Saint - January 14, 2018

It took a few years, but I eventually finished (and published!) “Colloquy with St. Mary of Egypt,” the longest single poem I’ve ever written. The poem draws a desert ascetic into open dialogue. The historical Mary of Egypt lived as a prostitute and (later) a penitent. Her two lives offer twin virtues that the poem’s speaker, a new parent, newly desires: erotic freedom and extended solitude. What follows is a bookish seduction. It’s also a saint’s life (rewritten), a civic portrait (of San Francisco), and a walk home.

My warm thanks to Blackbird: An Online Journal of Literature and the Arts for doing such a lovely job with the poem. It appears in their Spring 2017 issue (16.1). The piece will appear in The Identity Thief, forthcoming from Saturnalia Books later this year.

Derek Mong