Mark of the Beast
— a poem by Joseph Osel

Structured according to the mirrored anatomy of John Merrick's deformed skull, the poem "Mark of the Beast" is excerpted from Catastrophe in Miniature: Poetry In Fatal Tense (2016) by Joseph Osel. The image "Frontal view of the skull" was captured from The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu (1971, p. 44).

Mark of the Beast

An asymmetry
Unveiled for censure alone
Thrown, twinned and twisted
Ensnared by the white-mosquito
Or mile marker 11-44
Premonitions of tragedy
An act of

Joseph Osel is a critical theorist, poet and Editor of Imperative Papers. He is the founding Literary Editor of The Commonline Journal, the archivist for Radical Critique and a Contributing Editor for its international auxiliary journal.

Ashley Montagu was a prolific British-American anthropologist.