Years ago, I earned some extra cash by working in the periodical section of the campus library while attending Grove City College. One quiet afternoon, I read an article in one of the newspapers we carried about Hurricane Marilyn that “wreaked havoc in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico” back on September 15-16, 1995. This led to a found poem-turned-song that I never recorded. In my mind, Hurricane Marilyn meshed with Marilyn Monroe, ultimately leading to a warning letter to Montego about those tempests and temptations that come and tear apart families and homes, but on a deeper relational level. As Shakespeare said in Sonnet 116, “[True love] looks on tempests and is never shaken” (line 6). Hold fast to those you love when the storms and temptations come! “I’ve got no mind to leave Christiansted.”
An Epistle to Montego
Vincent H. Anastasi - 1996 It was a stormy road back from Saint Thomas, the sugar-white sand in your pockets and shoes. Rolling out of the harbor at Charlotte Amalie, the fronds of the palms wave in the blues. And I pluck the strings while the cabaret sings of the hurricane Marilyn, her dress all silken white come to Saint Thomas with her photogenic eye, left the island in a stormy fright. Strolling down the Main Street shopping district you pause by the window of Cardow Jewelers, The overnight visitors are hustling by as I reach in my pocket and fumble with quarters. She said, "This is all I want, just a diamond in the rough; a cubic fourteen karat memory." And when I said, "Well, all I've got left is a pocket full of quarters," she rode out to sea. Marilyn leaves a trail where she's been Pulling up the roots and tearing apart the homes. Hey, Mr. President, can we circumvent the Saint Thomas islands, the Ritz Carlton dining; I've got no mind to leave Christiansted. I've got no mind to leave Christiansted. It's business as usual in Montego Bay: the tradesmen sharing a cup and a joke. He says the wind that's blowin' on in reminds him of the day when the heavens broke. And I play the strings, an epistle I sing to the unknowing inhabitants of Montego. Hurricane Marilyn is steeped on the hope of a diamond ring and a troubled soul. Marilyn leaves a trail where she's been Pulling up the roots and tearing apart the homes. Hey, Mr. President, can we circumvent the Ritz Carlton dining, the Saint Thomas islands; I've got no mind to leave Christiansted. I've got no mind to leave Christiansted.