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By Paul Richard Harris, Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic
Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015


Drive-thru Theofascism & The Hero’s Journey

essays, poems, & photos

by Mankh (Walter E. Harris III)

Allbook Books, 2015



Walter E. Harris III is known to his friends as Mankh. Two of his friends are the editors of Axis of Logic, and he has always been Mankh to us.


Over the life of Axis of Logic, he has contributed many essays, and many poems and holds the place of Resident Poet on our website. He has given a hand to other poets by offering their work to us for publication – and a recommendation from Mankh is the only persuasion we need. He has also been very active in bringing our attention to news and editorial work that we may have missed, and keeping us on the straight and narrow whenever our editing isn’t up to snuff. We couldn’t ask for a better friend.


So when he asked if I would be willing to read and comment on the introduction and afterword to his new book, there was no hesitation on my part. He sent me the documents, I read and gave him some suggestions, and then we spoke by phone to shore up what each of us meant.


I have now had the opportunity to read the entire book (actually twice), and it is hard to overstate how pleased I am to have a copy, and to have contributed – even if just a little – to the final product.


This book is a collection of essays and poems, in many cases accompanied by illustrative photographs. And to quote directly from the Introduction:


The thesis of this book is that the dominant culture (worldwide, though highlighting the US Empire) is theofascist with a drive-thru colonial mentality ― and there are ways to avoid, prevent, and heal from the various enforced limitations.


In a wide-ranging selection of poetry and prose, Mankh takes us on a journey through life as viewed through his eyes. It becomes very clear that he has a unique perspective on much of the world we see around us, as well as the world we don’t see – the spiritual world. Mankh’s mind is very attuned to the cultural perspectives of North America’s First Nations Peoples, as well as Indigenous Peoples from all over the planet.


This book manages to teach us some history, to awaken the compassionate side that lies slumbering in many of us, and to raise the general quality of daily thought. The essays and poems cover a wide range, but all relate to Mankh’s overarching themes in the book of theofascism, and the drive-thru throw-away mentality that pervades. Each piece can be read on its own – and should be, in order to allow the ideas to seep in – and they can be read in any order. In my own correspondence with Mankh, we engage in a great deal of ‘word play’ and you will see that on display throughout, especially in the essays.


The poems are sometimes humorous, sometimes provocative, and always lead to some kernel of truth or nugget of hidden reality. I have told Mankh several times that I have never truly grasped poetry, or felt the need to write it myself. But he has educated me, and awakened in me a need to tap into whatever poetic soul might be squatting, hoof in mouth, somewhere deep in my psyche.


Mankh lives on Turtle Island – or at least the New York state part of it. To quote again from the book:


Turtle Island is a name for the North American continent as well as the Earth in numerous Native Peoples’ and worldwide mythologies and origin-stories, including Hindu, Chinese, African, Australian aborigines, and Caribbean Peoples.


In some of the essays and poems, Mankh has introduced neologisms (always explained) that seem like words we should all be using – they just fit exactly what they are meant to describe. An example is his use of the word transfascionalism. It’s a sniglet he created (as described in the book): “trans-national-fascism (or transfascionalism, for short), is where a country’s government allows trans-national corporations to legally plunder the resources, typically for export and at the expense of the Indigenous Peoples and those who call the country home.”


He takes us through essays about the importance of the environment, diversification of farming practices, economics, the perils of extractivism, the horrors Humankind visits upon itself and each other (much of it deriving from his own country), usually leaving us with hope or with some suggestion about how we could make changes that would benefit all.


Reading the works of Mankh often puts me in mind of the closing words from a Kris Kristofferson song: 


And you still can hear me singin' to the people who don't listen

To the things that I am sayin', prayin' someone's gonna hear

And I guess I'll die explainin' how the things that they complain about

Are things they could be changin', hopin' someone's gonna care


I was born a lonely singer, and I'm bound to die the same

But I've got to feed the hunger in my soul

And if I never have a nickel, I won't ever die ashamed

'Cause I don't believe that no one wants to know


Mankh is that kind of singer.


This book is available directly from Mankh (see the contact information below).


I highly recommend this book. This is not a read-straight-ahead volume – it is one that requires the reader to slow down, to pause and reflect. You will come away knowing that this was time well spent, and you will likely find yourself returning to the material over and again, to refresh your spirit.


I’ll leave the final words here to Mankh himself, the final lines of his poem Living Outside the Box:


Living is the ace in its own hole,

try to play it light.


Drive-thru Theofascism & The Hero’s Journey

essays, poems, & photos

is available here.


Paul Richard Harris is an Axis of Logic editor and columnist, based in Canada. He can be reached at
Read the Biography and additional articles by Axis Columnist, Paul Richard Harris

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