Merry Xmas

“Merry Xmas” is not a Pagan greeting.

It’s not secret Wiccan code for “Fuck me under the mistletoe, you hot other-gendered they!”

It’s not a conspiracy by Jewish-owned commercial conglomerates to avoid acknowledging the Christian significance of this most lucrative shopping holiday.

It’s not an algebraic signifier attesting to Secular Humanist worship of the heathen goddess Scientia.

It’s simply the Arabic transliteration of the Greek letter Chi, the first letter in Christós (Χριστός), which you should be able to decode, even if Greek’s Greek to you.


John Roche recently retired from twenty years teaching English and Creative Writing at Rochester Institute of Technology. He now lives in Placitas, New Mexico, where he helps run Jules’ Poetry Playhouse with his wife Jules Nyquist. John and Jules recently completed editing the POETS SPEAK anthology series, a joint effort between Beatlick Press and Jules’ Poetry Playhouse Publications: Trumped, Hers, Water, Walls, and Survival. John’s poetry collections include On Conesus (2005), Topicalities (2008), Road Ghosts (2011), and The Joe Poems (2012), plus the anthologies Mo’ Joe (2014) and Uncensored Songs for Sam Abrams (2008). He co-edited, with Patricia Roth Schwartz, Doing Time to Cleanse My Mind: An Anthology from the Inmates’ Poetry Workshop of Auburn Correctional Facility (2009), and edited Martha Rittenhouse Treichler’s Black Mountain to Crooked Lake: Poems 1948-2010, with a Memoir of Black Mountain College (2010).