In the “The Fall of 1992” in Poetry April 2010 we find Randall Mann’s poetic voice pointing to something so dreadful it is hardly named.
[…] And the gin-soaked dread
that an acronym was festering inside.
This particular issue of Poetry has not only poems but also explanations by the poets.
The fall of 1992 was an Ecstasy — and booze-fueled, boy-crazy time for me, the season I “came out,” as if I needed to make it official (I didn’t unlock the closet door so much as push back the beads). […] Sex equaled death then, or so I imagined (the “acronym” mentioned in the poem is AIDS); in the fall of 1992, I was oversexed, and I don’t remember the half of it; as a consequence when I wasn’t numb, I was often pretty terrified.
And for some reason (sexiness quotient?) my mind turns to Napoleon Solo and other acroynms: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. where U.N.C.L.E. was an acronym for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement which was intended to be ambiguous and invoke either “Uncle Sam” or the “United Nations”. That was a different season. Less deadly.
And so for day 1339