The error messages were telling me it was trying to compile a 32 executable, and then after fixing that it complained that libraries in /opt/local/lib were compiled for 32 bit. The thing is, except for some old mac ports stuff, I don't use /opt/local!
I was able to fix compile successfully with three steps.
1: Take the old /opt/local/lib code out of the picture by renaming the directory to a temporary name. I can bring it back if it turns out something actually relies on it.
2: Rub ./configure with CFLAGS and LDFLAGS defined. These end up getting passed to 'make'
$ ./configure CFLAGS='-arch x86_64' LDFLAGS='-arch x86_64'
3: Compile it 'make' (with no flags) and install with 'sudo make install'
Not sure yet if it can pick up all the fonts that it needs - we'll soon see...