Friday, January 13, 2017

Jack Scott writes

The Poison Garden
Part II

I touch them 

because they’re there and you are not. 
You have grown abstract, are dimming, 
these bewitching things are real. 
Shall I pick the equivalence 
of a hundred pounds of you 
as I run my gauntlet through 
this minefield of mycology? 
Unlike this endless forest 
I hope I have another side.

River runs its course, 

can’t be contained if blocked 
or surging in a flood. 
It won’t get lost; 
its path is always sure 
because it wends its way -
a juggernaut - inexorably 
within its ancient channel 
to which it must return when, 
like a fever in the blood 
that crests within thermometer, 
the forces that assaulted it recede.

Yes, that’s love 

or something like it, 
obsessive passion,
spell-bound compulsion -

mental illness -
all the same with different names 
and attitudes. 
Look at what’s not love, 
the negative space around 
where you think it should be 
and you’ll see many shapes: 
one of them is mushroom; 
another one is you.

Why not just admire, not covet, 

these beguiling poisons, 
leave them as they are? 
In place they pose no risk. 
They do not stampede like buffalo 
or flee in flight  like endless pigeons 
to arouse a hunter’s bloodlust. 
These do not need escape; 
ubiquitous, they are everywhere at once, 
more numerous than pickers ever,
they have or need no fear. 

Such predatory awe is abstract gluttony, 
for who would dare to taste or eat 
so many of so many kinds. 
The silence of the mushrooms deafens 
with unheeded warnings of restraint. 
People pick, that’s why . . . 
This crop cannot be over-harvested. 
Fertile, fecund mushrooms feed on death,
hastening decomposition 
insinuating threadlike mycelia, 
placentas, saprophytic. 
Synergistic afterdeaths 
appear like genies 
as if from the very air 
to reduce substance 
to the nothing
There is no end of death.

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