Supervising the Woods
September 20, 2019
Sep 20, 2019
There must be no crawlies, runnies, eaters here.
Full of Chest, my nose can detect them.
I spread my primeval wings for the Flyover.
There! an encampment of fugitives.
I can’t bear to tell you what happened next . . .
All around, abominations. Beetles with
Christ child, abdomens that Gurgle,
No one has the belief I have: I show you
God splattered at the West end of my thumb.
And I a mere poet with kill codes locked up in charms.
All attempts on my muse
are met with . . . cough . . . wait: something in the ferns
Giving “free reign to its passion” (if that’s
the disgusting expression).
I took care of it; I use the plainest methods.
I was born for Love, probably, but the world’s
spores came at me like meadows of flame.
Have you ever fallen backwards
in your chair? Just so
the world falls away from me in my moments of weakness,
though the smell lingers on, the afterimage of woods
with surgical breath, red Devil Claw berries, the piss-
smell of ancient memory, throatless soughing:
Can there be enough of that Essence-of-nothing
Moaning behind you? Yes, enough. Get hunting.
Get hunting again.
It was originally war
brought on this cold Fever, the guards
rubbing their breasts in my face,
Lace underwear scattered in the undergrowth,
white crosses burning in the cradles,
Emerald-colored whistles of birds
fired from the windows of the Armory.
I am Occurrence in the midst of Appearances,
and like Vallejo, will die of life, not time.
Roll around in your Wounds, you others, if you must,
but I sit on Top of the picture, seldom looking down,
my legs dangling above Famines in the grass,
oil fields, the sub-Sahara, Car bombs, everything as dirty as I am.
Each afternoon, a miniature
White House bleats on my porch.
I hear the locks Disengage:
a tiny president comes out to address the nation.
While we have you...
...we need your help. Confronting the many challenges of COVID-19—from the medical to the economic, the social to the political—demands all the moral and deliberative clarity we can muster. In Thinking in a Pandemic, we’ve organized the latest arguments from doctors and epidemiologists, philosophers and economists, legal scholars and historians, activists and citizens, as they think not just through this moment but beyond it. While much remains uncertain, Boston Review’s responsibility to public reason is sure. That’s why you’ll never see a paywall or ads. It also means that we rely on you, our readers, for support. If you like what you read here, pledge your contribution to keep it free for everyone by making a tax-deductible donation.
September 20, 2019