Sunday, January 23, 2011

One More Fungus Poem


the ruins or the ruined

i asked the lord to reverse my degeneration
to raise me up from the chewy wet dirt.
the last fading crumbles of me
finely threaded together by fungus
and rot stuff.
“is it too late for resurrection?” i pried.
“yes,” he said,
“your heart is already Babylon.”

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Fungus Poem


For a Sassy Sow Who Abandoned Her Savor to Discover Her Flavor

Overshadowed by Aphrodite’s heady pungent sweet fruit
lauded by Petrarch in his Ninth Sonnet of Rime,
a fungus-sniffing sow named Jeanette Antoinette
once perfected a fanciful, alluring earth-rooting dance
following thunderclaps ‘cross wooded country plateaus
of temperate Dordogne in southwestern France.
First retired, she often longed for the musky terre brûlé
past chalk-white stone churches, fortified chalets, and chateaus.

But gone is the foraging and plowing her snout
through mossy leaf clutter and juniper shrubbery
‘neath a canopy of majestic pines and towering oaks,
neglected by progress disguised as misguided drudgery.
Noble forests divinely conceived before the Hundred Years’ War
abandoned for seven-year-old saplings in unremitting rows
coppiced from manipulated, inoculated hazelnut stock.
Our sow, she decided to forego her work sorrow and woes –

She determined she would not be sad with her loss
for it had become rather gauche,
rather pedestrian for a lady to dig –
common sport for mixed-breed mongrel hounds
and even one cross-eyed pot-bellied pig!
So what’s a proper Pompadour damsel to do?
But give up the leash, the staff, and that sort,
Just turn away with a dignified sigh...and a snort

for more decadent commerce in pork for morels.
Succulent chandeliers of blue and brown chanterelles
now dangle like glistening dew drops from her elegant ears;
she keeps her ungulate tips scarlet and well-manicured
for the more delicate, more refined decoupage arts.
With her peccary proclivities she has successfully lured
many well-bred gentlemen boars and society swine.
With a sophisticated palate accustomed to fine French wine

further honed on tasty Terefezia pulled from exotic dark sands
blanketing Baghdad, Izmir, and other far-off desert lands,
she now prefers slices of the aromatic Tuber magnatum,
cream-fleshed madonnas marbled with veins of stark white
imported from Alba nestled in the Piedmont of Itaia –
Any confusion with Tuscany’s pico or borchii just wouldn’t be right!
Best shaved over foie gras or into an amorous consommé
of black trumpets and celery hearts paired with a delicate rosé.

She lounges on a fainting couch constructed from fodder
as sweet nothings tumble precariously out of full cherry-red lips;
she adjusts her corset carefully with cloven hooves
all the better to accentuate the voluptuous curve of her hips.
She will slip you a sly grin if ever on her you may spy
sipping chocolate laced with ambergris and vanilla,
not diverting her attention from scanning her sty
keeping close watch over her bucolic bacchanalia.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Prompt #2


The next English B Tuesday will take place on Tuesday, February 15, 2011.

Have fun!

DATE: Third Tuesday of the Month
WHEN: 7:00 PM
WHERE: Alfalfa's (141 East Main Street)
FARE: Light refreshments and beverages (coffee, beer, wine, sodas, etc.) will be available for purchase.
GUIDELINES: Writers have up to four weeks to write poetry, prose, and dialogue revolving around each month's theme, no longer than three minutes.

English B Tuesday is a malleable forum for creative expression. From open mic, to salon, to workshop setting hosted by various members of the local literary community, we hope to expose writers of all walks and literary enthusiasts to an entertaining and productive writing environment.

Two Fungus Poems


One Up

I smash each soft-spotted head
reaching from the lawn,
not because I know mushrooms
keep poison or notice their ugliness
but being a boy means
having never turned down
a clean kill. None of the horror
of a splatter of blood
or ooze, no slime or gentle give
of bone. Nothing but broken
drum skins, curious zombies
in the yard, never living long
before their frills are torn
and scattered in the dirt to disappear,
gone the way of snail shells,
lighted bodies of ants, the beef jerky
tongues of worm and bubble pop
of pigeon eggs. The day is long
for me and I cannot find
my sidewalk chalk.
And anyway, the ground
is too wet. I am too young,
understand suffering
like the rules of baseball.
Mushrooms don't scream,
and what if they did?
Out here, alone?
I know the innocence
of destruction, the torture
of wondering what the color
of inside is. I know what all children
are pretended not to know,
and adults craft a million shades
against: God made good and evil,
safety flags to run to when It sees you.
In between, a cleared field
for fun, a song that didn’t live long,
buried under a hill without a name,
the good kind for rolling down.


Fungus, Like Poetry,

is tricky, jack-o-lanterns look like chanterelles,
false morels like true morels, and the destroying angel
so much like the harmless button mushroom.

Despite gills glowing in the dark, stomach cramping,
fits of vomiting, the jack-o-lantern, they say,
is even tastier than its edible cousin, causing some
to return again and again, disregarding the pain,
seduced by the smell, the memory of its taste.

I have seen grasshoppers, bees, spiders eaten
from the inside out, covered in a white shroud of spores.
Read of ants being turned into zombies by a fungus
eating away their brains, causing them to die at the very heart
of the colony, the enemy multiplying from within.

I have savored truffles and huitlacoche, and know
why men spend years training their pigs to smell
them out among the roots of oak and hazel, poplar and beech.
Why the Aztec purposely blighted their crops with corn smut.
And I love the veins of blue-green mold marbling white cream,
the piquant taste of Penicillium.

There have been nights when instead of sleep
I have listened to the retching of shamans, heard their visions,
their screams as they turn into jaguars and prowl the night.

Who can say what will happen when you eat it
or when the spores sprayed into the air, like words spoken,
settle in, rooting in the soft, moist heartwood?