On the occasion of the publication of photos from BlogHer France I am feeling all literate and shit. The images of these young bloggy-bloggers blogging has inspired me to poetry. Lacking the verbal facility to whip up a good poem for you today… it’s one of those days when I can’t remember people’s names… have you experienced that? I got up this morning and thought to call a colleague and let her know I was running a little late. You know. The one I meet with on Wednesday mornings. What’s her name. Just look her up in the directory and give her a ring. What’s her name… can’t call, don’t remember her name. Really. There’s an entire gingko tree just outside the bedroom window and I can’t remember this woman’s name. I wonder if after dark, while we’re sleeping, the gingko insinuates tiny tendrils through the window screen, across the floor, beneath the pillow and into my ears, then draws out the naturally occurring flavone glycosides from my gray matter leaving me in some kind of Chekhovian syntactic and phonological knowledge bind… unable to remember the name of the horse much less the name of the woman of which the name of the horse might remind me… a classic anterior cingulate-prefrontal cortical bind as it were.
Diane, her name is Diane…
I read about gingkos in Hiroshima that survived the blast when all around them was blackened wreckage.
But really, if I can’t remember people’s names, how can I write a poyme? I’ll have to pull one from the cellars, a modest vintage from the wet sunny slopes, the crider soil formations of Kentucky, formed in a mantle of loess with an underlying limestone residuum — a screw-top bottling, modestly priced, suitable as accompaniment to the best that vegan cuisine can offer…
Presented then, in honor of all who attended BlogHer France, women who don’t need the advice but may be expected to understand and appreciate the sentiment:
The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.