On animate life: its profligacy, organ meats, etc.

by Jessica Fjeld

selected by Lyn Hejinian

Creativity Storage System


The dimensions of the Arctic Ocean
correspond precisely with those of the idolater's temple.
The world is full of many things—
stethoscopes, hydrangeas, and the like—
and few of them taste sweet.

The wheelbarrow of your homestead
catch rust like ringworm on their trafficked scalps:
if the cows climb to graze
at the lip of the volcano, who will blame them?
Only the dogs will follow with nocturnes

on their long tongues.
Stretching your arms wide, still you do not
manage to resemble the albatross of your imagination.
Take heart. Then turn it upside down
and shake all the change from its pockets.

There are ocean-going barges full of our kind
of nonsense. Please—someone
stop the east wind from eating the cypress trees.
Things are ragged enough already, and mewing
as though newly hatched.

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