The Good Business of Your Own Burning

The problem with older, more established poets is that they can’t seem to stop writing about what a bitch writing is. If they’re feeling especially sprightly, they’ll reference the very poem you are reading at that moment in time. This poem! they’ll cry, Christ, if you could only understand what I went through!

Dear old people: I know language is a challenge, and words have created and destroyed you and all, but honestly, please stop. Love, Adrianne.

Meanwhile, other portions of A. R. Ammons’ Garbage are quite nice.

I made tongues

for adder’s-tongue, periwinkle, and jimminycricket;
they wagged, and these tongues rang in my head

as in a chanson delicate of essence and point:
an assemblage, a concourse of intercourse, a

recourse: what is it, that you would turn down
a prairie for it, the prairie said as I went

on, my eyes set longsighted, and the turtle
eased needlepoint airholes up form swampwater,

his eyes quizzical in a downturn, and said,
where else does the shadow of the logknots fall

more sharply dark on the water, but I didn’t
have time to take time: I spent every coin I

had into the good business of my own burning:

Incidentally, I’ve realized that I’m a poor (and potentially immoral) reader: always scanning for lines and leaving the rest, a meaty carcass in my wake. There are eighty-one pages before this section and forty pages after, but I could care less because I have found it, what I was looking for.

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