#77 / Ammons / Glare / Scat Scan

truth persists, if at all, hardly distinguishable
from a pack of lies: the truth has about as

much chance as a slender of wheat in the weeds:
but, of course, weeds are the truth, too, just

not the truth we want to keep: not that what
we don’t want to keep isn’t also often true:

for example, some of us, those below the line,
want to think that all men are equal, since

that would raise us: while to others, if all
men are equal, equality would step them down:

well, the truth is that all men are equal, but
you know how it is, you hem and haw, give and

take squirm and squat, and it all comes out
how you’re as equal or unequal as you can

make it: allowances like wooly ramifications
surround these ideal axises (axes?): the

breaking down of things promotes possibility:
as with love, the lucky cannot, except by

scraps and fidgets, hold onto love, while those
who love to the sour bottom of desperation

can let nothing, not even themselves, alone to
live but must cleave to the passion till it

kills, either inwardly or outwardly: thank
goodness for the half asses and easygoing, for

the good stuff from time to time that takes
love on and lets it go: thank you lord for

those who get off in the morning to the office
and clear their minds for strategem and strife:

we should always believe the opposite of what
is believed because what is believed hides

by contradicting what we don’t want to believe:
the truth covers the merely true and the truly

believed. . . .

HASTEN ALONG

#76 Ammons / Glare / Scat Scan

your insidious eloquence makes me seek the
plain dealing of the woods, the dark, the clear

stars: and your refinement, a line so thinly
held I can’t tell which side will break from

snide tittering into howling mockery: (a little
extra humidity over, say, recent days has

turned the streets into rivers, embankments
into rubble, and this morning it all turned

into snow–the pink tulip trees luminous
under their clusters of white; the crabapple

blossoms, though, ready to radiate, frozen
out of their sockets, could be, and everywhere

gushy mush cushions the walkways: it is, of
course, Mother’s Day, May 11, a good day for

corsages’ metallic glaze and fern lace: my
mother is dead and gone, a death 46 years old,

but a death as close as the next cell of my
brain: when in distress with her young brood,

as many dying as living, she cried out “give
me the roses while I live” I had no roses

and the distress taken up into myself, I had
the impoverishment by hysteria, my mouth at

times as I bent over leaking like a fountain,
my dreams full of stiff figures that tried to

move: now that I have whatever I want, coin
or flower, I can give nothing back, the

lips cannot find a smile, the hands cannot
ease into the lap, the eyes cannot light with

calm): how does the magician, who makes reality
vanish, feel when his infected thumb throbs

and a pink streak or two times its way up his
arm: does the magic vanish like an imp

shrieking with mischievous delight: I say,
does the magic of reality take revenge:

well, so it is with the weavers of language
and their cunning cloths that string out of

vestments or take the material out of presences
some day these weavers will be the object of

their practices, and the present will present
them with no present of escape: tell true:

speak plain: deal openly: shed deceit:
these yield no room to the coming round of the

other side: TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF TRASH

Coyote in the Dark, Coyotes Remembered by Mary Oliver

The darkest thing
met me in the dark.
It was only a face
and a brace of teeth
that held no words,
though I felt a salty breath
sighing in my direction.
Once, in an autumn that is long gone,
I was down on my knees
in the cranberry bog
and heard, in that lonely place,
two voices coming down the hill,
and I was thrilled
to be granted this secret,
that the coyotes, walking together
can talk together,
for I thought, what else could it be?
And even though what emerged
were two young women, two-legged for sure
and not at all aware of me,
their nimble, young women tongues
telling and answering,
and though I knew
I had believed something probably not true,
yet it was wonderful
to have believed it.
And it has stayed with me
as a present once given is forever given.
Easy and happy they sounded,
those two maidens of the wilderness
from which we have–
who knows to what furious, pitiful extent–
banished ourselves.


From the book The Truro Bear and Other Adventures