Garbage #11 by Ammons

an early June morning in early June, we, having
already gone out to breakfast, pop into the red

Toyota Tercel and breeze down the hill by Lake
Cayuga to the farmers' market, so bright, so

clear, rows and rows of cars and stalls and,
beyond, boats docked calm on the glassy inlet:

the people look a little ruffled, like yards
trying to come out of icebound winters into

springs, the old stalks still there, the space
of the new stuff not filled out: affliction

here, where the heavy woman, heavier than last 
fall, leans over to swish one knock-knee past

(check that rhyme) the other; affliction there,
where the wobble-legged man leans over into his

arm crutches, a four-legged progression: aging
women, drooped breasts under loose T-shirts,

hair making a virtue of snow-white or veering
off into an original expression of blue:

toothless, big-bellied, bald, broad-rumped,
deaf: the afflicted, hurts hurting but less

than they hurt at home or, if hurting more,
with some compensation: one absolutely lovely

person, perhaps: the radiance of some babies'
faces, the perfect interest of some boy in mud

puddles: and this is all under the aspect of
eternity, soon to be: but listen to the

good-mornings and how've-you-beens and 
were-you-away-any-of-the-winters, along with

the hanging baskets of fuchsia, purple and red
and streaked white, tuberous begonias with the

freshest colors alive, bread, and stall after 
stall of vegetables, goat cheese, honey, coffee

plus a live minnequin who is moved to thank you
by coins and bills dropped in a hat: this is

we at our best, not killing, scheming, abusing,
running over, tearing down, burning up: why

did invention ever bother with all this, why
does the huge beech by the water come back every

year: oh, the sweet pleasures, or even the hope
of sweet pleasures, the kiss, the letter from

someone, the word of sympathy or praise, or just
the shared settled look between us, that here

we are together, such as it is, cautious and
courageous, wily with genuine desire, policed

by how we behave, all out of eternity, into
eternity, but here now, where we make the most

of it: I settle down: I who could have used
the world share a crumb: I who wanted the sky

fall to the glint in a passing eye: the crack 
in the dome of knowledge, the aperture, so to

say, poetically speaking, into faith is, of
course, as everyone knows, the magical exception

to the naturalistic rule: derivations (pharma-
cological?) from nature do what they can, usually

with terrible side effects or with disjunctivitis
with othe rdrugs (with, with) but one exception

as in rising in a fiery go-cart is lustfully
believed to overturn, or else to bouy, all

naturalism, by which is intended to be meant
sense, common and unusual varieties, science,

knowledge, craft: there is a web-worm falls
sometimes aslant the honeysuckle hedge in spring

breeze or other dislocation and finds itself
asquirm dangerously dangled in the open air (I've

seen hornets trim those babies right out of the
air): this one I paused to view was wrestling

up the single thread of web, nipping and tucking,
reaching up for a hold on the tight and bringing

itself up till the bit length could be added
to the tiny cotton ball gathered at its

head: but this is mere mechanics: down its
back was a purplish streak exactly the color

of honeysucklebushlimbstems, the top part (buds)
of the stems: his feet, his laterals, were

exactly the color of the lateralhoneysucklebush
limbstems: while this waits explanation, I

hold it a sufficient miracle, on which, tho,
I posit no faith of a kind but faith of another

kind: that is, maybe some spooky agency does
manage all: we're attracted to stars not because

they're confessional but because of the roles 
they create into play; we're attracted to

pretend, not fact, first: then, the clothing 
of creativity about the person attracts us to

his sins: we are awed and want the clay feet
to stop walking over us: also we want better

to understand how to reach this creativity's 
sinfulness ourselves so why can't poets

speak in tongues, others than their own; is
truth in the fact or in the ppersuasion, in the

credible action or the flat statement: I don't
care whether anybody believes me or not: I

don't know anything I want anybody to believe or
in: but if you will sit with me in the light

of speech, I will sit with you: I would rather 
do this than eat your ice cream, go to a movie,

hump a horse, measure a suit, suit a measure:
I would at my age rather do this than

skateboard, but I can think of nothing I'd
rather do than think of skateboard loops out

of skateboard bowls, the various designs in the
momenta: the rising up in rounds over the rims. 




                          A.R. Ammons (1993) From his book "Garbage"

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