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#midwest eclogue
apoemaday · 28 days ago
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Midwest Eclogue
by David Baker
We wade into a blackened pond to save the dying water. The water isn't dying —we know, we know—it's the fish and frogs starving, pushed out by subsurface growth.
Still, that's how they put it to us, our new neighbors who've come to watch their new neighbors cope with a stagnant, weedy, quarter-acre runoff swamp.
They say, let it go, by which they mean (this from Scott, cut like a side of beef, six-pack belted like a holster to his pants) it's God's will, or nature's, and besides it's too much work,
to which his father John, bigger, beer- gutted, bald scorch of a face, plops on our dock and says You got that right. At first we tried sprinkling chemicals around the darkening perimeter—to wit,
copper sulfate penta- hydrate (CuSo4—5H2O), used variously as a micronized fungicide in pellets, a crystalline pesticide "noted for acute toxicity in bees,"
and here, a powdery "powerhouse algaecide"— or in other words (this from John), fancy sun-block for the water. For weeks the bottom- black surface glowed eerily aquamarine,
yet all that died were two fat grass carp, lazy from the slime they ate, who floated up like scaly logs to petrify. That's why I'm waist-deep where my neighbors watch, rowing
with a rake through a sludge of leaves, stirring algae in a cooking pot, dragging it through the muddy pool. Each time I pull a gob of slime and glop, dark as organs, toward shore,
John yells out, encouraging, that's a good one, and I shove it on to Ann to rake up the bank where we'll haul it off some day. Don't just sit there in the willow shade,
I ought to shout. Come on. Help us out. Or (this from Virgil, via Corydon), why not at least go about some needful task? But there's so much trouble in the world these days
I've been content to work in peace beside my wife, my life's surprising love, to keep the cardinals throbbing in our close cattails and frogs at home in a splash of breathable water.
Each step stirs a slick of spreading ooze that follows orbital in my wake, a little nebula of oil and algae stars. And look, overhead the first real star
has answered back: There's darkness on the way. We drag one more sloppy mass up the bank and see its dimming possibilities— tadpoles and minnows, shiny as coins, egg-
clusters of sun perch, bluegill roe— throbbing in the grass, twisting to be loose, aglow against the color of the coming night. And there go John and Scott, down on their knees in the grass,
untangling as many as they can to slip back to the black pond, before the sky turns black as well. There's smoke you can see from the neighbors' chimney, and the shadows of the hills are lengthening as they fall.
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hiddenshores · 3 years ago
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The first day it feels like fall I want to tell my secrets recklessly until there is nothing you don’t know that would make your heart change years from now. How foolish we are to believe we might outlive this distance. I don’t know the names for things in the prairie, where the expanse of light and the hissing of tall stalks makes me move slowly, like in another country before I must share it with anyone. In what do you believe? In September’s slight motion of particulars, in the weight of birds, in lust, propulsion, maps that lie. You should not have loved me. Now: goldenrod, prairie-clover, the ovate-leafted bluebell with its open throat, saying how did you expect to feel? The colonies of prairie-smoke and pods turning golden and papery, the grassy plains iterating patience, and things I cannot name. Begin with apples reddening. Begin with a woman touching the cities in your feet. Hartford, Anchorage, the Bronx. Did you ever see yourself as more than yourself? I walk into a part of afternoon that deepens inventing an endpoint for sadness. Everyone is gone. On the subject of deception, where do you stand? There’s a chill in the air and the flowers know, the goddamned flowers, their loosed color. Sometimes we are cruel and we mean it. We author the house with its threadbare linens, the false miniatures of people saying look at me. Will the landscape forgive you? Is it yours to describe? What is the sound inside your mouth? I’m surrounded by grasslands in every direction. The sound is a clamoring, because desire is never singular and we want it this way. We want it easy. I have already let go of summer. Here, the wind – dispersal of seed and story. Love, there are things I cannot name.
Stacie Cassarino, “Midwest Eclogue”, in Zero At The Bone
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merulae · 5 years ago
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Midwest Eclogue
The first day it feels like fall I want to tell my secrets recklessly until there is nothing you don’t know that would make your heart change years from now. How foolish we are to believe we might outlive this distance. I don’t know names for things in the prairie, where the expanse of light and the hissing of tall stalks make me move slowly, like in another country before I must share it with anyone. In what do you believe? In September’s slight motion of particulars, in the weight of birds, in lust, propulsion, maps that lie. You should not have loved me. Now: goldenrod, prairie-clover, the ovate-leafed bluebell with its open throat saying how did you expect to feel? Colonies of prairie-smoke and pods turning golden and papery, the grassy plains iterating patience, and things I cannot name. Begin with apples reddening. Begin with a woman touching the cities in your feet. Hartford, Anchorage, the Bronx. Did you ever see yourself as more than yourself? I walk into a part of afternoon that deepens inventing an endpoint for sadness. Everyone is gone. On the subject of deception, where do you stand? There’s a chill in the air and the flowers know, the goddamned flowers, their loosed color. Sometimes we are cruel and we mean it. We author the house with its threadbare linens, the false miniatures of people saying look at me. Will the landscape forgive you? Is it yours to describe? What is the sound inside your mouth? I’m surrounded by grasslands in every direction. The sound is a clamoring, because desire is never singular and we want it this way. We want it easy. I have already let go of summer. Here, the wind— dispersal of seeds and story. Love, there are things I cannot name.
–Stacie Cassarino, from Zero at the Bone
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hush-syrup · 5 years ago
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In what do you believe? In September’s slight motion of particulars, in the weight of birds, in lust, propulsion, maps that lie.
From Midwest Eclogue by Stacie Cassarino
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boycott-love · 6 years ago
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"Midwest Eclogue" —Stacie Cassarino The first day it feels like fall I want to tell my secrets recklessly until there is nothing you don't know that would make your heart change years from now. How foolish we are to believe we might outlive this distance. I don't know names for things in the prairie, where the expanse of light and the hissing of tall stalks make me move slowly, like in another country before I must share it with anyone. In what do you believe? In September's slight motion of particulars, in the weight of birds, in lust, propulsion, maps that lie. You should not have loved me. Now: goldenrod, prairie-clover, the ovate-leafed bluebell with its open throat saying how did you expect to feel? Colonies of prairie-smoke and pods turning golden and papery, the grassy plains iterating patience, and things I cannot name. Begin with apples reddening. Begin with a woman touching the cities in your feet. Hartford, Anchorage, the Bronx. Did you ever see yourself as more than yourself? I walk into a part of afternoon that deepens inventing an endpoint for sadness. Everyone is gone. On the subject of deception, where do you stand? There's a chill in the air and the flowers know, the goddamned flowers, their loosed color. Sometimes we are cruel and we mean it. We author the house with its threadbare linens, the false miniatures of people saying look at me. Will the landscape forgive you? Is it yours to describe? What is the sound inside your mouth? I'm surrounded by grasslands in every direction. The sound is a clamoring, because desire is never singular and we want it this way. We want it easy. I have already let go of summer. Here, the wind-- dispersal of seeds and story. Love, there are things I cannot name.
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hush-syrup · 7 years ago
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How foolish we are to believe we might outlive this distance.
From Midwest Eclogue by Stacie Cassarino
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sublimate-blog · 10 years ago
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The first day it feels like fall I want to tell my secrets recklessly until there is nothing you don’t know that would make your heart change years from now. How foolish we are to believe we might outlive this distance. I don’t know names for things in the prairie, where the expanse of light and the hissing of tall stalks make me move slowly, like in another country before I must share it with anyone. In what do you believe? In September’s slight motion of particulars, in the weight of birds, in lust, propulsion, maps that lie. You should not have loved me. Now: goldenrod, prairie-clover, the ovate-leafed bluebell with its open throat saying how did you expect to feel? Colonies of prairie-smoke and pods turning golden and papery, the grassy plains iterating patience, and things I cannot name. Begin with apples reddening. Begin with a woman touching the cities in your feet. Hartford, Anchorage, the Bronx. Did you ever see yourself as more than yourself? I walk into a part of afternoon that deepens inventing an endpoint for sadness. Everyone is gone. On the subject of deception, where do you stand? There’s a chill in the air and the flowers know, the goddamned flowers, their loosed color. Sometimes we are cruel and we mean it. We author the house with its threadbare linens, the false miniatures of people saying look at me. Will the landscape forgive you? Is it yours to describe? What is the sound inside your mouth? I’m surrounded by grasslands in ever direction. The sound is a clamoring, because desire is never singular and we want it this way. We want it easy. I have already let go of summer. Here, the wind— dispersal of seeds and story. Love, there are things I cannot name.
Midwest Eclogue, Stacie Cassarino
( via rabbit-light)
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