Seeking the Origins of Poetic Misunderstanding at the Intersection of Rural Living & the Smell of the Land
At the crossroads of A and D surrounded by Amish cow pastures and white trash yards, the unincorporated town of West Lima, Wisconsin is the poetry capital on the top of the world*. The life of poetry is the everyday interactions of common uninspired people. Melody is everywhere in birdsong and in the aura of tractors pulling manure wagons dripping slurry along the roads as they go. The gospel revival church is shaking with the rousing alliteration of I's and You's echoing down into the valley at the bottom of Over The Hill Road. Mobs of hound dogs are the true troubadours of the Avant Garde, the slightest interruption of rabbit running past or jogger sneaking thru the food, sets them off in waves of howling and guttural yelping. In the decaying remains of the Old West Lima high school is a large library full of small press magazines and publications collected from around the world. The school is too far gone to be safe to enter, but the many ghosts of students past are constantly quoting lines from these books as they wander the hallways late in the night.
On somedays someone has the courage to come to the door of the Old Post Office where I live and is surprised to find piles of books and manuscripts amid endless carboys of wine & and a jungle of ethnobotanical plants wrapped around every available windowspace. One can never predict how someone will respond to the notion of poetry, of poetry books, or of the language of the Other simmering in the unsaid potential of language. There is not an effective way for the poets and poetry books of my world to find distribution among the farmers and artisans of the Driftless bioregion, or predetermine what use they could have for such. They are an invitation to step outside the call of chopping wood and carrying water into a hint that language maps pathways not traveled in these parts.
I went to the Driftless Grotto where someday, as I wait patiently, the bird-operated blue glass Time Machine will appear on a spot that I have clearly marked as the location of its materialization. I write words on pieces of paper and put them under rocks. There is very clear intent in these actions and someday. On the scraps of paper are words like "projection", "don't trouble trouble until trouble troubles you", "invent you" etc etc.
This is what I know on this date in history. Tomorrow already sounds different.
*600 million years ago the Driftless area, the largest unglaciated area in the northern hemisphere, was a mountain chain as high as the Himalayas.
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