Saturday, May 12, 2012

Placed High in Jungle Trees or High on Scaffolds Alone in the Desert Until Buzzards, Vultures, and Harpy Eagles Stripped Their Bones Bare

That's an Earthgirl photo of a buzzard chased from a woodchuck carcass on Grove Church Road between Martinsburg and Bamgier Ohio by the honking ass Ford Expedition we rented to pick up Planet from college yesterday. She's home, yay! When I download photos from the cameras to the PC I click a button to erase all images from the camera (no one fills up a card faster than Earthgirl), and when the erasing happens it's like a super speed slide show that in effect details the entire trip in thirty seconds like a movie. How do I do convert the file of photos on the PC into that fast a slide show and then post it here? Also too, have some links before they go stale, a poem, some songs. Also too, here's an oil tanker and an Amish buggy on Ohio 586 between Fallsburg and Martinsburg, near the Licking County/Knox County line:


Pattianne Rogers

It’s always been that way.
They’ve allowed themselves to be placed,   
knees to chin, in the corners of caves   
or in holes in the earth, then covered   
with stones; they’ve let their fingers   
be curled around old spears or diadems   
or favorite dolls, the stems
of cut flowers.

Whether their skulls were cracked open   
and their brains eaten by kin
or whether their brains were pulled   
by tongs through their nostrils
and thrown into the dog’s dish as waste
are matters that have never concerned them.

They have never offered resistance   
to being tied to rocks below the sea,   
left for days and nights until their flesh   
washed away or likewise to being placed   
high in jungle trees or high on scaffolds   
alone in the desert until buzzards,   
vultures and harpy eagles stripped
their bones bare. They have never minded   
jackals nosing at their haunches,
coyotes gnawing at their breasts.

The dead have always been so purely   
tolerant. They’ve let their bones
be rubbed with ointments, ornamented   
with ochre, used as kitchen ladles
and spoons. They’ve been imperturbably   
indifferent to the removal of all
their entrails, the resulting cavities
filled with palm wine, aromatic   
spices; they have lain complacently   
as their abdomens were infused   
by syringe with cedar oil.
They’ve allowed all seven
natural openings of their bodies   
to be closed with gold dust.

They’ve been shrunken and their mouths   
sewn shut; they’ve been wrapped
in gummed linen, corded, bound upright   
facing east, hung above coals
and smoked, their ears stuffed
with onions, sent to sea on flaming   
pyres. Not one has ever given
a single sign of dissent.

Oblivious to abuse. Even today,   
you can hit them and pinch them   
and kick them. You can shake them,   
scream into their ears. You can cry.
You can kiss them and whisper and moan,   
smooth their combed and parted hair, touch   
the lips that yesterday spoke, beseech,   
entreat with your finest entreaty.   
Still, they stare without deviation,   
straight into distance and direction.   
Old stumps, old shameless logs, rigid   
knurls, snow-faced, pitiless,
pitiless betrayal.


  1. ...and when the erasing happens it's like a super speed slide show...

    I like that part, too.

  2. Pattiann Rogers is from Joplin, Missouri. Who knew?!

  3. Hmmm, I didn't interpret that as kindly as "shut up."

    There's some app out there that does the slide/movie thing but I don't remember the name. If I trip over it I'll let you know.

  4. Thanks for the kind link. I thought Serendipity was your religion.

    I'm still a bit breathless from watching City's stoppage time miracle... re your next post: Tough break re Kitchen. And yes it's your fault (speaking of Serendipity).

  5. One of my friends had a few drinks the other night and started waxing rhapsodic about the predatory power of the motherfucking turkey vulture and I've never laughed so hard.

    I went to school down in those environs for a year (though at a quasi-fundie campus where I quite an oddball not at Kenyon, which we often escaped to because it was pretty, the little chapel on campus was cool and the bookstore had good stuff). Beautiful place, lots of quirky sights on those back roads but I got homesick for smog and such. Those sights bring back some memories!

    and as always, thanks for the linkies.