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PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS TRUFFLE PIG

I went to the desert to get wet. Crack surface. Break ground. Till soil like Cain, And leave flowers and leaves To others, more level-headed and able. The deeper I go the higher I build Madonnas and mothers, and build and unearth The necessary angels of earth, The bigger I build and dig her and make, The more I grow down and become and turn Radical, joiner of rotted wood and roots, Head in ground not clouds, who leaves to others The lemons above and in clouds other fruits. Like willows weeping, bend lower and down to dig up art as root vegetable, art as truffle, and the artist as pig with a wet and verily dirty snout. Dirt is my very own matter, and smut and dust, Ant-coated sticks, bark stuffed with spider eggs, Hollowed trunks, rutted by billions of legs, Dancing in jubilant decay, and I, The great composer of the decomposed, The greatest carpenter ant of them all, Amidst of making, joining, mending all, The artist as underworld denizen, And art as humus, as desert landscape: With feathered armpits of palm trees, and skin Arroyo Secos scarred, with spiral jetties As ring worms, and Watts Towers as mohawks. These are the images Rilke never knew, How I remember angels, round and whole Like only roly polys, and full, for I Am only partly poet, wholly fool.

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