Sunday, January 23, 2011

all ideas are exotic

my favorite Earl Grey tea first thing in the morning is exotic
flowers & smoke plus the honey angle
yet in Argentina I drink yerba mate instead

my pajama pants, cream-colored & patterned with collaged owls are exotic

owl pajamas by Esther Greenburg

yet too eye-catching for public eyes
I’ll wear smoke-blue yoga pants my friend Chris gave me
when I’m in Argentina

but is Earl Grey tea, are owl-patterned pajama pants, ideas?
no, they’re things

the idea is waking up & walking to the kitchen with the idea of Earl Gray
(I want to say Early Grey) tea in my head
the anticipation’s as good as the tea
far better than the disappointment of the cup half empty

whereas a fire in the wood stove, the heat pouring out
far exceeds the idea of the fire
when I’m coaxing wet paper to burn long enough to light the kindling
also damp, yesterday everything was damp & chill by night
the folded clothes limp when I laid them on the shelves

limp, damp, soggy – these are ideas
exotic enough to bring to mind something dead
though the dead toad I photographed
was swollen upside-down in the lake, bursting at imaginary seams
a water log, a bobber for a fishing line

once I saw an alligator in the same state – South Carolina, in fact

while the toad was Argentina

that it was a toad is an exotic idea
alive it was a toad
dead it was a bobber, a floater, an eyesore, a carancho’s delight

but would a carancho wade to retrieve a floating meal
when dried toads, dust-flavored, lie on the ground for taking

Caracara plancus, Southern [crested] caracara

I saw a carancho, white throat below a black cap
walk away on yellow legs, a leathery flattened toad
caught between the hook of its upper beak & the stub of the lower,
carry the meal into the dry long grass
away from the audience of carancho late arrivals
to eat the toad in peace, or pieces

@ La Estancia de Cafayate, Argentina