|Joshua Poteat [Vimeo]|
from Joshua Poteat’s Illustrating the Machine That Makes the World [From J. G. Heck’s 1851 Pictorial Archive of Nature and Science]:
Illustrating the seventeenth century
after Bohumil Hrabal
Evening comes, black wig of roots after the storm.
Dandelions cataract the ditches, deserted as stars,
a star in each milky eye, a star like the hole you shoot
through a pillowcase. That is something
they never ask you: What is death to these weeds?
What is beyond suffering? It doesn’t mean we will
all turn out horribly. It just means too much rain
can make a weed drunk with courage.
It used to be called chivalry, to save a girl
from the mouths of beasts, then take
her foot in your mouth for your own doings.
To lure a tapeworm up from the caverns
of your bowels, give yourself a milk bath.
A peasant hoeing in the fields once took
his thumb for a grub and hacked it off.
Nobody appreciates these kinds of things
anymore. Even money’s lost its charm.
We’re inclined to tragedy now.
There was always someone carrying
his guts off in a bucket back then.
The dead have a name for it,
but they aren’t talking.
Given’s as good as gone.