Rhizomes and other ways of talking about life…

rh2Rhizomes are bunches of subterranean roots, and therefore a perfect way to talk about life.

As an alternative to architectural and design descriptions, the unruly, uncontrollable, and often hidden tendrils are a wonderful, low-powered way of telling stories of life (‘telling stories of life is’ a redundancy, but that’s a topic for another day).

While we aspire to reach for the stars,
stretching to the sun, everyone a clematis
it is the humble rhizome spreading
insidiously beneath the dirt, poking up
here and there, and there, and there
to glimpse the light, refresh just so briefly
to continue, submerged, intertwining and
crisscrossing invisibly that explains how
most of us survive on this spinning ball.

I have learned an important lesson
from failing to maintain my lawn
as others do, as others expect me to,
a tutorial of grass or the lack thereof,
those spots weeded but left lawnless
will fill in quickly in June’s temperament
with unsightly and stubborn weeds
of all variety, all hated vehemently
by all who police others yards
for the source of their own troubles;
I will forever be known as the one
who trusts rhizomes too much for evil
is quick to fill the void unless crowded
out itself by a cultivated fullness I lack.

I am no single I, with a way to be,
a mistimed life of aborted unity;
an art of artless bio-connection,
capillaries admitting to random dissection,
not refusing simple, linear totality
for there is no human generic generality,
no secret perfect, no particular book
making one wrong and another one look
for long live the multiple, the fulsome,
felling the arbor, loosing rhizome.


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