Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Drub’d Up

Fork and Bin

The grocer aligns the oranges
In pyramidal rows, navels down,
And pierces one with a
Pin attach’d to a shiny
Placard announcing a price determined
By meteorological patterns and union
Labor stoppages, a tussle of
Indeterminables. It all, the grocer
Decides, comes down to pennies,
And the way the sun
Lights up the perfect regularity
Of the tiny mountain of
Oranges puts the ‘ill commixture’
Of economics to a test
It need not undergo. For
History, diploid twin, is embedd’d
Within that cargo of oranges,
A story of origins, how
A single orchard in Brazil
In 1820 witness’d an abrupt
Saltation, genetic leap and offertory,
Culminating in a large-globed,
Near seedless fruit with heritable
Characteristics. One single cutting transplant’d
To clement California in 1870
Begins a marketing campaign intrinsic
In twinning, mimicking the pyramidal
Arrangement, if only by considering
Its obverse, like any coin.

That’s the kind of thing that emerges in a few minutes of rush with the fire alarums sounding, some unofficial procedure for “testing” that requires a lengthy loud commitment, yow. Likely it suffers a kind of apparent monomania, the danger of getting going with one “thing” too long. Would that, say, Roland Barthes had drubbed into it some semiotic tensility, or Norman Maclean had upped the ante by stumbling by to wolf down a big sandwich made of Monterey jack and mustard. Winter’s lockjaw bite is back, tearing the eyes, clawing the cheeks, wind-whipping bicycle, all icy ruts and blades. I read another big gulp of the Mayröcker, decided, late, I’d only addle my own pate and those of my genial “crew” of readers (that is, me and my diploid twin, that ingrown homunculus there beneath the “big dome” of my skull) by rushing anything “further” about it into print.

Oranges Drying at a Co-op Packing Plant, Redlands, California, 1943