Petaluma Scholar

I Cool tree walnut shade, Over quiet pasture, dirt, And me, lying placid. Gray shadow tree, touching outstretched— Colorless hardness. I smile, waving general habits, Looking around: gray, brown. Brown cow temperament, muddied. Dropped scholar tree fruit, there— Obsequious nut, serving ends Prevailing in obedience. I, prostrated on obedient harvesting, Gather fruit, holding as a rock Undiscovered benfits, unfelt: And of the meat, if only broken . . . Something with me. I could not break it. II Factory metal machine chain: Bonded links of servitude. I’m lying in aluminum book coffin, Floor linoleum words, worn, ground. Metal on metal, chained Dragged gun smell gray Mass stereotype production, Repetition, steel teeth mastication. I, trying enjoyment (science of), Welded to scholarship, Study nut and bolt, bondage. I, graphite chalk screech on board, Sacrifice life, for facts of life, cold. Logical chains finished product: With thing: bolted machine scholar, With knowledge of nuts, bolts, and bondage, Of hard, metal cold facts . . . Only people can break them. Or live with them.

April 1970