Myth is History

by George Bowering

The toilet paper I’ve used during my life
do I owe the earth a tree? Two trees?
But wait, haven’t my turds fed the earth,
or were they slid into the Sea?

At the University of California someone said
we western civilization people have cut off nature,
returning our fertile product not to the earth
but into the ocean, where all the salt is, except
that in the peanut butter I bought today, a jar
otherwise free of additives. Think about salt
in your stomach, in your small intestine, think about
those Road movies, Crosby and Hope back to that sound stage
where extras keep putting on ruffled sleeves and moustaches,
their fecal discharge in the Bay, not leaking nutrients
into a sunwarmed pasture. Southern California poetry
too could use some advice from was it Kantorowicz?
He said drop that basketball, pick up a hoe, and even your life.