Gwendolyn Guth's poetry weaves its life around her teaching, mothering, and academic writing. Her poems have been published by ottawater, bywords, yawp, above/ground press, Friday Circle ( The Flash of Longing chapbook) and the University of Ottawa Press (selections in Al Purdy: The Ivory Thought ). She has a Ph.D. in nineteenth-century Canadian women's writing and teaches eclectically and happily in the English Department at Heritage College in Gatineau, Quebec. Always better at writing to a deadline than to a muse, she is devoting the summer to her first full-length manuscript.
Dirt discourses with the hedonist , the wallower-
cry baby tears hot for lost stem cells, secret stash
of marrows, sweet spot of putrefaction.
In the final stage, everything is liquid. But dirt dines
on chunky obsolescence, eczema-baked hands
and well-marbled thighs tumbled in grass. True compost,
of course, is a vegetable matter; it doesn't evolve me.
Yet that backyard aerobic calendar of demise reminds,
sweet silage smell apart, of the way of all flesh. Doesn't it?
Avuncular dirt, dirt diable, corruption's functionary.
Walk me under your yawned brown awning, deeper
& darker, transitive verb conversant with the motherlode,
your newest accustomer, groping for songs &
her glasses. Your people will be my people.
Those flirty afternoons in the Orangerie
even the bananas were hot-
to bare white flesh
dreaming your ice-cream tongue
your succulent fingers.
The sun on your throat
licked mango, tangled
my better sense.
The old man on the bench moved away
with the swans.
Too much heat in our shade
too much ripeness.
Give me one more hour by that man-made lake.
Give me strawberries on a new-mown lawn
and your statuesque limbs.
Give me one more memory to make
paper gods out of hopes
living men out of fruit.