augury doggerel

Saturday, October 02, 2004


It's autumn, the season my year rolls over.

A potato man is walking down our street. "Potatoooooooooooooooooooooes." He holds the last syllable to give it time to carry up from the street to our windows. Women negotiate from their windows and balconies with the potato men to have large bags of potatoes brought up to their kitchens.

Just five or ten years ago, the potato men would have come down this street in a wooden wagon pulled by a horse. Now the horses are gone and they come in an open-bed truck idling at the curb. Soon it won't be worth their time to compete with private cars and hypermarkets and viruses and trends.
"Russia is teetering on the brink of a large-scale potato crisis ignited by the same virulent, fungal-like pathogen, Phytophthora infestans , more commonly called late blight ... The Idaho Potato Commission is engaging in a head-on assault on the myth that the complex carbohydrates found in potatoes are bad... No person shall, in the course of business, import into England potatoes which he knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes...

Things are precarious ("on the brink") on the small potato farm. Meanwhile, the woman has just come back from the cobbler and the corner grocer, both of whom (like "whom") are also doomed. (Though we're not unhappy about the impending doom of this particular cobbler, who is a bastard.) The cobbler and the grocer will sit on a long, long wooden bench in the corridor with the potato farmer and telegraph operator and fisherman and lighthouse keeper and elevator operator, the typist and librarian and programmer and IT technician, the translator and song plugger and the camera operator, the pilot, iceman, scrimer, organ grinder, the whacker and the ankle beater and the hurrier, the drysalter and the eyer, the fancy man and fewster, the gummer and the self acting minder, the xylographer, the woolcomber, and the wantcatcher, the wakeman chapman chandler stoker smith.


Post a Comment

<< Home