“For Marcel Proust, et. al” by Edward Abbey
They praise the firm restraint with which you write;
I’m with them there, of course.
You use the bridle and the bit all right –
But where’s the fucking horse?
* * *
Well, thanks Ed. ‘Nuff said?
There was so much I wanted to say
and did not say.
There was so much I wanted to do
and did not do.
There was so much I wanted to be
and never was.
The plow; the raw September earth; the massive-haunched and mighty-hoofed old bay clomping and farting down the furrow; Father holding the plow, my brother the reins, and me with a sack following, gathering the fruits of the overturned soil – the earth apples…
Richly abundant, brown fat potatoes, thick as stars, appearing like miracles out of the barren, weedy, stony patch, thousands of big hefty solid spuds, bushel after bushel, a hundred bushels per acre, a mass of treasure from the earth…
How our hands and eyes delighted in that harvest, how gladly we dragged our bulging gunnysacks to the wagon…a wagonful of potatoes! Dark, crusted with dirt, soil, earth, cool to the touch, good to eat even raw; we plowed the shabby-looking field and turned up nuggets, plenty, abundance, more than we needed, riches unimagined…