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Geocentric
by Pattiann Rogers

Indecent, self-soiled, bilious
reek of turnip and toadstool
decay, dribbling the black oil
of wilted succulents, the brown
fester of rotting orchids,
in plain view, that stain
of stinkhorn down your front,
that leaking roil of bracket
fungi down your back, you
purple-haired, grainy-fuzzed
smolder of refuse, fathering
fumes and boils and powdery
mildews, enduring the constant
interruption of sink-mire
flatulence, contagious
with ear wax, corn smut,
blister rust, backwash
and graveyard debris, rich
with manure bog and dry-rot
harboring not only egg-addled
garbage and wrinkled lip
of orange-peel mold but also
the clotted breath of overripe
radish and burnt leek, bearing
every dank, malodorous rut
and scarp, all sulphur fissures
and fetid hillside seepages, old,
old dependable, engendering
forever the stench and stretch
and warm seethe of inevitable
putrefaction, nobody
loves you as I do.



Pattiann Rogers has published six books of poetry, including Firekeeper: New and Selected Poems, and her most recent collection Eating Bread and Honey, both published by Milkweed Editions. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Poetry Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. She lives in Castle Rock, Colorado. For more information about Pattiann, please visit her website. Pattiann is a regular participant in The Orion Society's Forgotten Language Tour.

If you'd like to order these books (and others), please visit The Orion Society Bookstore.

This poem was originally published in the Autumn 1994 issue of Orion. To order a copy of this issue, please visit The Orion Society Marketplace, call (413) 528-4422, write The Orion Society, 195 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230, or e-mail us at orion@orionsociety.org.



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