I hadn’t planned on making another snake video poem so soon after the last one, but I got some great footage of a northern water snake yesterday on a visit to a friend’s hunting camp, and the poem came to me this morning. The reading here might be a little over the top; I decided to try reading through clenched teeth.
Whatever burns in the airless ooze of my gut,
it’s far from fire. If red be its color,
it’s the toxic red of cinnabar.
It churns. It gurgles. It ties itself in knots.
Anger is an acid, altering everything it touches.
Vitriol, the alchemists called it:
mixed with common salt, it produces
gastric acid, which those ardent
scientists of the soul revered as spirits of salt.
Ah, to think that their philosopher’s stone,
granter of base wishes,
might be glimmering at the end
of such tortuous metamorphoses!
The Alkahest, universal solvent, so wondrously corrosive
nothing could ever hold it in.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).