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Jennifer K. Sweeney

(1973 / Tolland / United States)

How to Grow a Mushroom


You're going to need soil and not out of the bag
but a vegetal mud dampened by umbrella fern,
a little scat, silt, shreds of orange peel
for the proper asexual cavedom.

Don't simulate the rain with a leaky bucket.
Don't sculpt a village out of sediment and moss.
Let religion recede.
Think paisley fish breathing eucalyptus.

Eat Hog Island oysters on the half-shell three times a week.
Let light fracture.
A glob of witch's butter on a nearby fringe cup
is a sign of good luck.

Think oxide strata and mica subduction.
Out of tallow seepage,
a tweedy stump,
zinc-capped nudge.

Let night harvest the camphor moon.
Chanterelle or cowboy's handkerchief,
a cosmology of debris
in the unlikely cadence of noon.

Submitted: Monday, August 25, 2014

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