Jake Darin


Beside the Conservatory of Flowers


These dahlias soil
feeling, such as rinse of air
can’t clear, and remind well: humus is human
and feeling
fecund-fertile in right conditions.

Humus, human,
aren’t there.  Ecologically, words vibrate less
than color:
Let’s let the polyglot flower speak

itself in pink
explosive fuchsia, cactus
heads of thin flame come stuck mid-lick; orange-sherbet
yellowing, now rouging their centers;

and blood-rich balls
so swole they cut a figure
less than Greek, impaled, collapsing on themselves.
Such color,
dreamt by the air in its sunlit sleep,

deep in our earthed consciousness
wigglers ever in their process, composting
scraps mindless
as these and making of them… something.

To soil feeling
isn’t to stain, or dig up
tuberous phrases. Take spoiled bits to rot,
most beyond verbal recollection,

and let it stew.
Nor conservatory, this.
Greenhoused phrases do only what dahlias do:
sit dormant
in a winter room, an eye on spring.

But color speaks
an inner language at work
without: the impatient world weathering down
all solid
things and thought till productive and new.

These dahlias soil
feeling—and must. What’s the end
in imagining a world that couldn’t re-
you? A stilled life. In a winter room.



Jake Darin is from Orlando, Florida. He holds degrees from the University of Florida, the University of Oregon, and the University of California Hastings College of the Law. Currently, he lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

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