I am a friend to the vegetables of the world. I never cook them without asking first, and have never been refused.
           I am a friend to the bronze and marble sculptures, to large and smaller dogs, to younger Romanian poets. I suffer the plastic bags to come unto me and write upon them: “I am not a toy,” or “I am a toy under particular circumstances which I shall leave you to intuit,” or “I am a toy – use me as you will, sound me to the top of my register – pop! that’s all; why not take olive me.”
           I am a river to my people. A paraclete to the PharaSadducees, unto the Moabites, the plebicites, the pleasure sites woo woo. I been rollin’ an’ tumblin’ cried the whole night long. I live on Love Street. I groove on Grove Street – on or about. I am the bomb in Gilead, the scar-maker industry behind the populuxe psalm. I am the pussy of Judah. I am some area. I am Sumatra, before and after lava. I am four less-known but more beloved French rivers. I am a fountain to small and larger dogs. I’ve made the potato what she is today. The way he presents as a frite, with or without mayo. I am a doctor to the fungi of the planet. I am the seventh microbial wonder of the hog-tied world – the baddest rhyzomatic myceleum on the block, no the whole shire – indeed the groove in the dark from Liverpool to Manchester. I am the Beatles before they had a face, or fags, before their voices broke in cathedral school. I cook from itch. I scratch your hand, you wash my back – no, harder, harder – flay away – make me forget the cannoli, the turned-oil wok, the basket sunk in canola, the beef-flavored heirloom monstrosity that runs false flags into and out of time, on the vine, underground. Make me forget the Ardennes, the first, second and fourteenth Sommes.
           I am your blubber’s kipper.
           Save the last dance. G’wan.
Statuary Fragment from the Great Temple of the Aten
Late Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353-1336 B.C., years 6-11?
Excavated at Amarna by Flinders Petrie and Howard Carter, 1891-92
Indurated limestone, diorite, red quartzite.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City
Photo by the author.

Eric Darton’s books include Free City, a novel, first published in 1996 by WW. Norton and recently re-released by Dalkey Archive Press, and the New York Times bestseller Divided We Stand: A Biography of The World Trade Center (Basic Books, 1999, 2011). Other of his writings may be found at, and Darton is a founding editor of Cable Street (formerly Witty Partition), a triannual journal of world literature,