Bacteria

by Eric Chaet

Bacteria have a big advantage
they have no nucleus
not a thought in their head
pure instinct
getting grub & avoiding dying
or so it appears here at world headquarters—
maybe this or that one is different from the others
maybe they’re all different from one another—
I’m working from images
produced by people with excellent cameras & microscopes
spies, as it were—
during tough times
or where easily ingested nutrients occur
they’ll drift into colonial tribes
& adapt to one another’s proximity—
otherwise it’s every cell for itself
& when they’re fit & satisfied
they grow & become two—
similar but not exactly the same
as packages of salty or sweet snacks
bottles & cans of beer or carbonated drinks
legislation, dollars, ball games—
& I expect you know people like that
some sicken & die, some prosper
without much on their mind
& take those concerned
with, say, past & on-going injustices
or the well-being of humanity, maybe
(I don’t mean the virulent strain of hypocrites)—
as in-sane, un-fit, confused
& they eat or swim around them
& try to attach themselves
to the most likely source of nutrients
so as to attract the least attention
of predators out trying to make a living
or patrolling macrophages.

On another occasion, let’s consider viruses
& the archaeans, & fungal hyphae, molds, & spores
& the bobbing, suspended phytoplankton & zooplankton
& films & bladdered & branching strands of algae
where water meets air & light, or just below
along the shores, or on still ponds
& plants, cycling with day & night & seasons
roots, leaves, stems, flowers, fruit
invertebrates, & vertebrates
& people, more or less concerned
with commerce, society, meaning, culture
& surviving the current crisis
or the so-called peace & prosperity—
those whose efforts produce good consequences
& those whose efforts produce bad consequences
we’ll define good & bad on that occasion—
those just emerged from wombs
& those whose efforts diminish, then stop
& all between, struggling to engage & advance
or to disengage, retreat, reorganize—
& air, water, stone, & soil—
ground-up mineral seams & wet & dry crannies
where worms, bacteria, & other individuals & crews
industries, economies, societies
disassemble, digest, & recycle
recently living beings’ residues.

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Earlier version posted online @ Beyond the Pale (Ireland & France)

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surveillance series
world headquarters series
cosmic being series

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