Your Dream of Giant Mushrooms

by William Doreski

Your dream of giant mushrooms
confounds you. Big as pillows,
such aggressive fruiting suggests
how shapeless the next evolution
could be. Crouched in your bedroom
with dawn burning in the slats
of your closed blinds, you consider
abandoning your mind somewhere
on the way to work. On Route Ten
a tractor for sale, a Farmall
from the Sixties, red paint faded
as the kisses wasted years ago
on a husband who wandered south
clutching a liter of vodka.
You’d like to purchase that tractor
to plow a shallow ditch a mile
or two through the forest, loosening
the compact soil to encourage
an army of giant mushrooms.
You could command this army
to rise from its mycelium
and trundle into the city
of Keene and terrorize children
and dogs and bully the adults
who annoy you every day
with their ignorance and swagger.
But despite the oily texture
of your dream you lack the language
to properly address a mushroom.
And if they ever grew that large
they’d fracture from excess weight
and could hardly march several miles
to intimidate downtown Keene.
But dreams like this require
the respect of exploitation,
so as you pour yourself coffee
and peel a banana for breakfast
the mushroom part of you shivers
with excitement, meaty white texture
exuding the woodsy aroma
that has kept you fresh all your life.

William Doreski‘s most recent collection of poetry is Another Ice Age (2007). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Harvard Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review, and Natural Bridge.

Back to Issue One: Fall 2008