Volume 29, Number 1

Going to the Woods

That evil place where Dracula resides is called Transylvania, “beyond the woods.”

It was only after we conquered the forest and sliced it up into manageable pieces that we have come to love it.

When Red Riding Hood fell down in the forest there was no one to hear except for the little boy crying wolf and creating his own type of problem.

In the earliest version Red was eaten by the wolf but later she was able to convert him to Christianity.

In the early 21st century we all love to return to the forest in musicals and other reality programs.

It is sort of like a circus. We captured animals and made them jump through our metaphors though sometimes a fox is just a fox though very sly and debonair.

And a lot of sophisticated readers don’t like to encounter nature. They think they’ve heard it all, and try to change the subject before they have to travel in their minds.

As I said above, one theory about the love of nature is that we needed to destroy the woods before we would want to hang out there especially after dark.

This idea is not old growth, but it continues to surround us.

Can you imagine Lady Gaga writing a song about the post-natural world and the costume she would wear to sing it in a concert? If so, would you write her?

They say that with global warming the polar bears will die but due to the miracle of the internet we will always have the Coke commercials with their testament of Ursus maritimis’ charming weakness to the drink.

Every Jeep commercial I have ever seen loves to show how it conquers the terrain but never shows the ruts it fathers.

And what to do with this poem? Written on the dead bodies of birch and pine. Transferred through a devil’s pact. The internet meeting dirty coal.

Time to stop before my sins infect another page.

—Daniel Bourne