Eric Baus

The title “Amoeba bag” was a google search that I used to find the Amoeba record store “What’s in my bag?” video series, in which musicians talk about what they bought on their visit. When I looked at the phrase on its own, it seemed like a good description of what it feels like to be in a body built of microbes and detritus. It feels like it gets at how a person is not necessarily one unified organism but a complex system of organisms at various scales in communication and in varying forms of growth and decay within the same environment.


Amoeba bag

Staring at the polished spirals of an antique miasma, I was felled from failing to gasp convincingly at the clouds. The foam from this storm was predicated on a sigh. Like a zone that was lanced into the peat of a grave, I graphed its elements for sympathetic gravel. Some moss spent all year longing for the cliffs, but how to clone enough rain to revive, how to hold a ram in your yarn until the tiny beast unboxes its breath? Watching moths fly is not the same as inventing sight was the wrong lesson to learn, I kept learning. I was trying to see how smallness is built from competing seedlings when I felt I had made my first descent. If I am only an amoeba bag now it is because of the bugs I brought with me.


Eric Baus is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Tranquilized Tongue (City Lights, 2014). A new book, How I Became a Hum is forthcoming from Octopus Books next year. He teaches in the new Regis University Mile High Low-Residency MFA Program in Denver and is a poet-in-residence at The Home School.