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Crazy Bread.

 Balmy July is the Month We name Empty Bowl Month of the Hunger Gap
Sag between harvest and hay And barley stored for the ox Till autumn
comes With our saving crops
 Month of the Empty Gut Of the Knotted Gut Month for Crazy Bread
From the granary floor we skim The fallen husks of rye Husks that
shelter Dearest fungal mysteries July is the last of the wheat Host to a
clustered mould And growing new stars The shriveled beans we spurned At
Candlemas are flavored now With grains of dirt and rodent turd
But the dough's not ready It's needing more spice
Taking a lover's green basket We'll gather the wild
herbs' blessing The stems must wither three days in the sun The
baker's tapping a drum
Then hey! for pestles and mortar Hemp and the poisonous darnel Our
sweetheart poppy
Do you hear them behind their walls Our good monks chanting the laws
Their granaries not full but clean Who hears the daisy The lord in his
cups The clamor of his gold
Is your gut a'churning now Is your head staggering light Who's
got a tune for the pipe Our women spin and spin Whose wife will you win
For the crazy dance Which maid will take a fall Dance, dancing all
The poor dancing July dead Dancing the gift of our crazy bread 

In the Middle Ages "July was the month when the divide between the rich and poor became most apparent.... Common people were light-headed through lack of solid food, and modern chemistry has shown how the ergot that flowered on rye as it grew mouldy was a source of lysergic acid LSD) ... the dwindling stocks of flour were amplified as the summer wore on (with) poppies, hemp, darnel ... to produce a hash brownie known as 'Crazy Bread.'" (Robert Lacy, The Year 1000)

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Author:Infante, Judith
Publication:Prairie Schooner
Article Type:Poem
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jun 22, 2011
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