Jane Clark Scharl

Jane Clark Scharl studied politics, philosophy, and economics at the King's College in NYC. She lives and writes in the desert of Arizona with her husband Scott and a remarkable community of artists, teachers, and friends.

Eriugena in the Desert, or, The Swiffer

The Swiffer glides, exactly as advertised,
Smoothly around the floor. I am in awe,
Or an infomercial. Beneath the bureau, surprised,
The dust bunnies have been busy,

And run like Auden’s years around the room.
Where does it come from, this trash
That, before I view it on the broom,
I have not seen, though born in my very home?

The Swiffer drags to the middle of the bare
Judicial tiles a specimen. I stoop and there,
Drawn in lines of long dark hair,
Is myself, in bits, disintegrating slowly in an

Endless crematorium, and all round in piles,
The rest of me: a hair, a lash, a million
Million discarded cells on the tiles
In an intricate heap. I am there, spun in webs

As delicate as a spider’s, but more useless,
A necessary decadence of a creation
That crowns itself not with happiness,
But with knowledge, just as in sweeping

The dust from my floor
I see and know myself more.