March 17th, 2011
Vestibules, Cupolas and Rotundas, oh my! It must be an hour passed at the Victorian Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, bookishly researching with a favorite lady companion. It was a rather plantish afternoon, as next we took in an exhibit that suggested–citing his cluster of poems Calamus, that take their name from a phallic marsh plant–Walt Whitman as the Granddaddy Satyr Pansy (Pansy Pan? goodness, hand me my mackintosh square) to the Radical Faeries.
Later our friend Margaretha gave us an improptu tour of the Permaculture enthusiast Hayes Valley Farm where she volunteers. The farm practices forest gardening and companion planting and also inspires with an impressive collection of worms. Curious to see two such disparate responses to the need for plants within the urban landscape–the semi-tame Victorian educational specimen under milky, jewel box glass, and a modern cultivation of waste into nutrients, starting with the collapsed freeway on-ramp the farm calls home.
Not to mention the Naturalist at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution singing his erotic love out not only to men, but to loveroot, silkthread, crotch and vine. Long before we were here and long after we are gone: plants. Or as Whitman put it, I will go to the bank by the wood, and become undisguised and naked, I am mad for it to be in contact with me.