Root hog or die, what they say; flog the memory for any old saw or flight of fancy to give some weight to what, after all, is just another tiresome day.
What a way to frame the business of life in a bunch of words, good, bad or indifferent; florid metaphors, banal tags clamped on brave supernal human thoughts, decked out fancy and useless as chandeliers in the noonday sun.
Root hog for your own sake or Christ’s sake, go ahead and find Francis Bacon; now no more than famous and dead. What’s the use? We know him or we don’t.
The proof of knowing intensive in a pudding Einstein himself would fail to see rise to reason or sense.
Words or deeds? Overloaded science random or precise, being or nothing, needs an axe to cut the meat from the bone, a knife to slice the meat from the fat, and who’s to say it’s worth the effort? Lady Husbandry’s a cold hard consort in the groves of academe, where nothing grows that’s not cut to order.
Root hog, root or die or still unquiet and alive, continue your quest, trotting towards the setting sun; along the way try to settle a few old debts, but leave the fancy thoughts, the complications, to those who have no business at the dirty trough;
we know who they are.
You have no time for them, no time at all to look at the sky, the sea, the land; in the end clamps on your nuts, the knife cuts you off from Francis Bacon and every single thing you thought you ever knew.
There is nothing for you but hanging dead and bloody, strung up and ready to be gutted. There are other ways, surely, a ceremony, a grave, but it’s all the same; our fancy human ways no more than progressions of death prettied up and pretend and in the end, we all fail the living because there they are, left behind, and here we are nothing.
BACKGROUND NOTE: “Root, hog, or die” is an idiomatic expression of self-reliance. Early American usage predates 1834. It refers to letting a pig run loose in the woods to forage and survive, or not, depending upon the beast’s own effort. From Crockett, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, p. 117-118: “We know’d that nothing more could happen to us if we went than if we staid, for it looked like it was to be starvation any way; we therefore determined to go on the old saying, root, hog or die.”