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The Concept of the Weed 

The Concept of the Weed 

What’s a weed?
A weed’s, well, what?
a plant that’s in the wrong place
But — that’s it;
It’s out of order
In the wrong subsection of the Nomos
Also, you know, the weed’s said to grow
In a vigorous way
Is renowned for its growth
It grows — the weed’s a growing thing
What ancient Greeks called Physis
Nature contra Nomos — and the nomeus
The shepherd — ha ha!
And Physis, that leads to physician,
N’est-ce pas?
Shepherd and healer
Which is your Jesus?
Nomos or Physis?
Physis and the good, eudaimonia,
The flourishing life,
Or mere survival, obedience, strife?
The weed, did I mention,
Implies convention, the Nomos,
Or does it?
Where should that plant be?
The plant that produces oxygen
Is greater than the street

And cars, polluters, death machines
How do you feel?
What’s the aesthetic?
As anesthetic
Sustains the disease —
Aesthetics to beauty to fairness to justice
And then back to Physis and Nomos
And the nomeus, via the king —
Disease contra ease and health, the healer
The health of the people
All people: the rivers,
The trees, the seas,
The bees, the bears, the air, the soil —
Aluminum foil, in most cases, only advances
At best instrumental health
Which doesn’t see health as an end in itself
Is simply a power that functions —
that labors, that suffers —
for something else
But critical health, the true law, the just
Is opposed to the Nomos and the nomeus
The healer, who cares,
And what does it mean to care
If it doesn’t imply, as well, to repair
A duty to repair…
Distribute and produce
For Physis and logos, not Nomos, you see:
Ecology, not economy
Ease, not disease
Not war, but peace
All of these things
Which are seen in the weed

Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com and on twitter @elliot_sperber

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