Truffle Troubles

Truffle Troubles

Most folk here
never seen ’em;
don’t know Pliny
or Nero, but then
I’m fiddling around here
on Tennessee red soil
feeling truffle trouble blues

Y’all could say:
for scents like flowers and decay
I’ve gone hog wild; hell,
fungi dreams up my nose, and
got my dog runnin’ round
these Tennessee hills, but
he don’t hunt well, man
’cause he’s a truffle dog
who maybe’ll
bring home the bacon —
eight hundred dollars a pound
black diamond truffles

But tell you what,
just jesting for you folk,
don’t normally talk’is way:
hey y’all, I have
a Ph.D.
in mycology

Pliny said
he’d rather have a famine
than no truffles, and my
wife sooner have truffles
than sex, though
black diamond truffles
may yet make us rich

Like every chef’s ambrosia
black truffles in my nose,
hog wild for fungi

Fungi dreams up my nose
blue hills and mist
oak and hazelnut

Know the secret:
slurry of truffle spores
bathing sterile tree roots

Oh trifling god of truffles
let fungi spores take roots to glory

My truffle dog don’t hunt
barking up a hazelnut prayer

Blue hills and mist
oak and hazelnut

Tennessee red clay
truffles in America

Gonna learn the blues notes
goin’ down the red dirt road
gonna have the money, and fun
to buy my dream blues piano, and
my wife and I will go hog wild, ’cause
fungi are fungible
under the oak and hazelnut
kissing our roots
—Douglas Gilbert