From Latin lutarius, from lutum, ‘mud’. As the Oxford English Dictionary puts it, lutarious means “inhabiting mud.” Wiktionary (like others) expands the definition a bit: “of, pertaining to, or like, mud; living in mud.” But both agree the word is obsolete.

As though living in mud, being like mud, sheer muddiness of nature and dwelling, mind and body, were obsolete. As though the world were not a big ball of wet dirt.

Here’s a poem.


I am lutarious, I
like fresh wet soil under my
fingernails, between my toes,
squishing in and out of my pores.

You like it clean and dry,
the dust, the rocks, blue sky,
hard, and whispering of death,
no muck, no suck, no breath.

You scorn my wormsome ways,
streambeds, puddles, bays,
ooze, nematodes, cnidaria,
as though you contained no bacteria.

But in a millennium or two,
when they find mummified you,
your face like a parchment scroll
unchanged and unread in your hole,

I’ll be dissolved, remixed,
reborn, remade, unfixed,
untraceable, fungible, teeming
with living and loving and dreaming.

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