Kedoshim: The Ungleaning

by Cash Myron Toklas Issue: Fall/Winter 2019 Special Issue on Margins

—Leviticus 19:1–20:27


In the Holiness Code, it is said that you must not reap all
the way to the ends of your field. Leave space for the poor,

the migrant: I am the Lord. In the Theory of Communicative
Action, it is said that you must not rationalize the lifeworld.

Leave space for the local indigenous: I am Jürgen Habermas.
This much is required. The rabbis of epistemology inquired:

Does this hold for kitchen gardens, unholy orchards & sacred
grains of forbidden knowledge? Must we raise Hyperion’s

lanterns to the monsters that loom at the edges of the map?
Or the boundaries of Morpheus’ domain? What of poetry

that slips nets as eyes open from bouts of horror, illusion,
or some mother dream of Freud’s? And what of the corner 

of the English garden where Hayek & Polanyi gather for tea?
Must we leave room for wild random chance or discrete

knowledge of entrepreneurs? Is that why the symbolic halts
before Žižek’s field runs out? Who knows what muses hide

in Nix’s shadows, only to disappear when Eos breaks.
When all that field is gleaned, have we robbed Karl the 


Cash Myron Toklas is a new, young American poet, in the way that Umberto Eco once described himself as a “young novelist” well into his fifties, because he had started so late. Otherwise, Toklas is quite hoary. His work has lately appeared or is forthcoming in Balloons Literary Journal, Coffin Bell, J Journal, The Midwest Quarterly, The Penn Review, Piltdown Review, Riggwelter, Virginia Normal, and elsewhere.