Taxonomy

At the time these notes were found they caused a stir among Tagge researchers, although the authenticity is still disputed. Originally revealed by self appointed Bob Tagge expert Karel Tilander in his infamous radio interview about Tagge's heritage, the text is now published by Azulpress together with a number of Tagge's tables on leaf shape and inflorescence.

It took a long time to finish.
All summer long, in defiance of the heat, we tidied up the classification tables
took new cuttings and guided them towards the cool morning
where we fell into each other’s arms, exhausted but satisfied.

Freed from the tables briefly, not quite knowing how to interpret the limbs
we’d used to support the desks and display cases.

It’s taken yet another day. Autumn has overtaken us.
I’d hung the figures up to dry, taking advantage of the gentle east wind.
You’d called out from our work room ‘make sure the wind won’t blow it all away’.

Uncertain of the outcome, I too sensed that vulnerability.
No one cares, someone else will take over the tables and make a splash.
We are being accused of undermining the established order, the authority of institutions
‘with your shaky theories you’re destroying our whole society.’

These thoughts scared me, I tried to comfort myself with television, but couldn’t find a single programme that brought relief.
It was then that I realised the tables wanted more, they had something to add.

The first thing I wrote down was:
Something is added that doesn’t exist yet. What shape will it take?

The rudimentary shape disturbs the other plant species in the scheme, but they understand the symbolism.

A plant is a palm, an olive tree, a rose of Jericho, a bramble
see the frameworks on pages 14 to 68.

A man enters a flower shop and sees that the wife of the florist resembles his mother. His mother is an image that he instinctively places on the left-hand side.

On the left-hand side of the page, the habits of the plants. On the right, the tables.
An attempt at explaining something about tables.

 

Table A.

It’s a mistake to think that the explanation will linger in our minds
as in a poem
that conjures up a florist in a small flower shop
in conversation with a customer
and around them a cloud of suggestions that rise above the conversation
and reach the florist’s wife
turning the wife into an image that men push forward
so they can get the better of each other and drown in that image.

 

Table B.

It’s a mistake to think that the explanation will linger in our minds
as in a photo, for instance,
that depicts the researcher busy trying to get his tables right
just when a woman casts a quick glance through the window
while continuing to chat with a friend

It’s like when we sum up what moves us and what hurts us.
In the people we describe so casually
because we want to explain what’s okay and what isn’t
before we lose all interest.

We do lose all interest. It’s hot. Our bodies are bothering us.
A great tiredness sits in our joints.

Something has happened and the florist doesn’t recognise its silhouette. His wife has forgotten how to speak. The shop needs to close for an investigation, but anyone who wants flowers can drop by in the evening or arrange to meet at the café on the Plaza Mayor.

Tomorrow qualified officials will draw silhouettes on the asphalt in white chalk.

Figure 5. The fingers of a Rudbeckia
Figure 6. The fingers of a date palm

Figure 7. The number of arrests in the past ten years.

We had shut the windows on time, stored the tables in the drawers of our new desk.
‘What was it all about, that business with the florist?’ I heard you say and I showed you the newspaper cuttings.

It’s like that broadcast last week that we didn’t listen to
and like what you keep next to your tables
the letters that so desired you, the boy that would replace me when I leave for Lapland next week to paint new ramifications.

At the back of the studio, where we keep the larger cutters and shovels, lie my reasons for forgetting Mrs. Caddy, and that’s where we also keep the small boxes with the money I made on the tables. It wasn’t a reality yet, but already there was the thought of the drunken afternoon that would take ten years to materialise – the way life had been a sheet of ice between a hard-working taxonomist and a later happiness, the silence and the warmth found in the lap of Sara Lisa Moraea.