Trophic Cascade

    “Scarecrows grow scarce
    since we no longer till fields.”

    – John Montague

    If I stopped feeding you the regular diet you expect from me, told you once and for all Shop’s closed, take your business elsewhere, would you finally go away, leave me alone, find some 24-hour diner down the road, turn your taste buds to something else more worthy: sushi rolled in gold leaf nori perhaps, or trending donkey stew; fish maw soup, smoked venison, pasta in squid ink— washed down with vats of Veuve Clicquot or better yet, that 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux ($160,000, Thomas Jefferson’s initials etched on the bottle)? Tell me you too have grown weary of the taste of my home-cooked platters of regret, my overboiled tureens of sorrow, that poor excuse of a pastry case holding every dried, crumbled madeleine from the past. Those creams taste curdled; even the spoons cringe from being dipped into them. Yesterday, I breakfasted on tofu, wanting a cleaner palate, to rinse the acrid aftertaste of salt from my mouth. You must be tired as well, tearing through sinew, chewing through gristle, sucking the difficult marrow out of these bones. Here’s a concept to consider: the complex food web, multiple levels where surely, you’ll find something suitable to your palate— like a food court devoted to global cuisines! I’ll find you a deal, even some Groupons. In time, you won’t even remember the taste of me.


    In response to Speech alone.

    Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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