What is a pile of things but an accumulation. What is stock but merchandise or goods meant for widespread distribution. And the value, actual or imagined, from moving the pile of things onto a chain of profit- from-demand. What is a pile of random objects rotting in a shed, and does it compare to a pile of ventilators counted and willfully held in bales, on pallets. What kind of stock do you put on hot items. Do you hoard them and bide your time, wait till the clamor rises as the collective sound of desperate choking, as the rumble of trucks in convoy, hauling away piles of body bags. What is a pile of equipment, hundreds of thousands of filters and masks, stocked in a government warehouse. What is a portent of rodents doing, chewing at ropes and plastic sheeting; or a cortege of dark birds circling the cities, drawn by the fever- stench of death after death after death.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for her manuscript Maps for Migrants and Ghosts, forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press in fall 2020. She 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 former US Poet Laureate 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.