Wednesday, June 27, 2012



Black and blue
is not what a bruise
looks like. More accurate
to say lobster-colored,
live lobster, dark greenish-
brown. There is a name
for the animal, sometimes
a different name if we are
eating it, pork, veal, beef.
If it swims or is a bird,
we can eat it and call it
by its name, lobster, turkey,
but if it is soft and walks on
grass, we muddy its name.
Don’t Google bruise,
don’t Google cured meat.
It’s not the body that repulses
me, just how the flesh reacts
to how we treat it.


  1. hannah, what do i say? perhaps the best poetry is when we are left speechless (and yet in my belly resides the visceral reaction which says, erin, you read this and are changed.)


  2. Very nice! I won't Google those words, can barely stand look at the meat display case in the store, but don't mind eating critters that swim and fly.

  3. Yeah, I think about what I'm eating sometimes. But I know I'll never go veggie, so I decide that thinking is a bad idea. By the way, there's a number of other things that one ought not scrutinize too carefully. A game I sometimes succeed in avoiding is: What will the Martians think of this once they invade and conquer? (forgive the puerile "Martians"--I don't know the fancy planets).

  4. sheep becomes mutton, deer becomes venison -- this is fascinating. i had never thought about the distinction between mammals and other food-animals in the way we name them --

    anglo-saxon for the mammal, french for the meat -- but we don't need to distance ourselves from flyers or swimmers by saying poulet or dinde or poisson ...

    the hairy, warm, milky mammals are too close to us. do we re-name to distance them, to de-familiarize, or to elevate them, to give them the dignity of a prestige language???

    so much ritual around eating, around dietary codes. it is the only thing that humans are as ashamed of as sex -- we have always been very uneasy about our relationship with a world we consume. (surely the snake in the garden of eden is, at least partially, the long, treacherous gut coiling through eve's belly!!)

    a provocative, smart poem :-))


The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.