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You have learnt something. That means, you have lost something.
—George Bernard Shaw

See. He has genus Amoeba for eyes—
of the family Amoebidae, order Tubulinida—and lids like pseudopods
for foraging.

Secretes itself; the light limpid, lube like, and oozing spies
the world and eats it. Not in parts; not quite but neither
completely different from a snake bite—unhinges

its aqueous jaws, runs and salivates
(runs and salivates), leaves an undigested lump in the gut.

Darwin’s Theses:
Eat or be eaten—
it’s only the vigorous, the healthy, and well fed that survive.
There isn’t profitability without extinction—
great destruction is required.
No specious arguments,
or ambiguity. Rely only on advantage:
the long catalogue of dry facts
like an animal’s diet listed on an exhibit placard.

A Grocery List:
loaves of ciabatta ranch houses,
beds of pulled pork mulch,
Sencha lawns,
clouds of meringue,
something supple and easily bruised like peach meat,
asparagus spears,
meat stew (with or without Pelops),
a swaddled stone passed off as a god,
bread and wine, likewise,
a mortar and pestle to pulverize,
an electron microscope and a centrifuge.

Remember, Natural Selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing.
Hide in the Manichean darkness from the light eater; who bares eye-teeth
for chomping—pupils unoccupied, hollow and wide—
swallow, promising redemption from opaqueness and recipes
for everything—mis en place; everything in its place and mended of its mystery,
then written into formulas of tablespoons and measuring cups.

A Taxonomy:
The infinitesimally small is somehow related
to the profoundly ignorant;
but then again so, too, is the immeasurable
and unfalsifiable.

A Recipe Card:
With a cleaver, chop the turkey necks into bite-size
pieces and blot to remove excess blood.
Make a roux. Add the turkey necks and simmer an hour and a half past
Salt to taste.

Don’t we all consider books without equations
too much pinch and dash chemistry—more like incantations then gastronomy?

We cry, “Let’s make the small bits into bologna
and eat the elephant one mouthful

at a time.” But the monstrous, the kraken, the gorgon and the god
present us an altogether different challenge. They resist Malthusian
assessment, the wet mount slide, the omnivorous empire;

are themselves a darkness that is a kind of light even if appearing as emaciation
(even as bunk), and who appreciate that food, like the interrogated,

has value in its unknown and undigested
parts—is otherwise discardable.

First published April 06 in Splash of Red (2010) . This poem received a 2010 Pushcart Prize nomination.

{All italicized phrases except the French term “mis en place” taken from On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.}