Imports: Middle East

Would you believe me
if I told you once the
carrot was purple
but a sickness came
over them and they
turned the color of curry
and all the carrots in the
world come from the cradle
just like you did—the cradle
and the angel—see, you
said once, see? Where
the angel dips her hands
in the ocean, there lies
the center of the universe
where you are from and
will never return
for fear of war and nitrate
and sickness that comes
not from nature but man
the violent pursuits of
kings and farmers
who dip their hands
in the center of the universe
and create chaos
and call it science,
are we not all on the verge
of utter transformation
teetering between extremes
is it rotten, you asked,
with my teeth halfway
through a purple carrot
not rotten, I said,
just rather old.



Poem 140

thoughts on food as i move closer and closer to organic


So much of my youth comes back to a cornfield in Iowa.

In the heartland where my father farmers knew

That all mouths are the same shape on the inside.

& we would feed them corn and soy.

& the beef of 10,000 cattle in a single bite.

& we would bend the boars together and slice them

paper thin. Our father farmers knew

that all the mouths would taste the same

when we would feed them corn and soy

& the feat of 10,000 cattle in a single field.

Our father farmers knew that we weigh silos

with our pennies & sleep-walk to the fridge—

so much of my life belongs to a cornfield in Iowa

where livestock wade in waste-land and the poultry

knows no sun.