Sunday, June 30, 2013


From It's a Columbian mammoth skeleton.
 So, I just returned from the Juniper Institute for Young Writers summer program, and thus have a ton of new work to show y'all. One such work is one of three poems inspired by a trip to the Amherst College Natural History Museum. Our group's task was to observe the colors of the museum and write about them in a more realized, inventive way.

The first thing I saw there was the bones of a Columbian mammoth, whose real ivory tusks were in a display case to the side.

Hence, this poem.


Brown. Too much brown is in the bones.
We always thought they were pure white piano keys,
not speckled, not yellowed, white;
all the colors and non of them at all.
But sooty, wrinkled parchment,
honey swirled in mud, working its way
inside our very last preservation.
An infiltration of decay,
an infestation of a thousand

The mammoth's tusk lies forgotten on the ground,
perhaps mistaken for a stray piece of “woodwork,”
while the waxen mold, too polished,
takes its place in the display.
We wouldn't want to frighten people.

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