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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 2

J.D. Schraffenberger

J.D. Schraffenberger
Hunger Strike

Gauntánamo Bay, Cuba, “Pearl of the Antilles”

Slip this plastic tubing ungently up
The nose and down the throat, sidle blind,
A mole, along the slow pink mucous curves
And into the dark hollow of resistance—
To suffer the rising headwater rush,
To swell with the burden of history,
To contain within its muscular sweep
The confluence of many old rivers.
We giveth to the beast his food
And to the young ravens which cry.
And to the young ravens which cry
We offer another ritual feast—
Sunflower hearts, millet, mealworm suet,
The slick black pearl of the Antilles
Swallowed whole.
J.D. Schraffenberger is editor of the North American Review and an associate professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. He is responsible for two books of poems, Saint Joe’s Passion (Etruscan Press) and The Waxen Poor (Twelve Winters Press), the latter of which was named one of the Best Books of 2015 by the Chicago Review of Books. His other work has appeared in Best Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Mid-American Review, Notre Dame Review, Poetry East, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. With James Engelhardt, he is the co-author of “Ecological Creative Writing,” which appeared in Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century (Southern Illinois University Press), and his essay “Our Discipline: An Ecological Creative Writing Manifesto” is forthcoming in the Journal of Creative Writing Studies.



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