One Day I’ll Market Your Death


One Day I’ll Market Your Death

Do not mistake this phrase for one contiguous with threat.

Even its flower knows the theory of attractive quality.

An ideal medium for cochineal production, the prickly pear
shelters a host of creatures we seldom caress.

Which displays greater motility, the cactus or the cochineal?

Life-cycle of attributes, packaging, excitement, the unknown.

In the Aztec language, the word meant prickly pear blood.
The insects’ bodies and eggs yield carminic acid, which mixed with

aluminum or calcium salts yields the red dye.

Reaching for substance is neither metaphor nor effect. Sessile

parasite: carmine. The product of Dactylopius coccus
became the second most valued resource in Mexico, behind silver.

Opportunism unveiling itself, revealed, or, layered greed.

What appears to be fungus is wealth.

One-dimensional / attractive / indifferent. We look together
through the window and observe our separate selves.


This poem originally appeared in a slightly different form in Otoliths, and was included in my chapbook length work, The Circumference of Other, published in IDES: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks, by Silver Birch Press.

32 thoughts on “One Day I’ll Market Your Death

  1. Love this!

    “What appears to be fungus is wealth” is just about the most wonderful — if not disillusioning — statement ever! It shouldn’t, I realize, but it evokes an image of toe jam. If I were of a certain opportunistic disposition, I’d probably be okay with that, though… 🧀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Had a demo on this a few years back on lower Pecos … my guide murdered one cute tiny bug to prove his point. Sparks an inner debate of preference for lifeless synthetics vs naturals that “murdered”. Makes one look twice at red garments! (I’d feel no conflict if the hue source was large roachy water bug …)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really love this one; and I never knew that about the “prickly pear blood”. Always felt the word sounded Nahuatl but never bothered to look it up; your etymologies, though, are way more interesting than the OED’s. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mexico … That reminds me.
    The war on drugs,
    fatal for many
    … very profitable for same.
    I kind of see a similarity
    with the theme of your poetry
    ( nature’s by products
    and parasites included )?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “What appears to be fungus is wealth” and a few other lines struck a chord. The concept is strong. I like it. If you get a chance, you should tighten of stanzas and some of the wording. To critic something after publishing fails to correct the print. I know. Bear with me.

    For instance, the space between stanza 1 and 2 are connected in their concept. 2 gives explanation for stanza 1. Thus, I would remove the spacing. Free verse should have each stanza a key idea to share. In lieu of structure, free verse needs provide an alternative structure for the work to function for the reader.

    Reachingfor needs to two words not one. Telling the reader you are not reaching for a metaphor or effect is still telling the reader instead of showing him something. I would get rid that phrase.

    “One-dimensional / attractive / indifferent. We look together
    through the window and observe our separate selves.”

    I would break the last second to last line into a multitude of lines where you have a slash. I am assuming this a breathing mark. This is how I would do it.

    We look together through the window
    and observe our separate selves.”

    Lastly, the story (this poem does convey a story) needs to be spacing to have the window pane looking glass somehow included earlier (in the beginning perhaps). I would do something with window shopping. The voice could be looking at insects (aka humans) looking into a grocery store window at the produce.

    Anyways, keep writing. And I look forward to reading more of your work.



      • Here’s the thing: before pressing a work forward online, you might want to think about revising it. I have reason to believe you take yourself as a poet (serious being adjective unnecessary of one who seeks the highest art form aka poetry). And if you are, you should protect your brand by putting out your best work it could be of that day thus revision. It could be a masterpiece. Yet a poem half baked makes inedible goo. Cook the poem through toothpick clean and then repost it. I’m serious! The poem deserves it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, RJ. I truly appreciate your kind words and concern. In general, what I submit to publications has been revised and set aside for a while, in hopes of sending out the best possible pieces at any time. This particular poem is not in a style I’m interesting in continuing now, although some of its companion pieces were much more successfully wrought. But I enjoy posting different types of poetry from different periods of my poetic output, some of which are fully realized, some of which are not and probably never will be. There simply isn’t enough time! At this stage of my life I’m not worried about my “brand.” I have no career aspirations, no delusions about my place in the poetry world. I’m an aging, ordinary guy who sits in his backyard and writes poetry. Some pieces get published. Some do not. All I can control is the writing (which I do work at). I look forward to reading more of your comments here. Thanks again.


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