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Global Flavor Riot

By Bob King Before you again ask me, What would you like for dinner? let me remind you that I became the default cook for my family A.) because of my wife’s hectic work schedule & my lots-of-grading-at-home teaching schedule, & B.) despite the fact that I was raised on sawdust meatloaf & bland green beans I’d hide in mashed potatoes. And unflavored chicken strips, French Fries with no ketchup— never ketchup— & the fact that my mother- in-law would start the Sunday pot roast on Tuesday, cook all the juice & flavor out of it so it resembled a finely handcrafted Venetian leather loafer, then provide enough gravy to drown a veritable barnyard of swine, & somehow I’m the bad guy for pointing out that so much au jus might not be necessary if the Sunday roast was actually cooked, you know, on Sunday. My survival hasn’t always been guaranteed. My cooking talent not something I could rightfully claim as a talent. Somehow, we’ve all become more assemblers than chefs, but somehow wife & I almost have almost raised three fine young empowered women who for the most part have barely never died as a result of our terrible palates. Dad jokes & mom’s purposeful embarrassments, sure, but definitely not from processed foods reprocessed in our kitchen. Culture erupts when we move from the struggle for survival to the time & patience that an aesthetically pleasing dish might afford. And we’ve settled our family on the uncultured side of town. You understand that multiple truths can be possible at once, right? As in the Age of Discovery was the age of black peppercorns & Sri Lankan cinnamon sticks & cloves & mace & nutmegs. As in the Age of Discovery was the age of remapping the map. The Age of Discovery was the age of the church with its black-&-cross-clad Jesuits stored next to the limes & sauerkraut & hardtack biscuits in the hold & was thus the age of sanctioning domination, enslavement, genocide in the name of Christ, bullies to the lesser people it claimed to protect. Hey smalltown girl living in a lonely world, you understand you don’t need to listen to Journey or Rome & you can, in fact, stop believing anytime you want? You understand the Age of Discovery started the age of exotic feathers, textiles, & homespun misogyny & cane to molasses to rum to the terribleness of the Middle Passage. We’re all food for worms, but need we be chattel, too? Such a thin line between appropriation & allyship, bolder barrier between reverence & revolt. Before refrigeration replaced ice boxes replaced ice blocks replaced root cellars, the three ways to preserve meats were salting, drying, & aciding, as in storing cucumbers in vinegar vats. Smoking the forgotten stepsister. Fat the absent father providing initial energy then converted to resentments. There’s no accounting for bad taste. But like most wise decisions, we’ll only take credit for our good tastes. The difference between flavor & taste is that without smell, you can’t tell flavor, & we can’t taste everything, & we can’t just go around licking everything especially if our nose is plugged. Plugged noses won’t distinguish an apple chunk from an onion. And yet flavor drives consumption & the self-checkout lines. Evolutionarily, due to daily diet shifts over millennia, cats can no longer taste sweets, pandas can no longer taste proteins, & the GOP: women’s rights, suffrage, nor common sense gun laws. Because of high content bitter receptors. My bitter receptors are reserved for broccoli & those who spend careers diminishing other’s human rights. So it’s not that I’m a picky eater so much as just born this way, with receptors & neurons that don’t taste the way you might taste. You see, usually we don’t seek flavor silence, nor do we seek a flavor death metal concert, preferring sweet & sour, lemon-lime, & SweeTarts. Taste is only one ingredient in the flavor equation. The difference between flavor & taste is that you can taste flavor, but you can’t flavor tastes, except in the circumstances where you try to drizzle chocolate on a bad decision after it’s already been decided, a cascade of excuses disguised as reasons, our species’ inability to take responsibility for taste’s stink, so we turn everything into a partisan spin room. No judgment or I’m not a racist, buuuuuuuuuuuuuut… the first red flags in a litany of flags, a regatta of bad ideas not disguised with sprinkles or coconut shavings. And you’re right Gwen Stefani, This shit is bananas. B. A. N. A. N. A. S. The truism of flavor profiles, as when individual flavors combine & change each other, which goes double for words in the same sentence combining to form not individuality but a larger collective meaning beyond themselves, again with the lemon-lime, or deep down, you’re really shallow, aren’t you? So, what are your high-definition flavors? Those that make you sit up & take notice & maybe you gotta get a photo of this dish for your Instagram? The royalty of pineapple? Or the dexterity of the potato, brought from Peru to Louis 14’s court, across the Channel & eventually to the Emerald Isle? You know, Sherman’s march across the South was as much about scorched earth as it was about controlling the food supply, barns, storehouses, railways, & Rebel economy. And when Mao tried to mimic collectivization, as Stalin did in Ukraine, the Chairman really outdid himself, genociding at least 30 million Chinese, poor rice & wheat farmers & women & children & fodder for propaganda, whereas Joseph air-quotes-only took out 7 million, & selective history is still trying to rinse that out of our mouths & textbooks, as if we govern the state of Texas. The only one who has any right to walk with arrogant swagger is unapologetic, mother-F-ing nitrogen, for once ammonia was lab-synthesized by a German chemist in 1909, the globe saw the biggest revolution the globe’s ever seen. And the Green Revolution is still ongoing. And like Flavor Flav, the giant clock is still ticking. Take this à la carte tidbit: 20th century population leapt from 1.5 billion to 6 billion all because Bavarian lab nerd reproduced ammonia from elemental nitrogen & hydrogen which produced factory fertilizer & combined with massive seed production, which produced crops to feed us all many times over, except those still-victims of hoarding stranded on the outreaches, in the food deserts, but then MTV’s LIVE AID thought they could fix anything. And gosh, I do love Bono, & I admire him for trying, & despite his cockiness, his arrogance can’t compete with institutional bureaucratic conceit. When isn’t hubris the major plot explainer for our species? And so, nitrogen’s the only godly rock star, making up 78% of our air, in every cell of us, & a primary driver of all life forms. She’ll surely tell us when we’ve hit our food threshold, our population limit, our mom admonishing, Don’t eat that in front of everyone if you didn’t bring enough to share with everyone. So, the Age of Discovery was the age of epicurean development, & Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. My favorite cookies are no bake chocolate oatmeal droppings dropped on waxed paper & cookie sheeted into the fridge. Here’s that recipe you asked for: ½ cup of premium Mayo County butter, ½ cup smooth milk from the creamiest cows Hershey, PA has to offer, maybe a drop of the extract from a Tahitian vanilla bean, cocoa powder from the deepest Mexican forest, two cups of pure sugar from the finest antique cane in Papua New Guinea, & three cups of Argentine oats. Don’t under or over boil. We’re all just doing all we can not to boil over, aren’t we? In this way the recipe for global commerce becomes the story of gastronomic delight if we can stop thinking about the barbarism. Dutch spice cakes— gingerbread & mascarpone cheese— the East India Company’s answer to objectional behavior was, Here have more cake. Cake almost always makes everything almost better. I blame the dinosaurs for the skyrocketing gas prices: why couldn’t they go extinct more cheaply? The Age of Discovery’s descendants are Julia Childs & Anthony Bourdain & Williams Sonoma, & Crate & Barrel arose from Indonesian cargo cults. We can turn any worldwide phenomenon into a cult if we just believe hard enough. And even Sinclair’s Jungle won’t stop the dodgy factory owners from not not doing the right thing; when left to their own devices, when union busting, because any oversight leaves a bad taste in the mouth when you’re trying to operate out-of-sight. No accounting for bad taste. The age of Marco Polo was as much about making money & finding fame as it was about finding spices or silk. Before Britain was an empire of colonies, it was an empire of the seas, an empire of ships, sailing home foodstuffs from around the globe to their shores, plots, cottages, & kitchens. There’s no accounting for bad taste, & that’s only part of why Henry 8 wanted Newfoundland—so that he could feed his expanding navies. Which then helped fuel the Irish Potato Famine with a million dead & a million more fled for salt cod & currant. The roots of progress interweave with repression. Anemia, pellagra, & scurvy. Limeys. And Shit on a Shingle as your go-to appetizer for neighborhood potlucks. Challah & ciabatta & Irish soda & early colonists thought it was bread’s divinity that separated & segregated them from the Indigenous peoples, bread into flesh, water into wine, people into slaves, or genocidal afterthoughts, the two original sins of the country never penanced for. Which is so bland & white bread of us. The age of the Industrial Revolution was about sugar. The Industrial Revolution was about fabric. Agriculture. Ironworks. Bread. Indentured servitude. Ironworkers would consume 4 pounds of sugar per week per half-pound of tea. The Industrial Revolution was about trying to find the proverbial garden of Eden or even Kubla Kahn’s pleasure dome, all while destroying gardens, secret & otherwise, nature, & all those lands that didn’t belong to you. You can take someone else’s land when you minimize the culture they’ve stitched & sewn into their soil. Soil they felt an obligation to, not exploitation of. The spice network a rough draft for the impending veins & arteries of global oil & its ravages & how every single aspect of modern life is so oil dependent, & dependent, really, on dead dinosaurs, so don’t tell me you can’t affect the globe, global markets, & shipping lanes long after you’re dead. You want that power 65 million years after you’re gone? I’d be cool without that. In America, we run on 19 million barrels of liquid dead plankton & dinosaurs per day. And long pig is the cute nickname we’ve agreed upon for the cannibalism of human flesh, which tastes more like sweet lobster than chicken. And the Boer War & the Whiskey Rebellion. Spices derives from species & Darwin is as important to the future as he was to the past, as farmers are to wealth. The privilege of the wealthy is that they can impersonate the clothes of & play working class any time they like, as in noblesse oblige. Carrots weren’t orange until 16th century Dutch noblemen wanted to impress their narcissistic orange king, so they outbred the original purple & white root vegetable into its sun-colored currency. Do centuries of manipulating & hybridizing foods mean that we aren’t propagating food, rather it’s the food that is now propagating us? Folks, we’re talking about eco-evolutionary gastronomy. The Mesopotamians & Inca & Ancient Chinese independently sacrificed to gods their veggies, animals, warriors, & virgins, thinking that agri-sacrifice, fertility given was fertility earned, as if we’re all living inside one interpretation of Shirley Jackson’s “Lottery?” First thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns & with just a little more sacrifice— your son or mother or daughter—cosmic order will be restored & the gods will again produce food from their own mouths, & it never dawned on them they possessed in their own hands the power to close those godly jaws. For my beloved & me, flavor nirvana happened at a chic shabby restaurant in Mykonos’ harbor as we feasted on chicken kabobs, rice, & saganaki with a couple cool bottles of Retsina. Retsina followed by the sweet salt kissed from my wife’s neck right there on the beach, that goose fleshing spot right behind her ear & onto her collarbone & this is me yada-yadaing great sex. Have you ever tried putting your peanut butter in her chocolate or your chocolate in her peanut butter? Watermelon sugar strawberry, & me passing out on our honeymoon after rum tasting for 45 minutes the first time we landed in Jamaica. There’s never enough time for everything I want to eat. Where’s the elastic waistband when you need it? We remember those memorable meals so well because we’re the future products of past proto humans who needed to remember what tasted good, because if it tasted good, chances are it was nutritious & we could ingest, digest, convert to cellular energy, grow, evolve & look, presto-chango, it worked. And now, with our abundance, we can enjoy the mmmm donuts without realizing that craving is unconsciously a craving for certain nutritional nourishment where calories & species development collide on a nutrient-rich continuum. Which are fancy words for: we’re now more like Pavlov’s dog than we are Pavlov himself. Cleveland to Constantinople to Venice & Lisbon & Amsterdam as the capital cities of the spice trade—they wouldn’t have gone out on the open seas if their food already tasted good or there was enough of it home-cooking. Treacle & Vegemite & Nutella & peanut butter & anchovies & pickled herring & onions & raisins & Brussels sprouts & marsala & veal saltimbocca with prosciutto & sage & al dente fettuccine. We built our cities not at all on rock-n-roll, but instead we built them in a manner as we would like to be seen. Rather than how we really are. The remains of St. Mark were smuggled out of Byzantium & to Venice between prosciutto slices, so as to hide them from the then customs agents, get them to wharfs & hometown stevedores & what a coincidence those relics landed in the church that’s in the square covered in pigeons named after Mark himself. Sage for a sage. One dedicated daughter replied to her father that she loves him as much as fresh meat loves salt. How would that simile have changed if Willie Shakes had a fridge? She’ll never be mistaken as a Spice Girl, Cordelia, stage name Cardamon Spice, in her princess gown, the other two lyre & luting along to So tell me what you want, what you really, really want / I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah. Some of the main differences between being classified as a spice merchant or a pirate are: how strong are you, how many weapons do you have, & did you win a battle today? Only through winning battles do we get to determine what we call ourselves. Diet guides & 600-pound lives & let’s talk about our eating disorders. Pre-Columbian hunter- gatherers had better diets than farmers. Often, we don’t realize the real damage to ourselves we’re doing until we’ve done it. Bookmark secondhand tobacco & climate change. Gradual shifts rather than instant evolution. But still, instant karma’s going to get you, if you believe in that kinda thing, amber fields of grain shining on, supplanting one civilization for another, moon, stars, & sun knocked right off their feet. And we all shine on / like the moon and the stars and the sun /And we all shine on / On and on and on, on and on. Esoteric spices brought from mystical lands. Ephemera & perishables. Galenic medical theory—more metaphysical than practical—suggested that anything can be mapped according to its four points: north, south, east, & west, connect to water, fire, air, & earth, which connect to phlegm, bile, blood, & black bile, which connect to summer, fall, winter, & spring, the four periods of mankind, the four periods of the day, the four colors, the flavors, the four evangelists, suits of cards, horsemen, & eyes. But now we’ve discovered a fifth, so prepare yourselves for a reading from the gospel of umami, earthly & meaty mushrooms a comfort in a season of mushroom clouds & falling heavens. When science tries to do nature better than nature: there are about 2,500 flavor ingredients in a real apple, but only 25 in a sour apple Jolly Rancher, & the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway may save us all when we finally blow up all but a few who start this greenhouse all over again. Spices can correct our ill tempers. Pharaohs were sometimes buried with peppercorns in their nostrils. Ever smell so bad that you can taste your own stink? Sex, age, lifestyle, & climate will explain your diet & pasty complexion. Medieval doctors were called leeches because of the blood they drained from their humor-balancing patients. And waiter, I’d like to speak to the manager about this hodgepodge, jambalaya, polenta, curry, Mexican Pizza, Toasted Cheddar Chalupa Combo Meal, fish sauce, succotash, borscht, goulash & gazpacho & gumbo & a smorgasbord of cornucopias, a smattering of charcuterie, siracha & guacamole & shepherd’s pie, bouillabaisse & mayonnaise & béchamel. Garlic & cabbage & collard greens, ham hocks & beetroot puree; haggis & coleslaw & blackened peppered Iberian suckling pig. Ceviche. Chickpeas & hummus & tabooli. Orange juice pulp as if they are bits of spiderwebs on your lips. Texture’s everything to taste. Margarine & I Can’t Believe It’s Not & butter & lard & Crisco & pork fat & lamprey pie & culture whores ripping off recipes they didn’t invent. Mario Batali & his orange hair & oranger Crocs and Emeril screaming BAM! to startle awake his late-night Food Network audience. Sugar & spice & everything nice. Flavor bugaboos & peccadilloes & pet peeves, so that suddenly we’re eating all the movie theater popcorn & drive-thru soda from the fountain more out of habit than for their actual nutritional value, which, when you really think about it, it isn’t all that different from most folks still clinging to their original belief systems. Reason & prudence no match for the body’s basic yearnings. Enough of this closeting, cupboarding, & quarter-mastering. Did you know that if properly consumed— or maybe improperly consumed—nutmeg has the power to produce a hallucinogenic effect? Sure, I’ll have another slice of French Toast. Powder puffs from my lips as I decline admitting to knowing where all the nutmeg went. Yes, we are technically all living through history. The question is, will ours be recorded with the flavor notes it deserves? There’s a shop in Austin, TX that makes Gasoline Rainbow ice cream made with durian. It tastes the way petrol smells: a blend of custard, hot socks, sauteed onions, & a gas leak. Likely won’t go pop sensation like pumpkin spice. Warmth a comfort as the cooler weather comes on. Cinnamon & cloves heat you. Fact. Similar to black, red, & green peppers—a burn, tingle, & buzz. It’s masochism light, not quite habanero or Frank’s Red or Tabasco or Louisiana Hot; garlic & mustard & capsaicin & the colorful Scoville heat scale & the Hungarian proverb that only the best paprika burns twice, once going in, once coming out. Wasabi & horseradish & siracha & Szechuan & wing sauce & pain is just another taste tape measure in a whole toolbox of flavor tape measures. Repeated exposure to capsaicin may reduce your pain, allowing you to move up that table, but pain isn’t a competitive sport when we’re in the emotional arena. Hot flavor equals benign masochism; personal emotional trauma, not so much. Too much heat, too much pain, blocks all flavor & your tongue is left to tingle as if you just licked a 9-volt battery. Many Amazonian birds can’t taste the capsaicin in their gobbled chili pepper seeds, so unfettered by spice. I mean, if you really believe birds are really real, the heat to their beaks is only a mirage to their mouths; they become active participants in planetary seed distribution, birds the original & ongoing & forgotten trading network, Rand McNally never really able to draw the invisible migratory avian contrail lines in the sky, those feathered merchants soaring just below our soap-bubble atmosphere. No two species eat or die in the same way. Miso & Saki & sour dough & bread & pretzels, & sour apple Blow Pops & beer & hard cider. Some populations invented sour beer before agriculture was even thought of. It’s all about either killing or enabling bacteria, right? The degree to which we’re sour aversive. If I’m being honest, being sour aversive is sort of like living in Ohio in wintertime. And if I’m being honest, Ohio would be a lot less tolerable if we didn’t have all this beer. Fermentation. Which is nothing more than the careful control of slow rot, which again, isn’t all that different from voting blue in Ohio. Hell, at this point, you ferment & microbe about anything & us Buckeyes will drink it. Slop it up. Swallow it. Even if it’s like the myth of Don’t swallow your bubblegum because it’ll stay in your stomach for 7 years, even after all the artificial raspberry sweetener leaked out. Astringent & redolent & sashimi & camphor & menthol & Wrigley’s spearmint breath mints & sure I’d love another Black Seal Rum with ginger beer. Creamed corn & smokey cigar & brown bread ice creams are served in other locales. Vanilla bean with caramelized brown bread crusts. Dunno if those will catch on, but I’m very aware that the lines between soda jerks & snake oil salesmen, a doctor & a magician, have always been tenuous. Turmeric might yet be a cure- all for cancer. Pepper spray for protection when walking back from the bar alone. Pungent darkened alleyway. Manioc & watercress & cassava. Millet & Johnnycakes & flapjacks. Sorghum & soft maize. And the Thanksgiving holiday was only begun as a way to bring us all together post-Civil War, but today, without due recognition of the Wampanoag, those Massachusetts Bay Companies still have their foots on throats. A Mesoamerican recipe that breaks down maize into nutrients that are easier to digest. Like punctuation’s job in well-written sentences in a chaotic thought process. As in organisms with teeth first developed teeth so that we can eat things that are bigger than our mouths & I’ve never been one to shoot my mouth off, but when I do open it I try to make sure I mean what I say. The world changes. People don’t. Menu to buffet to banquet. Gathering to farm to farmer’s market, foraging to farming, modified, domesticated, hybridized, & propagated. And we still call them gorilla sticks, not mozzarella sticks, because of our middle child’s word aphasia she inherited from her mother from her grandfather from her great-great- great from her grand-Neanderthal doing everything she can to communicate that that appetizer might be a choking hazard, so don’t eat them while riding in an elevator alone. Like blue corn, can’t we all be classified as genetic mutants? He who controls food production & distribution holds the ultimate power, a balance among agriculture, industry, & warfare. Just ask Napoleon & his failed siege in Russia. Like cows, we’re feeding machines, & either you are fenced in or riding the fence to make sure the barbed wire is intact. Food is just history’s invisible fork. Gobble gobble. Like most interpersonal interactions, the sense experience we expect to have—sweet to salty—we actually do have, which is why ice cream tastes better after the home team wins instead of loses. It’s called sense integration. The flavors exist in the molecules deep inside the mind more than in the food itself. In other words, thought itself is flavor itself. Which is why it’s impossible to think about raspberries themselves, their plump summer sweet juiciness, without actually picturing raspberries themselves, their aggregate drupelets candy to your brain. It’s not necessarily the volume of the ingredients in the recipe that makes the meal. Rather, it’s the molecular weight, what’s really there, what can be measured on the microscopic level. And when you think about it, that’s really not that different from human beings. Louder doesn’t mean actual substance. After all, the process of cooking is applying carefully measured heat to a set of carefully selected ingredients pulled from the pantry shelves, cupboards, from the fridge to the mixing bowl to the oven, pulled from the oven, left to cool on the counter for 5 minutes, & back to the fridge in the leftover Tupperware. The goal of cooking is to make those ingredients fall apart & then recombine in a new & interesting flavor. Sometimes, with the right amount of heat, & just the right amount of pressure, we can take even the simplest ingredients, like butter, sugar, & cream, to make something really elegant & flavorful, like caramel. Vanilla salted caramel. Marzipan & baklava & flan & apple compote & Malley’s Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels & Girl Scouts’ Thin Mints, Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby & tiramisu & molten chocolate cake & fried ice cream as an example of the cook’s short- handed, oversimplified diffusion equation is L-squared equals 4DT, the distance traveled by the diffusion front as a function of time. Time always distancing, diffusing, & denaturing us—atoms inside molecules named amino acids, one thing always hiding another thing, as Kenneth Koch points out, because sometimes poets are easier to understand than mathematicians are easier to understand than physicists are easier to understand than molecular gastronomists. Ever think how Eve must’ve self-fertilized that first apple, those first swallowed seeds into the first orchard, if you believe in that kind of thing? Talk about diffusion principles. And gosh, if that’s not a metaphor for what our existence is, I don’t know what is. So maybe we stop making celebrity chefs out of every chef & making the best meal out of every meal, & just enjoy each bite, each dinnertime conversation. Because when your picture making mechanism finally gets crushed, you’ll no longer get to savor those peppercorns from Malabar, the cinnamon of Zanzibar, the succulent shrimp plucked from the blues of Adriatic water, the faint yellow of Algerian couscous. The folly of our haste flavored with merciless clearness. So why don’t we just light some candles, clink our glasses & enjoy this still-hot meal?


Global Flavor Riot features in Erato's Issue III: Hunger - available in print and online.

+ Inspired by “The Taste of Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World by Lizzie Collingham (2017), The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice by Michael Krondl (2008), An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage (2009), Flavor: The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense by Bob Holmes (2017), Delicious: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made Us Human by Rob R. Dunn (2022), Science and Cooking: Physics Meets Food, From Homemade to Haute Cuisine by Michael Brenner (2020), Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (2000), This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving by David J. Silverman (2019), “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey (1981), “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Sefani (2016), The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1906),“Kubla Kahn” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1797), “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson (1948), “We Built This City” by Starship (1985), “The Yada Yada,” Seinfeld, Season 8, Episode 19 (1997), “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles (2019), King Lear by William Shakespeare (1608), “Wannabe” by Spice Girls (1996), "Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)" by John Lennon & Yoko Ono (1970), “Pumpkin Spice: The Science Behind the Invasion. Plus, What’s the Next Big Flavor Fad?” Every Little Thing Podcast, (December 10, 2018), “One Train May Hide Another Train” by Kenneth Koch (1994), and “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather (1905).


About the Author:

Bob King is an Associate Professor of English at Kent State University at Stark. He holds degrees from Loyola University Chicago & Indiana University (MFA, poetry), where he was Editor-in-Chief of Indiana Review. His recent poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Moot Point Magazine, Drunk Monkeys, JAKE, The Gorko Gazette, Paddler Press, Aôthen Magazine, The Purposeful Mayonnaise, Spare Parts Literary Magazine, The Viridian Door, Ink Sweat & Tears, Bullshit Lit, The Red Ogre Review, The Dillydoun Review, Emergence Literary Journal, Narrative Magazine, Muleskinner, & Allium: a Journal of Poetry & Prose. Older works appeared in: The American Poetry Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Northwest Review, Quarter After Eight, & Green Mountains Review, among other literary magazines. He lives on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, with my wife & daughters.

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Terry Trowbridge
Terry Trowbridge
Aug 12, 2023

mother-F-ing nitrogen, for once ammonia was lab-synthesized by a German chemist in 1909, the globe saw the biggest revolution the globe’s ever seen. And the Green Revolution is still ongoing. And like Flavor Flav, the giant clock is still ticking.

Welcome to the Anthropocene. Now go consume that landscape, so delicately balanced on Tuesday so it can be shoe leather on Sunday.

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