Nov/Dec 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 6 PoetryNovember 2, 2019 |

The American Burying Beetle

lives under only six states. With its faceted black & orange head, it resembles those outfits in the 1920s when the tombs at Karnak were explored. The bug belongs to the family Silphidae & to the genus Necrophorus, & during this awful year when humans are upset, the American burying beetle goes on at the brink of extinction costing the oil & gas industry millions of dollars while it carries the bodies of dead creatures underground to lay its eggs on the corpses, lurching & arching its femurs & its tarsi & its geometrical bright parts to farm the rotting flesh for its larvae to feast on, & when they are ready, to fly off from. What a wonder that so much exists with no guile, that existence itself has no rival & goes on as the thing most ste

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Brenda Hillman has published chapbooks with Penumbra Press, a+bend press, and EmPress; she is the author of eight full-length collections from Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Pieces of Air in the Epic (2005) and Practical Water (2009). With Patricia Dienstfrey, she edited The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (Wesleyan, 2003). Hillman teaches at St. Mary’s College of California where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry; she is an activist for social and environmental justice and lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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lives under only six states. With its faceted black & orange head, it resembles those outfits in the 1920s when the tombs at Karnak were explored. The bug belongs to […]

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By Brenda Hillman

lives under only six states. With its faceted black & orange head, it resembles those outfits in the 1920s when the tombs at Karnak were explored. The bug belongs to […]

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