Thursday, 13 July 2017

A poem by Victoria Nordlund

How To Write Poetry  

Maceration is a form of controlled putrefaction, a stage of decomposition in which the proteins of the body's cells are broken down and consumed by bacteria in anaerobic conditions.

To prepare for this decomposition
peel off the skin,
expose the muscle and fat,
and separate the organs from the body.
Don’t worry, this does not need to be neat.
You will still have excess tissue affixed to the carcass.

Remove eyeballs and ears
because some structures are brittle.
Store severed parts in nylon panty hose for easy identification.
Remember to keep the tongue in place.

This process generates a strong stench.
Therefore, use a closed container in a ventilated area.
Maintain a constant temperature for optimal results.
Wear a respirator when you switch out
maceration baths and pull out tough material.

Sometimes the degradation of tissue will stall
for even those well-versed in this preparation.

Be patient.
Proper incubation is required.

Cut any additional flesh.
Make sure to use gloves
and handle the cartilage with care.
It is likely some bits of vertebrae
may still be attached.
Soak until your water is clear.

Gather the bones and let them dry.
Resist the urge to boil or bleach.
It will damage the remains.

Victoria Nordlund teaches creative writing at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. Her work is currently published in the Fall/Winter issue of Pank Magazine. She is the 2016 NEATE New England Poet of the Year and took first place in the CWP’s poetry contest. Her work has been published in the Connecticut English Journal and The Leaflet. Victoria is part of a wonderful writing group,The Wordsong Poets.

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