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Cauliflower Dis Track—Terry Trowbridge

Terry Trowbridge’s poems have appeared in The New QuarterlyCarouselDalhousie ReviewuntetheredQuail BellNashwaak ReviewOrbisSnakeskin PoetryLiterary Yard, Gray Sparrow, CV2Brittle StarBombfireAmerican Mathematical MonthlyFresh WordsMathematical IntelligencerCanadian Journal of Family and YouthJournal of Humanistic MathematicsBeatnik CowboyPPPSynchronized ChaosNew Verse NewsFive FleasBorderlessLiterary Veganism, and more. His lit crit has appeared in ArielBritish Columbia ReviewHamilton Arts & LettersEpistemeStudies in Social JusticeRampike, and The /t3mz/ Review. Terry is grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for his first writing grant, and their support of so many other writers during the polycrisis.

Cauliflower Dis Track

I post no odes to cauliflower,

but explode odium for the despised flower,

the colourless petal depressed unfloral fluff flower,

the unspiced flower tasteless mush flower

tactlessly attached to recipes requiring fiber flower 

I explore the inglorious travesties of the albino bronchi flower.

My poems decry across the curtains of my isolation,

implicating cauliflower

in war crimes and milkshake duck

along with other flower failures my typescript

has a purpose to malign, stain, with charcoal dusty mold

that resembles soot on the supposedly pure white cauliflower

gone to rot: I smutch thee flower, ashen must across thee flower,

my words enjamb the roots beneath my rhyming foot

Foul when unbuttered, uncooked, raw like the raw nose

in an acrid chemical spill impossible to hide

with municipal dumpsite ranch dip flower.

Conflating nutrition with indigestible fibers as though

pink insulation is flower, fireless asbestos is flower,

irony blossoming at disappointment is flower,

the hate flow through you flower

Whitey’s codpiece bulbous with HPV, steamed, served flaccid.

My poems defame cauliflower,

bear witness to the bare minimum of cuisine and the failure to achieve it,

here are my poems detestable exams of multiple choice:

choose a weapon, take ten paces, and clobber flower


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