Isn’t the bat birdier than a penguin, the whale fishier than an eel? And doesn’t the platypus lay eggs & the hammerhead shark bear live young? There’s no logic to creation. When a random sperm wriggles into the wrong womb, monsters like me are made. I am the impossible hybrid. The mule has nothing on me. Every morning I ask myself, Should I be a man or an animal today? I can compose dithyrambs to the dew of the moon, then just as fast gore a man’s skull like a mongongo nut. You men of reason call me an abomination. Confusion is in your blood, you say. Go live with the beasts of the field & the anthropophagi & the cannibals too. Watch me crash through your labyrinths of caste. Watch me tear up your cultivars of culture. I am the apostle of impurity, the inciter of instinct, the confounder of nature. Hear me, my half-beast brothers, my multitudes of the half-bred & the ill-bred. It is our destiny to transgress biology. Let balance surrender to flux, let chaos overrun God’s handiwork. Join me in my crusade to break the curse of wholeness, scatter rigid symmetries, untune all harmonies. Those fractious fractions of our blood will be our legacy.
Orlando Ricardo Menes is the author of seven poetry collections, most recently Memoria (LSU Press, 2019) and the forthcoming The Gospel of Wildflowers & Weeds (University of New Mexico Press, 2022). He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame where he is Professor of English and Poetry Editor of the Notre Dame Review.