“Levels of Shit or Thom Tillis Rejects Government Regulation” by Beth Gylys

Beth Gylys


Winters, the round brown
balls of manure would
fall steaming in untidy piles,
the horses unperturbed,
their noses in a bucket of grain,
or grazing the dusty floors
of their stalls, simply lifted
their tails and let loose.
Later, those same stones,
frozen, thrown well and hard
might have shattered
someone’s window. It was easy
to trip on one, random rolled
into the barn aisle: innocent
icy rocks of shat grain we shoveled
or pitchforked into wheelbarrows,
dumped in a pile, their fragrance
diminished in the subzero temperatures,
though the mountains we’d raise
before the tractor hauled them away
were impressive. The horses
continued to eat and excrete,
and we kept scooping. We didn’t worry
what came out of assholes.
We recycled that shit. Something
now I can’t imagine as I sit
watching this screen, and it comes
from another hole, with no way
to pile or pass along or diminish.

Poets Respond
February 8, 2015

[download audio]


Beth Gylys: “Early this week Thom Tillis claimed that he didn’t mind if Starbucks no longer followed a government regulated mandate that restaurant employees wash their hands after using the bathroom. Tillis believes in a self-regulating market and said ‘as long as a restaurant puts up a sign letting people know they no longer follow the mandate, the market will take care of that problem.’ He thus undermined his argument against regulation by imposing another regulation. How could I not jump on that subject?” (website)

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