Off the Shelf

by Brenda Iijima

Blood trapped between two negatives
Feel free to curl up and settle in—arrangement of skin(s)
Forms and eyes are commercially available
Manikins of wood and wire
Coitus is brief and perfunctory
An Animal displayed on the wall as trophy
1909: A Hartebeest and an Oryx collected by Theodore Roosevelt in Kenya, now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute’s off-site museum support center in Silver Hill, Maryland
Some 70,000 stuffed, taxidermied mammals reside there
Another 212,000 Animals are preserved in jars
There is an adult Gorilla pickled in an alcohol-filled tank
You stand tall as a trophy Animal in my collection
I honor your death with a bedside bow before I, with prowess leap
into my bedroom chambers


Land of the Lost Extremes



brenda iijima Brenda Iijima is the author of Around Sea (O Books), Animate, Inanimate Aims
(Litmus Press), revv. you'll-ution (Displaced Press) and If Not Metamorphic
(Ahsahta Press) as well as numerous chapbooks and artist's books. She is
also the editor of the eco language reader (Nightboat Books and PP@YYL).
These poems are from a body of work titled Some Simple Things Said by And
About Humans
-a chronicle in quasi-encyclopedia form of how humans have used
animals as surrogates. She is the editor of Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs