Logic of Rot by W.M. Rivera

“There are people who ignore Zambia’s plight. And there are people who try to take advantage of the situation.” -Sharon Fabian, “Drought in Zambia”

Behold Lusaka! And me in situ
observing foodstuff become garbage,
stored in open air: production for waste,

ninety-kilo bags of maize, high piles of rot,
their tops steaming, wet, rubbish at bottom,
fare for fungi and rats. Who cares?

Decay’s reward is extra cash from loans
to buy less-sweeter maize from richer worlds.
Who sees, sees double: their import, and mine.

Don’t count on resolve to solve iniquity.
Trash my advice. The answer is higher up.
The ‘logic of rot’ rules the shape of continents,
shady cream-castles in concrete.





W.M. Rivera has a new collection of poems titled Café Select (Poet’s Choice Publisher). He is the author of three previous collections of poems: Noise (Broadkill River Press, December 2015), The Living Clock (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and Buried in the Mind’s Backyard (Brickhouse Books, Inc. 2011). Rivera taught agricultural extension and development at the University of Maryland (UMCP) from 1981-2009. Since retiring from UMCP, he has dedicated his energies to writing poetry.