In the Garden of Earthly Delights,

By Luisa A. Igloria

which Abomination are you?

The quiz bait: Are you an ass lobster,

or a guy who’s just trying to jerk off

but there’s a bird lizard yelling at him?

Do you prefer ham or olives in aspic,

vodka or cranberry tonic? Are you

the one twerking barefoot in the middle

of the room, or the one taking Polaroids

throughout the party, like Warhol did

to mask his social anxiety? One could

go on. Every square inch of the triptych

is a thick soup depicting every type

of folly and the weird. But I’m looking

intently at those circles in hell, where

every dark congress should be sentenced

that’s stripped the people of their rights.

The bird in the poop-colored high chair

should take them one by one into his mouth.

Then they’ll shit pearls of ill-gotten wealth

while armadillos savage their breasts

for extra. Here are the armies of murderous

police, still wearing helmets; they’ll be skewered

by avenging angels with the mangled faces

of salvaged children or dogs. It’s a sad

and terrible country where the ears

of innocents are pinned together then

cleaved by a knife. Migrants and minstrels

and poets are also there, though they’ve been

chained to machines. They make a kind of music,

though the notes are tortured out of their mouths

and their bodies are strung like harps from the trees.


~ after Hieronymous Bosch


Luisa A. Igloria is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of the chapbooks Haori (Tea & Tattered Pages Press, 2017), Check & Balance (Moria Press/Locofo Chaps, 2017), and Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015); plus the full length works Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (selected by Mark Doty for the 2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She teaches on the faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015. Visit her online at www.luisaigloria.com.