Exotic Meats and Inedible Objects by Rachel Rodman$2.99 – $9.99
When Rachel first approached Madness Heart Press with her collection, it had a different name that did not catch my eye. Her cover letter, which you can mostly see on the product description page, did. You see, I was working on my own collection of poetry at the time, and I had a professional history as a chef.
“What really drives Exotic Meats & Inedible Objects, though, is the idiosyncratic conviction that everything is edible. (And, in its own way: delicious.) And that even traditionally inert ingredients, like fallen trees, jars of urine, semicolons, sound waves, nihilism, and so on, can, and should, be chopped, seasoned, baked, frosted, swallowed, digested…
How could I not be entranced? This collection spoke to me on a bone-deep soul level. It spoke to everything that I loved in poetry and literature. But was it horror? As a horror publisher, was this in my wheelhouse?
Rodman’s use of wordplay and the way she twists meaning and allusion hypnotized me. Her poetry is intensely different than my own, not only in style but in theme. I have long held that good poetry is, in fact, flash fiction, told with a twist, and look at the first poem in the collection:
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
·1 bald eagle
·1 big blue ox
·50 amber waves of grain
Encase in an apple pie crust.
Frost with smallpox.
3 ingredients and a crust that speaks to what America wants to think about itself with a finishing of the dark, hateful truth of origins. This tells a story, this has a twist, this is delightful poetry.
At the end of the day, I realized it didn’t matter that I couldn’t classify this collection in any one genre. I had the power to help Rodman bring this collection to the world, and I would be damned if I didn’t take the opportunity to be a part of Exotic Meats + Inedible Objects.