Poems by Mel Schorin

“Living with a vegan”
             By Mel Schorin

She comes from another planet,
with diet and anorexia to control
her world. Shes seen our factories

and slaughter. I dont eat meat
or gelatin or lard, I avoid the soap
and shampoo with animal fat, but no --

Now we stop all animal products --
Milk tortures cows and calves.
Eggs kill hens and male chicks.

She studies each label, looks for a
looks for molecules of milk or egg,
honey (Bees died?), sugar (
Bone char?)

After the kitchen, we get rid of leather,
and glue from hides and hooves,
rubber tires made with tallow.

Cant pluck down from geese,
or wool from mistreated sheep.
And mink oil comes from minks!

Plastic bags treated so they slip,
bone meal to feed the rose bushes,
feathers and hair to condition the bread.

Beef fat in fabric softener and crayons,
an old racket with catgut strings,
toothpaste with bone marrow.

My walls are painted with milk!
Beetles crushed for red candy and lipstick!
Confectioners glaze from lac bugs!

Fragrance from beaver and civet butts!
Fish scales in the nail polish!
Blood-glue in the plywood!

Lubricants for plastic and metal parts!
Floor wax, shaving cream, wax paper!
Wine and beer with fish swim-bladders!

Cant touch anything in this house
without getting grease on my fingers.

“Kindergarten colors”
             By Mel Schorin

Wood tables, short chairs
watercolors and crayons
the smell of a fresh box

sixty-four brilliant hues
our teachers gave us
thistle, mulberry, violet

cornflower, melon, magenta
turquoise and cobalt blue
paper-wrapped perfect sticks

of paraffin, pigments, tallow.
On a sheet of white paper
I drew the house I lived in --

brick-red face with mutton fat
beef fat in a pine-green bush
belly fat for cerulean-blue sky

a silver cloud, rump fat for sun
and radiant goldenrod lines
my dad a stick-figure with black hat.

“Thanksgiving dinner with c
Mel Schorin

We drive three hours to my sisters house,
her husband wears a tweed jacket and jeans,
they talk about jobs, their cars, the election.

At the table, we keep our mouths shut.
What sees and feels, we dont eat any more.
They pass grilled liver and onions, while we

stick to vegetable stew, with rice and beans.
I hold an asparagus spear. Wheres your protein?
she asks. Dont you like Grandmas meatballs?

Next comes a bowl of brain mashed with sugar,
they never heard of kuru. Then roasted hands
and eyeballs on buttered whipped potatoes.

Wild-caught, humanely slaughtered,
she tells us.
In a hundred years they’ll say we were savages,
but today we eat kidneys and tongue.

- Mel Schorin self-published a book of poems on how we treat animals on the highway and elsewhere, titled Raccoon Sympathy. Many of these were composed when he was commuting an hour to work and saw roadkill and imagined their stories.

Copyright©2023 by Mel Schorin. All Rights Reserved.