Poetry Pause: Alessandra Naccarato — Mountain That Eats Men

Poem Author:Alessandra Naccarato Poem title: Mountain that eats men Poem: Cerro Rico, Potosi When I meet the devil, his name is Uncle. Inside a silver mountain, the mountain that eats men, eight million tibias rest. The old mine shifts toward an unknown tectonic, nearly bankrupt. In the underground den, I chew coca leaves and leave a fifth of vodka at Uncle’s feet. It is hard not to stare at the figure’s erection, white flowers, his small and mighty horns. Dead of black lung at twenty, these kind men and our great uncles, the Calabrese poor. Beneath the Canadian Shield, they prayed to Playboys and handkerchiefs, mostly came home. Here, too many widows, the tourists gawk. I want to slide inside the shaft of earth as if greeting an old friend. What do I know about sacrifice? Outside, they grace the refinery with blood. Two hundred llamas split belly to sternum. It has been a good year, they say. It has been a good year in the mountain. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Alessandra Naccarato from Re-Origin of Species (Book*hug, 2019) Alessandra Naccarato is the recipient of the 2015 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and the winner of the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize. Currently based in Toronto, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and has toured nationally and internationally as a spoken word artist. Her debut poetry collection, Re-Origin of Species (Book*hug, 2019) combines personal narrative and natural study to tell a story of adaptation and evolution, and was named a Best Book of 2019 by CBC Books.