Foreword Reviews

My Cruel Invention

A Contemporary Poetry Anthology

It’s true, the mother of invention might scoff at this delightful collection as being wholly unnecessary, but the rest of us will only marvel at the sixty-two poems focused on inventors and inventions—clocks, IUDs, safety pins, chemotherapy, pantyhose, among them.

A Fable (from the Journal of Chemical Ecology)
J.G. McClure

In the beginning there were rough-skinned newts
and snakes who wanted to eat them.
So the newts grew toxic. And the snakes
became immune. The newts grew more toxic,
the snakes more immune, until one newt
could kill a hundred men, and no snakes.

Some time later, man invented the coffeepot.
In 1927, the bodies of three hunters were found
around a pot in which a newt had drowned.
The newt was studied. The hunters were buried.
What happened to the coffee is not recorded,
but most likely it was dumped at the camp

where snakes came from under rocks
to smell it, to tongue it, and at last to leave-
disappointed the coffee was not a poison newt.

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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