How Meat Is Made

4H teaches a kid the circle of life and other important things, how animals are made and how meat is made, as if she’d never seen two horses rutting.

Poem by Dia VanGunten
Art by Shad Clark

How Meat Is Made

4H teaches a kid the circle of life and other important things

How animals are made and how meat is made

As if she’d never seen two horses rutting

Hollyhocks, on meaty stalks

Bugs stuck together, flying

Dying on the pickup’s windshield like Little House locusts

Aging sunflowers losing teeth out of shriveled heads

An electrical field

Ringed with Queen Anne’s Lace

A pinprick of blood in the center.

She knew one big grown thing

She knew to raise herself like a barn

A ruthless cock that couldn’t be killed

Not even with the sharpest peckpeckpeck

She’d become an unknown animal

And win last laugh.


About the Artist

Shad Clark is a writer, filmmaker, and multidisciplinary visual artist. His work explores the liminal spaces between being and otherness through stories and imagery delving into nature, body horror, science, and technology.

Clark’s original short films have played festivals around the world and, along with original screenplays, they have won awards and other recognition. Clark has worked as a collaborator and creative mercenary on other films, as well as in marketing the occasional comic, and a handful of games.

Lately, Clark’s been exploring and visualizing some more ambitious ideas through digital compositing and collage, using original manipulated photography and assets he’s art directing to AI. When not working in socially explosive art and fiction, Clark researches and writes about animals and environmental issues.


About the Author

Dia VanGunten explores overlaps between genres, between poetry and prose, between the real and the magical. She is the creator of the rhizomatic series Pink Zombie Rose.

Major Arcana, a PZR collection of stories & comics, is illustrated by Beppi. To be released by Q, a graphic imprint of Querencia Press.

Dia is the founder of Cream Scene Carnival and the OG carnie.



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