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Saturday, May 02, 2020


by Melissa Balmain

The southern Swedish city of Lund spread stinking chicken-manure on the grounds of a central park to discourage a public celebration there on Thursday. It’s traditionally a big festive day among Swedish students and youth. Gustav Lindblad from Lund’s environmental committee told Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan that “we get the opportunity of fertilising the lawns in the park and, at the same time, it will stink and it may not be so nice to sit and drink beer in the park.” The city says up 30,000 people from different parts of Sweden—mostly students from Lund University—have in previous years gathered to the Stadspark to celebrate Valborg, a spontaneous festival that marks the arrival of spring for Swedes. AFP Photo: Gardener Robert Nilsson gets ready to fertilise lawns in Lund’s Stadsparken park with chicken manure on Thursday.  —The Weekend Australian, May 2, 2020

On beaches and bistros in Fla.
and on barbershops down in the Peach State;
on rib joints in Texas that (wha…?)
soon will be in an easy-to-reach state;
but mostly on anyone who
doesn’t care if his countrymen sicken
for the sake of a Dow point or two,
and tweets sh*t like a flatulent chicken.

Melissa Balmain's poetry and prose have appeared in The American Bystander, The Hopkins Review, Lighten Up Online, McSweeney's, The New Yorker, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. She edits Light, a journal of light verse.