Animals are good to think [with]

Garden of Eden

Animals are good to think [with]

– Claude Lévi-Strauss


To be in two minds, think amoeba. To
sell tea, think chimp. To build your
own beak, think owl. To lick jowls and
vomit logic, think wolf. To be insulted,
think cow. To turn your voice inside-
out, think crow. To balance the earth on
your back, think turtle. To force reason
to ingest itself, think sea squirt. To birth
the first person, think raven. To paint
yourself into a cave, think stag. To drag
silk scarves from a hat, think coyote.
To sell toilet rolls, think dog. To wear
your bones on your sleeve, think crab.
To sell alco-fizz, think deer. To sell
beer, think bear. To wagspeak, think
dog. To de-rib, think gnat. To
revertebrate, think bat. To chemchat,
think ant. To sell mints, think fox. To
toss your testicles over your shoulder,
think raccoon. To be insulted, think pig.
To sell paint, think dog. To gaze with
disdain on naked philosophy, think cat.
To taste leaves with your feet, think
butterfly. To sell sweet underarms,
think lynx. To hatch sunyolk and
skywhite, think duck. To cup fireballs
with your tongue, think fox. To listen
with your legs, think spider. To ditch
hypothesis, think hippo. To insist it
isn’t possible, think bat. To drift to
earth in a radiant cradle, think bear. To
sell shoes, think puma. To forfeit four
feet, think octopus. To glowtalk, think
firefly. To sell insurance, think dog. To
be insulted, think shrew. To dive for silt
and make mountains, think muskrat. To
sell cars, think mustang. To sell cars,
think panda. To sell cars, think jaguar.
To sell cars, think beetle. To get drunk,
think skunk. To bask on a rock though
you don’t know it as such, think skink.


Image: Jacob Savery, Garden of Eden, 1601



Susan Richardson

Susan Richardson is a poet, performer, educator and editor, whose third collection of poetry, skindancing, is published by Cinnamon Press. In addition to her recent residency with the Marine Conservation Society, she is currently poet-in-residence with both the global animal welfare initiative, World Animal Day, and the British Animal Studies Network. Susan has performed at festivals throughout the UK, for organisations such as WWF and Friends of the Earth, on BBC 2, Radio 4 and at Universities both nationally and internationally. She co-edits Zoomorphic, the digital literary magazine that publishes work in celebration and defence of wild animals. Her fourth poetry collection, themed around endangered marine species, will be published in 2018.