10885196_834161646642588_6292275121438704942_nValerie Nieman’s second poetry collection, Hotel Worthy, was published in 2015. The author of three novels, the most recent being Blood Clay, she has held state and NEA creative writing fellowships. A graduate of Queens University of Charlotte and a former journalist, she teaches creative writing at North Carolina A&T State University.


Black Pudding

Catch every drop of blood
when you slice the squeal.

Gather it up with oats
pilfered from the miller’s share;
eke it out with suet
cut from around the heart.

Employ every bit of the beast,
the gullet, the ribbons of gut,
siphon the air from its lungs,
the last belch from its belly.

Hang your black sausages
in the attic, pickle the trotters
and smoke the hams. Hope there’s
enough for the long nights,

pray that the gods won’t
return for their due.