The alkaloids in Asclepias fascicularis deter herbivory, with the exception of the Monarch butterfly, for whom that same chemical confers protection.  What poisons can protect, and what protects can poison.

“To protect and serve” sounds noble until one stops to consider what is being protected and who is being served, especially when in 2020 the system suffocates a man for holding a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill, shoots to death a woman for sleeping at a mistranscribed address. “Protection” becomes ambiguous, ironic. If you believe, as we do, that one should participate in the ongoing process of defining freedom and justice, we encourage you to support two organizations that are working to help individuals forge that path:

The Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative has identified and teamed up with top defense lawyers and civil rights lawyers nationwide to provide legal resources for those in need.

The George Floyd ActBlue Charity splits a donation between 70+ community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers.

Thank you for visiting us here at Rabid Oak, where we’ve got sixteen authors asking their own questions of this world. Take care out there.


Bonnie Billet: “Shame”

Elaine Fletcher Chapman: “Love Poem to My Daughter on Turning Forty-Six” and “Meditation on Radiance Sutra #39”

William Doreski: “Hagfish” and “The Dream of the Toads”

Noah Farberman: “Russell”

Jessie Janeshek: “Star One”

M. Kolbet: “Yellow” and “Remarkably Curious”

J.L. Lapinel: “A Wolverine Hiding Ribbons Under the Bed”

Mare Leonard: “California Dreamin’ “

Thomas Mixon: “Atlantic Eavesdrop”

Kate Pashby: “All at Once,” “The Storyteller,” and “dream progression”

Ren Pike: “Long Range by Map and Compass”

C.C. Russell: “A Translation of Slightly Misheard Lyrics” and “My Daughter Is Flying a Kite for the First Time and I Am Caught up in It”

John Stanizi: “Pond 10.07.19” and “Pond 10.04.19”

Emily Strauss: “Blood on the Highway” and “cows as incidental anomalies”

Maddison Taylor: “Nazar to Protect Against Forgetting” and “Dark Deer”

Don Thompson: “Temenos”