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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 9: August 2021
Poem: 105 words [R]
By Robbi Nester

Death Happens: Alex Atala

That’s what his tee-shirt says—this 
accidental chef, aging punk rocker, 
reminding us that every dish 
requires a death. Looking away 
so as not to see the blood, the stained 
axe buried in the stump, doesn’t 
change that. He’s a celebrity, 
appearing on the covers of GQ, 
dressed in biker black, but spends 
half of his time wandering the Amazon, 
learning from indigenous farmers 
how to “build a better food chain.” 
Brazil speaks through his fingers, 
offering us a flavor or a scent 
not always comfortable or pleasant, 
elemental—the dark taste of ants, 
so much like lemongrass and ginger. 



—From the as-yet-unpublished chapbook Plated, written by Robbi Nester in response to episodes of Chef’s Table, a Netflix documentary series; poem above was published previously in Live Encounters Magazine online (February 2021).

Robbi Nester
Issue 9, August 2021

is the author of four books of poetry, including an ekphrastic chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012), and three collections: Narrow Bridge (Main Street Rag, 2019), Other-Wise (Kelsay, 2017), and A Likely Story (Moon Tide, 2014). She has edited three anthologies; the latest is The Plague Papers, available online at Poemeleon Journal. Her poems, reviews, essays, and articles have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, including Aeolian Harp VI, Book of Matches, Cultural Daily, Gargoyle, Live Encounters, Muddy River Review, North of Oxford, Rhino, Tampa Review, Tiferet, Verdad, and Verse-Virtual.

Author’s website: www.robbinester.net

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

After Blossom, ekphrastic poem after an etching by Phil Greenwood in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 3, May 2020)

Three Poems by Robbi Nester in Verse-Virtual (January 2020)

Law of Attraction, ekphrastic poem after Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone, in Verse-Virtual (May 2019)

Night Tunnel, ekphrastic poem after a painting by Robert Rhodes, Philadelphia Night Train, in The Ekphrastic Review (21 April 2016)

The Locusts, ekphrastic poem after a collage of the same name by Mary Boxley Bullington, in The Ekphrastic Review (13 October 2015)

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