Dimitri Reyes

The act of art itself is in fact “radical” and poetry as a medium is a constant exercise of
experimentation and expression attempting to serve the purpose of serving those who read them.

In terms of content, my work in this collection aims to critique the results of eating habits within POC communities. What we choose to put into our bodies can essentially prevent Heart Disease and Cancer, the two largest causes of death in America.

“In the Chopshop: 100 Names” you can find the speaker (and audience) bearing witness to the fact that they are hacking at — and most likely consuming this other body that is similar to the self. “(insert family member here)” is another poem of realization, acting as the linkage between the first and third piece.

“On Video Playback – Vida” is essentially about the war we choose to have inside ourselves as well as highlighting the loss of this fight.

In the ChopShop: 100 Names

Family Pack Chicken Legs/ Family Pack Chicken Thighs/
18 Piece Chicken Fryer Pack/ Family Pack Boneless Chicken Breast/
Family Pack Leg Quarters in a 4 Lb. Bag *contains up to 4% water/
Oven Roaster Chicken/ Oven Broiler Chicken (Thick & Juicy)/
Whole Chicken/ Whole Chicken Halves/ Cut Up Whole Chicken/
Chicken Wings/ Chicken Thighs/ Chicken Leg Quarters/
Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs/ Boneless Chicken Breasts/
Cubed Chicken Breasts/ Chicken Split Breasts/ Thin Sliced 
Chicken Breasts/ Chicken Liver Cups/ Chicken Gizzards/
Chicken Tenders/ Chicken Hearts/Chicken Bones/
Chicken Backs/ Chicken Feet/ Pig Feet (Pickled)/ Smoked 
Pork Feet/ Smoked Pork Neckbones/ Smoked Pork Hocks/
Pork Hocks (Fresh)/ Pig Feet (Fresh)/ Pork Fat Back/ Bone
less Pork Loin Whole/ Boneless Pork Loin Half/ Bone 
in Pork Chops “thin cut”/ Bone in Pork Chops “regular”/
Bone-in Pork Chops “thick”/ Rib End Pork Chops/ Bone
less Pork Chops “thin”/ Boneless Pork Chops “regular”/
Boneless Pork Chops “thick cut”/ Pork Shoulder Bone-in/
Pork Shoulder Boneless/ Pork Spare Ribs (fresh)/
Pork Spare Ribs (frozen in plastic)/ Pork Leg Joint/ 
Pork Belly/ Pork Belly Joint/ Baby Back Ribs (frozen)/
Baby Back Ribs Smothered in “Sweet Baby Ray’s” Barbecue Sauce/
Lamb Rack/ Lamb Chumps/ Lamb Chops/ Lamb Flaps/ 
Lamb Neck/ Lamb Backstrap/ Lamb Shoulder/
Whole Turkey/ Turkey Legs/ Turkey Wings/ Turkey Necks/
Turkey Tails/ Turkey Giblets (hearts, gizzards, livers, genitals)/
Ground Turkey/ Ground Chicken/ Ground Pork/ Ground Veal/
Ground Beef 90% “Lean” 10% Fat/
Ground Beef 80% “Lean” 20% Fat/
Ground Beef 73% “Lean” 27% Fat”/
Ground Pork, Ground Veal, Ground Beef (Meatloaf Mix)/
Chuck Steak/ Cubed Steak/ Hanger Steak/ Skirt Steak/
Sandwich Steak/ Beef Chuck Stew/ Beef Chuck Arm/
Beef Sirloin Tip/ Beef Brasciole/ Beef Chuck Bone
in/ Beef Brisket (thick)/ Beef Brisket (thin)/ Beef Shoulder/ 
Beef Short Ribs/ Beef Stir Fry/ Beef Strip Steak/ T- Bone 
Steak/ London Broil/ Rump Roast/ Beef Caps/ Beef Knuckle/
Beef  Eye Round/ Beef Heel
Round/ Tripe/ Ox Tails/
Lard / Cow Feet/
Cow Tongue/

My Tongue

(insert family member here)

milk = 80% Casein     Casein  =  cancer      cancer = Casein
 Casein = milk        milk = 80% cancer 

Casein   the main protein present in milk 
strong bones strong muscles
kids drink your milk!

Casein   the main protein present in milk
a building block for strong bones strong muscles.

Casein in our processed foods. it’s stuck around so long 
because it’s used in our adhesives.
Casein in tape.   Casein in our glue.
it holds together wood. Casein laminates doors. 
they fireproof the west coast Casein seals aircrafts shut
and you could paint a picture 
of the same plane with Casein paint 

Casein, the main protein present in milk 
             which means it's present in cheese 
             which means it’s present in yogurt. 
it’s giving cheese to mice. Casein injected into mice, 
                          tumors the size of rats.

kids drink your milk with your school breakfast.

Casein   the main protein present in milk
             they put a name to the thing in the 18th century

​                          caseus is Latin for    cheese.

Cheese    a food consisting of the coagulated
                                       compressed and ripened
                          curd of milk

             curd   a food of semi-solid milk clots
                                       a sweetened/soured milk-paste.

kids, drink your milk with your school lunch  
                                                                              bottoms up!

milk paste, a semisolid sourish food 
prepared from milk fermented 
through added bacteria 
often sweetened and flavored.

eat your yogurt kids. get your probiotics. drink your milk 
as an afternoon snack. 
drink milk warm before bed.

milk = 80% Casein Casein  =  cancer  cancer = Casein
     Casein = milk        milk = 80% cancer 

cancer killed my (insert family member here)

2 cups of coffee a day
             cream and sugar.        cream and sugar.
she walked everyday with a coffee in her hand, 
                                                    light and sweet was she. 
             her coffee light and sweet as she.

I remember buying her dunkin donuts, 4 sugars 3 creams

I’d watch the barista—    1 casein, 2 casein, 3 casein—    into a styrofoam cup. 

honey nut cheerios were her favorite. the box is heart healthy. 
helps lower cholesterol, it says. drowned in milk, 
helps build strong bones. Casein drinks milk everyday 

broken bones—  
                                       a crooked back—  
milk = 80% Casein Casein  =  cancer  cancer = Casein
   casein = milk        milk = 80% cancer 

cancer killed my (insert family member here)
Casein ripped her 
             from her stomach. 
cancer in her stomach! 
             milk settles in the stomach.
Casein in her stomach!

her mama got no legs!

             osteoporosis is the “o” in cheerios!

no legs! no legs!


                                       CANCER       AND       CASEIN 

in osmosis











80% Casein

Casein = cancer

cancer = Casein

have you had your milk—  
have you had your casein— 

have you had your cancer today?

On Video Playback                                       On Video Playback

“I want to be remembered for helping / and I don’t want to go / I want to take you to a level / where you could make it / on your own // I want you to remember that when Christmas comes / I was there for everyone / keep tradition / keep everyone together / everybody united / this is what I want— / for youse to stick together // at the end of all this I don’t know what to call myself / a good person? a bad person? / did I try hard? / I still think I didn’t do enough / don’t you know where evil comes from? / I’m a good person but I could’ve given more / I wish I could / don’t think like me—  I’m doomed. you are still too young when your time / comes it will come // I don’t really want to go / god has given me his chances // the last time I went to the hospital I was thinking / I was going to die. / mhm I didn’t want to go but now I’m ready / and I can’t run anymore / you came out to be a very good kid / I am very happy I am very proud / that you never gave up / that now I’m ready, / if I go. I go. / And now I can go in peace. / I’m not scared anymore / I am not scared because no / matter / what happens you will / keep going” //// "I want to remember // you ///// I want to remember Christmas / every // one //// at the end of all this / ? // don't //// think doom //// god has given me // time to think /// I / am very / happy / t o // go. / I n peace.

Dimitri Reyes

Dimitri Reyes is a Puerto-Vegan educator, writer, artist, and community organizer from Newark, New Jersey. His work has been recognized locally in the Star Ledger and internationally in Australia, Singapore, and the UK. He is the recipient of the SLICE Magazine’s 2017 Bridging the Gap Award for Emerging Poets and a finalist for the Arcturus Poetry Prize by the Chicago Review of Books. Dimitri is a candidate in the Rutgers-Newark MFA program and is published in Acentos Review, Kweli, Yes Poetry, and others.