Lactose became so intolerant
of bovines that it took out
its distress on by-products.
Yogurt was kidnapped,
whey was high jacked,
curds were given wedgies,
and cheese was tied up naked
in a girl’s locker room.
Gangs of soy beans
soon owned the streets.
They jostled shops serving latte.
They roughed up waffle cones.
They barked at ice cream vendors.
Soon milk spin-offs became illicit
and speakcheesies colonized dark alleys.
Blind cats listened for the secret knock.
And everyone knew that The Churn
had the best rhythm in town.
When the bribes of butter
couldn’t keep the cops at bay,
the raids milked several concerns.
Pints, quarts, and gallons
were poured out in the street.
How the moon shined on that puddle.
But in a secret, hidden barn
cows continued to package powdered milk.
People didn’t care that it was skimmed.
Philip Venzke grew up on a dairy farm near Colby, Wisconsin (where Colby Cheese was invented). A fervent zymurgist, his fermentations take many forms. His most recent poems are in The Litterbox Magazine, Verse Wisconsin, Echoes, The Wisconsin Poets Calendar, Sheepshead Review, Illumen (October 2011 Issue), Thunderclap! Magazine, The Legendary, and Right Hand Pointing.