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da evans

Posted to WritersAndGenres

some facts about the poet bard offical of south dakota

1. Sales Rank: 1,454,131

an essay-which i don't think is bad at all-not really good but okay-and completely fucking
stupid in its message. i think i have been published nearly if not more times then him. the
norton anthro is pretty important-but its there sports antro and kind of mitigates it you

The Man in the Rendering Room
by David Allan Evans

This is Michael Carey for Voices from the Prairie a weekly sampling from the rich soil of Iowa’s literary tradition. Today’s author is David Allan Evans from Sioux City who spent a portion of his young adult life working in a meat packing plant. His poem is called "The Man in the Rendering Room." It has to do with the killing and cutting up of animals. A gory, gristly job to be sure, but one that all meat eaters, unwittingly or unwittingly depend on to survive. Like most hard physical labor even this one has its spiritual and transcendent side if you pay it the right kind of attention.

The Man in the Rendering Room

He works his eight hour day inside Armour’s steam. The steam is his white floor and his white ceiling. It keeps belching up out of the six tank holes after he jerks open their iron lids. I rarely see him. Does the steam make him shy, an animal in fog? I just get glimpses of him.

But I can put him together. He is shirtless with a bulging chest. His back and shoulders are the color of lobster. His biceps, constantly working, are round and seamed. When I get close enough I notice he is always grinning. He never speaks. He works by himself, without breaks. I never see him puffing on a cigarette, leaning against the handles of a tankage cart, complaining about the pay or the heat.

The heat is too much for me. I can stay no longer than it takes to dump my cartload of condemned heads or kidneys or bellies. I take a deep breath before I go in. I roll my cart in fast and look around for him. I catch his finger pointing to the least-full tank. By the time I get there the lid is open and his pitchfork hands are ready. I tip my cart over the hole as the steam belches up under us, swirling and relentless, hammering my face and forehead. He is on his knees; he sticks his hands deep inside the cart, up past his elbows, up to his red shoulders and beyond, scooping, pulling, forking, jerking everything out. His back and arms and neck are matted with guts and worms. I know he is grinning: his head keeps nodding, as if he figures he can grab joy out of anything I bring him.

"The Man in the Rendering Room" by David Allan Evans from his book Real and False Alarms published by Book Mark Press.

For Voices from the Prairie and Humanities Iowa, this is Michael Carey hoping you continue to hear the music blooming all around you.


David Allan Evans was born in Sioux City, Iowa. He married his high school girl friend soon after graduation and began college on a football scholarship. His strongest influence was his father, who worked as a newspaper pressman most of his life, but who was also a self-educated writer and scholar. Evans has degrees from Morningside College and the universities of Iowa and Arkansas. He has won writing grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bush Artist Foundation, and has twice been a Fulbright Scholar to China. He lives in Brookings, South Dakota, where he is Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at South Dakota State University. Though he is mainly a writer and teacher of literature and writing, Evans also has an abiding interest in biology and ecology. He is the author of five books of poems and three books of prose. His short stories, poems, and essays have been published in numerous magazines and journals and in over fifty anthologies including Heartland: Poets of the Midwest, Best Poems of 1969 (Borestone Awards), The HBJ Treasury of Literature, Poetspeak, Imagining Home: Writing from the Midwest, As Far as the Eye can See, Vs: The Anthology of American Sports Poems, and The Norton Book of Sports.


this is his strongest poem. i couldn't find another one on the net-and the stuff post on
campus is really bad. i think i have written better poesy then this-look mama what a phd
can buy you--a trip to china and a few publishing rights all for 100k which you'll never
see back. wow! you can buy literary merit how fucking stupid.


sipping a Schlitz
we cut off the legs,
packed them in ice, then
shucked the rest back into
the pond for turtles

ready to go home
we looked down and saw
what we had thrown back in:
quiet-bulging eyes nudging along
the moss's edge, looking up at us,

asking for their legs

thats no synder,hun?