Judge rules bees are fish

J. Alan Nelson

The California Supreme Court left in place a lower-court decision holding that bees are fish—at least for the purpose of protecting them under California’s endangered species law. American Bar Association


Since information is physical,

and bumblebees are now fish,

I create my own world from words.


A steep slope in the Myrkviðr Impenetrable Forest

falls away from a window

that makes up a single wall.


I hold a bottomless cup of coffee

like Thor’s drinking horn

that drains the North Sea.


When I drink, coffee junkies

at Starbucks wince

as prices rise with a buzz.


I grow whiskers to stroke

like a portable, scruffy dog.

My dogs need a break. They roam outside.


I read from a room full of more books

than I can read in two lifetimes.

Every day more books arrive.


I lean on stairs that stop at the ceiling.

Stairs are better than chairs.

There’s many places to sit books


and my coffee.

An enormous wolf, Fenrisúlfr,

curls between book stacks.


It snores with the hum of a bee

under water.

A gnawed hand lies by its muzzle.



Some days I read etymologies.

That’s how I know Alan

superpositions several realities deep in its morpheme:


little rock, handsome, a Celtic deity,

an ancient Persian tribe of the Great Salt Desert,

and my favorite, a wolf.


I stroke the scruff of my chin,

sip my coffee,

watch the fish buzz around a hive.


I toss my head and howl.

The wolf and the dogs join. They fear

my words might say they’re squirrels.


J. Alan Nelson, a writer and actor, has received nominations for a Pushcart Prize, Best of Net poetry and Best Microfiction. He has work published or forthcoming in many journals including New York Quarterly, takahē, B O D Y, Litro, Stand, and Eunoia Review. He also played the lead in the viral video “Does This Cake Make Me Look Gay?” and  the verbose “Silent Al” in the Emmy-winning SXSWestworld, and narrated New York Times videos on PEPFAR.