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Articles by J. Smith

J. D. Smith is a writer and editor in Washington, D.C. His second book of poems, Settling for Beauty, is forthcoming later this year from Cherry Grove Collections.

Featured Article

Quick: what do sea turtles, black bears, and Philippine fruit bats have in common?

Rise up on behalf of the turtles.

At first glance, not much. They don’t look alike, and they have very different ranges and habitats. In fact, one would be hard-pressed even to find them on any of the same guest lists.

But these creatures share one very important trait. Along with seahorses, rhinoceroses, and macaques, they are all hunted, sold, and consumed for use in potions and dishes with alleged “aphrodisiacal properties.” For men. And I think we know what that means.

In a more perfect world, we men might be willing to age gracefully and hang up — well, whatever it is we hang up, say, spurs — and retire from certain pleasures of the flesh. When that happens, though, men will be too distracted to care. We’ll be busy watching pigs fly.

Until that day arrives, there will be a market for products that enhance “male performance” (presumably not in rugby). In Asia and Central America, among other places, this means resorting to traditional, animal-based remedies. Two tragedies can result. T... Read more