Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As Promised

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Leggo My Oeuf

Phacellophora camtschatica, the fried egg jellyfish.  Really.

Today I thought I might just lay my head on the keyboard and see what it spelled out, but then I saw a discussion on Dining@Large about putting a fried egg on a bison burger.   Here you go.  This is probably the only verse meditation upon that subject.   I didn't think much of this poem at first, but it grew on me a little.   Mixing some Sartrian (is that a word?) existential concepts into lunch dishes is novel.  With Being-in-itself you get egg roll.   Definitely a nominee for the Pretentious Bastard Hall of Fame.


                        The Oeuf of Paris
                                         A man is what he eats, but a people eats what it is.
                                         – Socrates

In the land of super suede brief cases 
all I see is, how would Sartre have said it, 
the thing-in-itself – the egg.
“It is the French way.”
Thai cabbage salad with peanut
sauce: where’s the spice, the umph?
Instead a hard boiled egg on top.
“But that is how it is done.”
A floating oeuf dur regatta on 
Bengali shrimp soup?  
“It’s the essence of life.”
It may have been a life, but on a pizza,
it’s an arrogant slimy eye.
The thing-in-itself, for Parisians
is being Parisian, seeing
themselves winking back
from their pizza, being-as-food.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Clouds got in my way

Suck on this Joni Mitchell.  Well isn't that a great way to start the day?  Our author seems to be able to find menace almost anywhere.  I found an even more angry cloud poem, but that will have to wait.

            The Violence of Clouds

           Shrieking white rips the
           blue. Cirrus-serrated
           gashes acid-sear gouging
           ice-crystal rasp-ripping.  

Cumulus layer on layer blubber-tumbles
havoc, cirrus sprint shredded
slivers of white joint-torn
steel-shard splintered, 
cumulus damning cirrus, lacquers
up the blue, and
                              scars slide off to
                              sight’s horizon.



He ain't heavy Father, he's my noodle

Oh whoa is he.  First up is a tale of whoa and pretension replete with newly minted words as if English is just not big enough for his massive emotional spectrum.  I can't resist a poem that ends with the line: You want fries with that, Sir?  

Then something more fun.  Wow, how awesome is the picture below.  Sadly this artist's other works are really creepy, with a lot of semi-naked elf girls.  This one is called "Bad Date".

BTW the post title comes from my favorite New Yorker cartoon which I can't find a copy of.  It shows a priest talking to a human-sized fork with a large noodle in its tines.  The fork says ...



      Tormemorenting No More

I will language 
you away
cast your meaning

from my heart
de(-ar)range the thought
  I gave you
  to begin with

make you a silly sentence
of squeaking styrofoam
tumbling behind a Burger King

the little voice of
I love you
now c(r)ackling to the indiffident

through the metal box,

You want fries with that, Sir?




                    Fellini Dates Heidi
The waiter’s nose slides
off his face into her water glass.
She retrieves it with her soup spoon.
I order the live Maine lobster,
knocked senseless and served on a bed 
of blurry naked pictures of the Pope’s mother.
She has a glass of blush and a self cleaning 
forkful of Caesar salad, no anchovy 
dressing on the side.
She makes conversation like a mortician presenting the bill.

I loved the movie: Bloodbath of the Apocalypse.
She swears it was The Sound of Music II – Return to Edelweiss.

I set fire to the bathroom to avoid paying the check.

After slips and snaps and straps, things are ironed out.


Mmm...  goaty.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Is that the Brass Elephant?

Fusion food at its finest.

                                Tonight’s Specials

My name.
Is Ricardo.
I will be.
Your server.
Before we start                                      Stockinged toes intrude.
I will describe                                        Not my wife’s.
some items                                             Maneuvering.
not on the menu.
We are offering a                                   Calf.
lemon                                                      Thigh.
vodka                                                      ...
done lightly                                            Hand inches under fabric.
in a splash of virgin
olive oil over ...                                      Lace pantied expectation.

as an appetizer
or an entrée ...                                       Marinated in hope.

brushed with
almond butter, grilled ...                      To imagined perfection
                                                                at the end of every
broiled ...                                                fingertip landing
baked ...
sautéed ...                                              simmering skin
appetizer/entrée                                 Cajun barbecued ribs
singed flamed crushed                  her husband
strained mashed boiled                             my wife
burgled werst vork tel                  sprinkled with
walgrus hortense panopoly          seering passion
weasel bandaid refried ...                           or just
hot and sour ...
new potatoes                       on the side.


The Post-SPAMism Affair

Post Spamism: Naked and Loathing

My best friend’s 
wife. I used to hate her guts
called her stupid.
Ant brained. Dilettante, Necco wafer,
desiccated single celled academic ...
whacked me so
hard a canine 
punched—cheek—blood           tasting
(tasting)I loathe her
pinch the skin in the small
of her back
between my lips,
trickle sweat taste
distracts from the tedia of
post Joycean food 
metaphorks, bendless
Virgina Woof parabulls,
and lecjures on Spam as
a cultural icon.

Will Someone Please Kill Mr. Kinski

What makes an excellent palate cleanser for the horror that is Christmas in America?  Some quotes by Klaus Kinski of course.  Talk about getting the face you deserve.  The title of this post comes froma short film that I saw a few years ago at the Maryland Film Festival.  The next time you are bitching about a co-worker, employee or boss, just imagine what your work day would be like if it involved Klaus Kinski.  See the short film here.

People think we had a love-hate relationship. Well, I did not love him, nor did I hate him. We had mutual respect for each other, even as we both planned each other's murder.

- Werner Herzog on Kinski

Herzog is a miserable, hateful, malevolent, avaricious, money-hungry, nasty, sadistic, treacherous, cowardly creep...he should be thrown alive to the crocodiles! An anaconda should strangle him slowly! A poisonous spider should sting him and paralyze his lungs! The most venomous serpent should bite him and make his brain explode! No panther claws should rip open his throat--that would be much too good for him! Huge red ants should piss into his lying eyes and gobble up his balls and his guts! He should catch the plague! Syphilis! Yellow fever! Leprosy! It's no use; the more I wish him the most gruesome deaths, the more he haunts me.

- Kinski on Herzog

And some more wisdom from Mr. Kinski

I am your fairy tale. Your dream. Your wishes and desires, and I am your thirst and your hunger and your food and your drink. 

I didn't choose solitude. 

I don't need anybody to tell me how to be alive. 

I have to shoot without any breaks. I yell at Herzog and hit him. I have to fight for every sequence. I wish Herzog would catch the plague, more than ever. 

I knew there were, in myself, the souls of millions of people who lived centuries ago; not just people but animals, plants, the elements, things, even, matter. All of these exist in me. 

One should judge a man mainly from his depravities. Virtues can be faked. Depravities are real. 

People who do not see the terrible things therefore do not see the beautiful things, either.

Sometimes my heart hurts so much, I beat it with my fists. I try to run. But you cannot run from this. It waits for you. Even when you think you have escaped it, it is there.

The truth is, I can never die. For I will be in everything and see you in everything and watch over you. I am your reaction in the water of a mountain lake. 
Klaus Kinski 

The ultimate acting is to destroy yourself.

Merry Öwl Meatmäs

Merry Öwl Meatmäs

Here at stately Owl Manor, we have eschewed the usual sturm und drang, weltschmerz and schadenfreude today and have given in to Christmas - Owl Meat style.  
I combined elements of my German and Mexican heritage to give you a glimpse of the holiday festivities here. First up is El Vez doing a killer version of Feliz Navidad. If you don't love this video, you have no soul. For those not familiar with El Vez, he is the Mexican Elvis and he LOVES Christmas. Does it get any better than Melvis dancing with a giant inflatable Santa and Frosty, while his band lays down some chunky Ramones-style thrash? I want his suit.  

While bearing a striking resemblance to the late German maniac/actor Klaus Kinski, the photo above is of Krampus. Who is Krampus you say? Mein Gott im Himmel! Clearly you did not grow up in the Bavarian alps. Krampus is Saint Nick's evil assistant. How very, uh, German. He is bad cop to Santa's good cop. Krampus Night is celebrated on December 5, the eve of Saint Nick's birthday. So what does Santa's assistant do? He, meaning any able-bodied man, roams the streets frightening children and whacking women on the gluteus festivus with a stick. Drinking heavily is part of the ritual, which may explain why it goes on for two weeks. Nothing says Happy Birthday Jesus like binge drinking, dancing around fires, and random sexual assault.  
Now how do we combine such seemingly non-intersecting cutlures and traditions at Christmas? With food of course. No Mexican Christmas would be complete without the special pork tamales. What makes them special? The addition of one or more secret ingredients, which I think is cinnamon and rabbit. One can never be sure. Tio Toro always brings his gucamole with mango and some amazing ceviche to celebrate his roots in Veracruz. The best of all is his ceviche de pulpo - citrus marinated octopus. Mmmm... que bueno.
The German part of the feast is short on tradition and long on meat. Cousins Dieter and Elsebeth grill something Dieter has recently killed on a bow hunting trip. In the past we have had elk, bear, and Canadian snowshoe hares (with a bow?). Elsebeth's bear paw soup was delcious and not at all frightening. Naturally there is homemade sauerkraut and a fermented beet juice that has purported rejuvenating qualities.
Another thing that unites both sides of the family is beating something with a stick. Since my lawyer says that our Krampus days are kaput, we have allowed the German side to make their own version of the piñata. Last year it was stuffed with homemade venison jerky and gherkins. I guess we will have to wait to see if Uncle Klaus and cousin Dieter's hunting trip to Canada was successful. The form of the piñata will be of whatever public figure has aggrieved them most this year. It could be anyone from Rod Blagojovich to Hugh Jackman or even Billy Mays.  Can you imagine how history might have been different if the Germans had invented the siesta and the piñata?
Of course the evening always ends with drinking and dancing. Uncle Flaco acts as DJ, spinning vinyl copies of his favorite Norteño music, which sounds like Mexican polka to me. The night usually ends with Great Uncle Fritz announcing Archimedes-in-the-bathtub style that the Mexicans stole their music from the Germans, as if he just discovered this. But harmony prevails, because I have hidden the tequila and Jagermeister and bellies are full of elk jerky and pork tamales as El Vez rips into "Feliz Navidad" again.
Frohe Weihnachten de Carne de Buho.
(Merry Christmas from Owl Meat.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


      the state I’m in

flanguid as a June
breezes into April
  flanguid as garbage
  trucks by
flanguid as warms in raining
of cools noontime

a red sparrows the sill

this bumbling bee a yellows 
jacket half shuts shutter dawns

the angle of attacks the sun
rays brick off concrete grins

flanguid as is baby eels in cooled cups water
fingers in dangling
feets in off piers
all-swirling swirling

The Face You Deserve

          the face you deserve

just as people
come to look like their dogs
you wear your sins on your face
they press and pull like gravity 
those certain muscles
for deception and solitary self-loathing
in the nights of clenched dreams
and hollow defeats – they make
you over from the inside-out
turning the mask you wear
into the one you are

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Owl Meat Gravy group on Facebook

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? 
Robert Kennedy

Pretentious enough?  And that's why I created the Owl Meat Gravy group on Facebook.  I just discovered Facebook and it's a little addictive.  While I love the interaction on the Dining@Large blog, it has limits and the time it takes to get a comment posted can be several hours or more.  I thought that this might be a nice addition if people want to interact more spontaneously.  There is no such thing as off-topic there and no Sun editors looking over our shoulders.  It's an experiment.  Yes, Facebook is for adults now.  I scoffed at it just a month or so ago, but now am hooked.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Real Estate Stains


            Real Estate

a drop of red sauce
metamorphed by multiple
microwavings mutters
white trash, the red
crusting to brown & yet 
unnamed earthy, dirty hues

little misarrangements and disorders
make moral statements against us
people inspect, agents preview, leave 
judgements on the answering machine

our stuff owns us now




              Like a
              string of
             from your
             mouth, she

  has the greatest value 
  the farther she gets away.



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Extra Crispy Moist Ideas


Mind of his
filled with STOP signs
laundry tickets
voice mail passwords
the click-click-click
of the bike messenger
gliding by

She minds the fat grams
in a Nutty Buddy, mind-full
and loaded with the sound
that makes her shift from
2nd to 3rd and the coolwomb
comfort of air conditioning
under flannel sheets.

Moist ideas lubricate
the distance between them
contemplation of conflagration
charred and crispy is the
common ground they neglect
to mention in between bites.



Friday, December 19, 2008

Tasty Stranger

        stranger at a bus stop

on a plain wooden bench
on the sandy concrete
in a tweedy earth-tone jacket
all slub and dun with
chocolate leather shoes
half pale wan and waiting
her legs her face hair hands
eyes teeth ears
sketch a simple spectrum
from white to light brown

the colors in a half-
chewed caramel crème

the colors are flavors
that blend and merge
melt and stick to
the intimate parts
of the mouth

through the glass I stare 
and write she expects
something someone now 
now gulp of red wine
I wash away the
memory flavors
I lick a drop of red
from my lower lip
she does the same
from her pink lips
which jump into
my imagination
as the only part of her 
outside the spectrum

her pinked mouth and tongue
signal the beginning 
and end of intimacy

I look back and she’s gone
that fast  


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bleak Bonus Thursday

If you've completely given up on trying to be cheery today or this year and prefer to wallow in your winter depression, here's a gift for you.



       walking wounds

scabs on the landscape
      scraping by
  these men-
                      shadows in rags
          drawn grizzled
                          barely sticking
to life       evaporating
                         toward death
        have they lost the skill to live
   or the will to die ?


The Other Other Red Meat - Penguin

I'm not sure what to make of today's poem about penguin ranching.  Is that a real thing?  I wonder what penguin tastes like?  I'll bet it's a lot gamey and a little fishy.  Have you ever had bonito in a sushi place?  It's the darkest red fish flesh I know of.  It looks like venison.  Don't penguins eat a lot of krill and small cold water fish?  You would think that their meat would be high in those healthy fish oils.  I suppose some people will be aghast at the idea of eating them because they are cute.  Tell that to Bambi.  Anyway ...  I think the ending is strong.  I like its low tone of murmuring menace and conspiracy.

Someday, Timmy,  there will be computing machines that will allow you to access all the knowledge of the world from your home.  Let's say you want to find a location that is dedicated to evil penguins -- it will be there.  What a brave new world it will be.



                   the black & the white

They say penguin ranching
has no future.
They are so wrong.

And there’s no vocation that beats it
on glee alone.

It’s a cornucopia of oxymoronic delight.

Where else can
giddy and slaughter mingle easily
in the same sentence?

the tastiness of beef
the healthfulness of mackerel

name another meat source
that’s really fun to play with
before it’s dead

Here in Tierra del Fuego
where the icy oceans mix it up
the wind speaks, they say, but
I say it just blows

at night
it stirs the ’guins:
                                they murmur          and whisper
                                like disgruntled       civil servants
                                asked to work         through their coffee break

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Live in Fear of Food

I thought I might be running out of interesting food poems and then I found this one.  "I Live in Fear of Food" really lays it out clearly for you, like "I Walked with a Zombie" or "Mars Needs Women".   I almost understand the sentiment, since I usually have some fearless mad scientist experiment going on in my kitchen.  I think Blue Oyster Cult would be the perfect soundtrack for this one.  



                    I Live In Fear of Food     

I love those food synthesizers on Star Trek.  
I loathe what’s in my refrigerator.

Not just the It’s Alive yogurt, 
plucky yeast & primordial sour 
dough mix, no, all natural things.

While sleeping I might snore
and some food could jump down my trachea.  
Who knows what its agenda is.

Remember, you can drown
in an inch of water and don’t play
in a refrigerator or plastic bag.

They say any natural substance 
in excess is a poison, even water.

Where there’s life there’s danger, I say.

Natural is the lurking evil,
it hides in purity, clings to life
in the fridge, so if you must sleep, do it sitting 
up against the purring reanimator box or just
sleep in your car.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Terrier Mom on Squagels

I don't think that I have ever heard of a squagel before (a square bagel), but I guess I can see the point.  Dining@Large commenter TerrierMom sent me this self-penned interesting bit of verse on the squagel.  Huh, Google Image offers up many squagel pictures.   I need to get out more.  Maybe there are square donuts (squonuts) or triangular pitas.  The world is changing too fast.    I think she writes a little bit like a terrier might - quite snappy.


Square bagel ...
Scorned by 
Jewish parents
here you are
melty melty
chewy chewy
square perimeter
hole in the middle
Why the hole?
For what you lost?
Change your shape
Lose your soul

A Scary View of Dim Sum

Yesterday there was a post on Dining@Large about the lack of dim sum places in the Baltimore area.  Maybe that is true.  But would you want to go to this dim sum place?  And could you ever sleep afterwards?  Another disturbing food poem.  Enjoy.  

Dim Sum                                                     

Things are out of place.
Pearl earring in an oyster 
served by a bony waitress 
minus an ear. Big dogs
tied to a flagpole howl
from un-tongued mouths, 
having chewed them in 
error. In a graceless 

Chinese restaurant, a boy wearing one black mitten
brings a dish of Szechuan finger sausages.  

Now Tommy and Maria gnaw on 
fistfuls of barbecue wings.
In the lot behind the Golden Palace
I search my pockets for car keys while
Maria fans her hand to lick at the hidden flavor.

Half-seen in the dusty gravel, five wingless crows with yellowed 
beaks wrestle, hop and roll, scratch and poke for the 
privilege of pecking out our eyes while we dream and digest. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

A View of Hell from Pizza Hut

So I went looking for an interesting pizza poem.  Mostly I found ones where empty pizza boxes were loaded with depressing symbolism.  But then I hit the jackpot.  Enjoy.


A View of Hell from Pizza Hut

Searing pizza cheese pain tears into the 
the roof of your mouth the agony she laughs
didn’t “Mitzi” warn you nincompoop she snarls 
and looks far away to Shoe Town ... 

She daydreams her way 
    through rack upon rack
        stacked to the dropped ceiling
            up the aisles of pumps
                tagged floating free fluorescent

        now naked greywhite blobby flesh air-sliding
        over the skins stretched for our non-metric feet

Downtown a man in her 
          day dreaming hops off 
                    with a display shoe 
                              on his one foot

          (in a place where a pair is more costly
          than the silvery gun that “Mitzi” is fondling 
          now thigh-strapped silent rubbing converting 
          rubles to yen for fun in her head)


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not Feelin' Good in the Neighborhood

Could eating in a chain restaurant drive you insane?  I believe that it could based upon this poem.

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ... Apparently Lisa was a popular name for Chili's waitresses in 1991.  


 A Million Lisas (Is Too Many)                                             

  for Lisa                                                      

  What a treat was the
  auburn-haired Lisa that 
  took my order and
  what a nice surprise
  was the fishnet 
  Lisa that doted on the

  croutonicity of my salad.
  After the Is Everything
  OK Heather, I was
  bombarded with a sizzling
  Fajita Lisa and a sidecar
  Lisa-in-training Lisa.
  The satisfaction Heather had
  molted into an Is Your Meal
  OK Lisa and the previous
  Lisas of the Crouton, Fajita,
  et al had organized in
  the lounge, splashing
  around the Exxon
  Super Premium and igniting,
  hand-in-hand: a mega
  circular union of
  Lisa-ness for
  Happy Hour patrons.

  For those who wondered
  what is the critical mass
  of Lisas or Kirstens or
  Ashleys, Christies, Staceys
  or Kellys, the answer
  is nine, at least so says the
  burning ring of Lisas
  in the lounge tonight.

© WORDART,  March 1991

 Topic: I love comments

Laura Lee suggested The Nine Muses a series of poems and the painting "Apollo Dancing with the Muses" by Francesco Bartolozzi (1725-1815).  Thank you Laura.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

In Praise of Charles Simic

In college I took a writing course with John Barth.   The TA didn't like poetry much so he selected something by Charles Simic called "The Butcher Shop" for us to read.  I didn't like poetry much either and still don't.  But I loved Simic's poem because it showed me that poetry could have power and meaning in unexpected ways.  
Bartolomeo Passerotti


Butcher Shop

Sometimes walking late at night
I stop before a closed butcher shop.
There is a single light in the store
Like the light in which the convict digs his tunnel.

An apron hangs on the hook:
The blood on it smeared into a map
Of the great continents of blood,
The great rivers and oceans of blood.

There are knives that glitter like altars
In a dark church
Where they bring the cripple and the imbecile
To be healed.

There is a wooden block where bones are broken,
Scraped clean– a river dried to its bed
Where I am fed,
Where deep in the night I hear a voice.

-- Charles Simic


Another great suggestion from Laura Lee:

Tales of the Impertinent and Presumptuous

Taking a cue from a discussion on Dining@Large about bacteria, saliva and bottled water I found this poem, which features Pinot Noir and saliva in a tasteful fashion.  Did you ever notice that you can't taste your own saliva?  Yet there it is all the time.  Just like cable TV - you really only appreciate it when you don't have it.  

Pinot Noir makes Rainer Werner Fassbinder happy.


An Impertinent Vintage with a Presumptuous Aftertaste

Picture this … sings Frank
     in this …  52nd floor …   big view lounge 
                where conventioneers finger tap 
       Bud bottles to Sinatra.

Tactless Pinot Noir in a liberal goblet,
warm & red, sheeting over my tongue, leaving 
a quilt insinuating foreign saliva.

Peculiar to this wine tonight, never 
before with a Cabernet, Chianti, 
Merlot, or Beaujolais, this flash of a kiss
of immoderate familiarity and moisture.

It rouses a memory strong but attached
to no mouth or face I recall.   Struggling 
to place the taste of anyone’s saliva 

while bearded business drunks,
“I used to be Irish!”          repeat everything, “If he don’t, I will!”

       “I used to be Irish!”      twice      “If he don’t ...”
twice and       “You bet Bob!”                           “... I will!”

try to place it, but no reference point,
no saliva standard, can’t fix the taste
in my own            “You bet!”     mouth     “Bob!”    mouth.
                                                                  End up
guzzling Pinot Noir memory scanning
for a tiny overflow of saliva from 
under her tongue, she maybe had
to be home early for a watching father 
or husband or job, maybe could stay out all night.
                                                                       But I doubt it.




While we're on the subject of Pinot Noir, why not pull out the monologue from Sideways?  I think that he might be talking about more than just grapes.  

 So nervous beardy guy in pain, why are you so into Pinot Noir?

Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow.  As you know.  Right?  It's, uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early.  It's, you know, it's not a survivor like cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it's neglected.  No, pinot needs constant care and attention.  You know?  And, in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really.  Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression.   Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Boy Smuckers

What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music. 
-- Soren Kierkegaard

Here is today's food poem - neither menacing nor disturbing.  I wonder if they named their kid Smuckers?


Sunday morning anticipatter

Holly up 
and paints 
some names 
on our almost-baby 
dip dipping a fingertip 
in the jar of strawberry 
preserves on the tray 
next to our bed.

Her belly mountain of us 
accommodates several 
and several are expunged – 
thinking while licking
I trace the rubrics 
with my tongue and 
kiss away her ripe ideas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Trolley of Meat

Another day, more food anxiety.  

The Trolley of Meat

back when everybody rode the streetcars
back when the butchers
worked here
but lived over there

there was the meat car
with men hanging onto straps  
  with bowling pin forearms

our dogs chased the streetcar
  and we let them

we never witnessed the goings-on
  in the sprawled buildings
  beyond the guards and gates

I think our dogs knew
  but didn’t care
  or didn’t want us to worry

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Super Bonus Wednesday



I like this one.  Just the right balance of menace and food and paranoia.


Torn between the Scylla Salad and Charybdis Pesto

  Fleeing orange acid
  riptides, razor clam surf
  punks, ankle grabbing sand hands,
  swept onto the Dunes of the Accountants.

  Number crunchers on steroids
  swinging rolling pins with
  hands as big as your fist
  sport t shirts that beckon
  Kiss Me I'm Symbionese.

  Chased, bludgeoned into a run down restaurant
  Pasta Agonistes  
  I stumble I circle the salad bar,
  I just can't take any more.
  Bones shattered, a bag of pretzel sticks,
  Humiliated Uncle I pronounce.

  In a Handi Wipe moment it's shopping mall new,
  bursting with college kid wait people
  reenacting my torment with souvenir
  rolling pins for the
  families of threes ordering dinner:
  "Does the Linguini Achilles come in a child's portion?"


© The Portland Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, April 1990

Bonus Wednesday

I'm avoiding doing something else, so I will continue with more food and disturbing poetry.

Maybe the writer shouldn't be sleeping on an ebi sushi.  I can't say that it would be my first choice for a pillow.



  4 AM and Paris is finally quiet, but
  for a low hum outside, harmonious
  and growing in volume.
  I swing open the windows
  to a buzzing serenade.
  From the fifth floor
  it's hard to tell, but I
  think it's a gathering
  of the shrimp and fish
  heads I left staring
  from my plate.
  They seem to want something.


Oops, it's already Wednesday.  Time for another terrifying poem about food.  This one will do.

Martinique Blood Sausage Spree

Steely electric guitar flitters
to the taped rhythm track,
the black man with the blue Strat,
off a Rive Gauche alley,
spewing happy 
The waiter slides around,
points a finger
above my ear, then
into his chest.
“I am egg gal. I am.”

French with a German accent, I think
he means the painting’s signature:
M. Hegel.

I nod and smile,
he nods to the guitar player
who nods to the cook as 2 tables 
nod a lot, dance out the door
and leave me alone in Cafe Martinique.
I order from the page marked
Wondrous Gifts of the Sea
in bad pointing French.
Red wine goes quickly with
the tangy squid stuffed
with different squid, bananas,
fiery yellow peppers, cinnamon.

The guitar player turns up the echo.  
Wine and squid drift away. 
Hegel brings more wine and a plate
of deep red sausages. Wondrous 
gift of the sea? I ask and all three
nod yes, to each other, to the music,
to the sausages.  

The painting looks down on me:
 green fatigued,
 a black soldier
 blue spume anchored,
 arms skyward
 clutches a bayonetted lobster
 wriggling on gunpoint 
 and ashen white goat slung
 around his neck

 M A R T I N I Q U E

 in black sparrows, contorted, 
 twisted wings into letters.
Heavy knife dull pulls
tears the skin
and a reddish brown
pushes out, oozing, intact.

In my mouth: hot spicy nutmeg pepper.
On the wall: lobster soldier leer smolders.
On my tongue: aroma soft rising round
  viscid roe salivary urging
  fermenting goat 
  blood glowing.
Over my shoulder, smiling
black and white, restaurant
staff bouncing to the
echoey blue guitar.


Pretzel Girl

I guess I will add a poem once a day or so that amuses or offends me.  Here is one.

It’s not sex, just too much entropy
The air is poisoned,
so you desire women with
messy unwashed hair.
A desire to wrestle
with their hair ribbons
and sunglasses, bracelets,
scarves, and necklaces.
To consume all this junk,
to lift women from the
streets of Montparnasse
like cheese fondue.
You hate yourself a little.
You hate yourself more as a Parisian
object of desire turns out to be a poli sci major
from Kutztown State, “that’s in Pee A!”
You no longer know what you desire.
You no longer want naked women.
You only want to make them naked.
To un-accessorize them, unravel them
and iron out the wrinkles of attitude.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Grackle Day poem

Lissa brought up Grackle Day and that made me think of a poem about grackles.  Now that I look at, I'm not sure that it's about grackles at all. It definitely isn't safe for the restaurant blog.   

            Grackle Sandwich To Go

North we went, me and Carolyn, who I snagged
from TGI Fridays near Cape Canaveral.  Skipping
DisneyWorld we settled for french fries & fucking,
forsaking Mickey & Minnie for fast food and self-made
obstacles – steering wheel & head, heels & windows,
friction & gravity – all easily overcome.

I thought a grackle sandwich was a joke but the more
Georgia we went & the more accustomed I became
to rental car vinyl the more real it became
until I felt a heavy flapping beside us in the dark
as we turned inland and went off the menu.

Cracklin’ on the plasticized mattress at the Peach Grove
Motor Lodge, Carolyn face down foot end of the bed
white bread crusts scattered to the 4 corners of the rug
& more I shook her hard. Dead, not really, wish I was she said,

black feathers on white sheets, a crunchy memory, a shame
on nature and two dead bottles of Jack – grackles loomed.
Suffocating in the doughy white, lively dying in a sandwich,
my head throbs as the night before jerks back, a zesty wing beat

makes the Wonderbread spongier more compressed and I hear
memory shards of Trim the crust Honey. I hear more than I want
& my tongue becomes self-conscious, roaming around

new sores & punctures & sticks, sticks stuck in gums
feather stubs. Up to vomit, Carolyn runs a greasy hand between
my legs & off we go. To the heart of America, where birds sit
on fences & people sit stuffed on sticks in fields of scare.