Recipe Poems

Two Poems by Brenda Butka

Bread by Eva Szabo

Squash Blossoms by Allison Wilkins

Our Table by Joan Seliger Sidney

Recipe for Spaghetti all'Amatriciana by Georganne Harmon

The Agony of the Leaves by Gail Bellamy

Greens by Paulette Licitra

Strudel by Eva Szabo

The Almost Adulterer's Guide to Menu Planning by Michele Battiste

The Pie Series by David Colagiovanni, Melissa Haviland, and Becca J.R. Lachman

Midsummer's Night's Spaghetti with Saffron by Johannes Berchtold

A Cannibal's Suicide by Dean Kostos

From the Garden by Nancy Vienneau

orang slizez jell o shotz by Amy Stetzl

Phở bò Hà Nội by Kelly Morse

Cooking Class, Marrakesh by Georganne Harmon

Spread Triolet by Dana Stamps

The Things Kids Eat by Paulette Licitra

Maybe This Year by Esther Cohen

Braociole by Joseph Bathanti

Basque Cooking by Richard Hedderman

Two Poems by Adrienne Christian

Jailhouse Crack by Harlan Richards

Cinnamon Sticks by Wally Swist

Best of Both by Nancy Vienneau

A Cannibal's Suicide

by Dean Kostos

“ ‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
            So I did sit and eat.”         —George Herbert

August 2013


I stuffed my mouth with bulbs & grubs,
with locusts in wild honey—
husks crunching between my teeth.

Then a sparrow—I wanted to consume
its song. I relished the gnashing, the machinery
of jaw & incisors, transforming flesh

into vibration, filling my emptiness.
Animals foraged from midnight elms,
sniffed at my ankles:

a ferret, a muskrat, a mole.
I skinned & smeared their meat with turmeric,
with herbes de Provence. I roasted

the beasts on a spit, aromas inflaming
my nostrils. Salivating, I savored
each chew. My reputation

bloomed. As if to mock my appetite,
larger animals offered themselves up.
How could I refuse?

I brandished my butcher knife, filleted
them, dressed their flesh for the flame.
How proficient I had become.

Had you seen me, had you smelled
the velvet smoke, you too would have smiled
as I slit a smile across the throat

of my first human.
I had nothing against him—
wanted to taste the last words he moaned

making love. Those delicious
syllables spiraled, mingled with smoke
as I wolfed his flank.

I even thanked him—a prayer.
My admiration lured another,
another … unbeing.

I never asked for names or reasons.
Exiles from the world sacrificed
themselves to my knife, dispensing

with formalities. These outcasts
knew I could translate their suffering
into loin, sirloin, fillet—

in balsamic glaze, in crushed black
peppercorns. As I gnawed a thigh bone,
the smoke, the songs, the spirits returned

in a braiding of shrieks.
Didn’t these misfits know
I had uplifted them into art?

But the smoke twisted into a noose,
crushing my bones. I had to release
the pressure—unleash the yowling fumes.

The way a matador lunges a sword
through a bull’s shoulder blades
into the defiant heart, I knifed

my own. Blood pumped out—splattered
a crimson script. Dressing my meat
for another’s feast, I waited to feed

myself to slavering jaws. Saliva dissolved
my flesh into pages—teeth
ground my despair into words.

 



  Dean Kostos's books include: Rivering, Last Supper of the Senses, The Sentence That Ends with a Comma, and Celestial Rust. He edited Pomegranate Seeds and Mama’s Boy. His poems have appeared in Boulevard, Chelsea, Cincinnati Review, Southwest Review, and Western Humanities Review. He teaches at The City University of New York.

 

Photo under Creative Commons.