In honor of National Poetry Month, we invite you to savor Alimentum's 2011 serving of Menupoems. Feel free to click around on the retro foods below or scroll down for all the Menupoems as well as a few videos of the poets reading their work.
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Spare the Mint with the Cha Cha Che
the heat and bounce of women muy atras.
son hot with Che-- the beat of Benny More
minty as a slap--kissed from a mojito
thrill of a cold drink--in a place that knows to sweat
but they stole it, not revolution
they just took the drink
with their-round mint that was all wrong
they missed the point--‘specially of the leaf
Blind they were--just like Martinez
they could not see-- lime in their eyes
the words of Che that day:
“spearmint,” he said “ makes a revolution.”
Oh yeah, I’ll make you a man in my kitchen
buckle your blueberries, slump your apples,
cream your butter and sugar,
knead your dough,
steam your windows with my oven heat.
Bet your life I’ll poach your pears,
pickle your persimmons, foster your bananas,
cobble your peaches, marmalade your oranges
clafouti your cherries to a parlez-vous
You’ll be cross-eyed, crumb-topped
crimped, crisped, crusted, folded,
punched, proofed and risen before I’m done.
Get over here now.
My pan dowdy’s hot, and there’s cream.
Don’t keep me waiting.
A South Indian Breakfast
Idli vada pongal dosa
Any day better than a samosa
To someone from south of India,
A breakfast lollapalooza
Made mainly of rice flakes
That always a morning makes
With chili powder in sesame oil
Ah, a little of how heaven tastes
Full of carbs and heavy in fat
Makes one grin like a chesire cat
These breakfasts are a great delight
Foods to start the day just right
Learning to Make Mushroom Risotto
Plump round grains, first hard and taut,
Smooth firm mushrooms, then tender soft,
Sizzling bubbling fusing together.
You teach. I stir. We melt.
Feed me the first perfect mouthful:
All at once salty beefy hot
Bursting soft and earthy.
Aromas curl around us. I curl around you.
Two days later, alone,
Separate again with leftovers:
I will never lose that taste from my tongue.
A Hint From Your Server
Let’s be honest, shall we?
I already know how entrenched,
how battle-scarred you think you are.
We both know that’s why you sent back the soup.
But I can read your faces like a recipe,
And the ingredients for disaster
Just aren’t there. So swallow it,
That hungry anger, stay lucky and young.
Your future unfurls before me
Like a tablecloth, but I don’t yet know
If you’ll take my tip (but please leave me mine).
Waiting for Huevos
Waiting for huevos rancheros with my hombres
We line up salsas like a firing squad:
Cascabell, jalapeno, poblano, serrano, chipotle.
And the leader of the pepper death pack, habanero.
Eager for the kick, we lay it on thick:
Escaping yolks run for cover under the tortillas,
Reinforcements led by the refried beans
Get ammo from the chopped onions.
Alas, the artillery proves too much for our stomachs,
Even the flan muy bland refuses to douse the fire.
Without disarray we surrender to Brigadier Brioschi.
A Scoop of Cloud
My sole request, when mother asked what could she bring me
From her trip to Puerto Rico. At last! From her window seat on the plane,
She could dip into lush vapors and scoop up my lofty gift.
Today, sitting cramped on a flight crossing the Caribbean, I recall
That childhood desire. While the attendant directs our attention to the
Sad airline menu of boxed sub sandwiches and fruit trays sealed in plastic,
I gaze at billowing white plumes,
My ethereal parfait, soft meringue laced with vanilla and passionfruit,
Innocence and longing.
Milk Does the Body
There is nothing Ramona likes better than a tofu sale.
She puts on her most sheer sweater and heads
down to Lifethyme on Sixth Avenue
just perchance she may run into someone worthy
of her breathy, I like my tofu like my men---extra firm line.
It once worked at the Natural Foods Co-op in Kent, Ohio.
She got down and dirty next to the basmati with the vegan clerk.
He closed the store 25 minutes early.
Ramona sighs on the M2 bus, remembering how wonderful and strange
he was. Especially after she once made him eggs by mistake.
He looked distraught and angry before he slammed the door.
His last words were, “I’d love you if only you could give up dairy.”
Tiramisu Sonnet 29
When stuck in traffic after a bad day,
Victim of political office play,
Dreaming I had more money in the bank,
A cooler car, a bigger house, a Wii,
Wishing I looked much cooler in a tank-
Top, leaner, with less body hair to see,
And just in general feeling like crap,
I say to myself, screw it, at least when
I get home I’ll go to the fridge and snap
Open last night’s tiramisu and then
With that sweetest, fresh dessert so creamy,
My loser’s life’s a bit less unseemly.
Eating My Words
I am processing words for dinner, cutting
sentences into juicy bite-size chunks,
heaping them into a bowl, a casserole, a
stainless steel vat, and putting them on the stove
to simmer. I have dirtied every utensil
in the house. Even the cherry pitter needs washing,
and the apple peeler corer that mounts on the wall.
I am packing brown bag sonnets to go. It’s the one thing
I know how to do in the kitchen. If you’re hungry,
eat it now. The dishes can wait till tomorrow.
Instructions for Repasts with a Priest
Allow him to choose the wines,
those fine, heart-healthy vintages of red;
offer bread, the rolls with whole grains,
not the plain white of a collar, for good
colon grades. Keep to upbeat tones;
be zen; resist the urge to call him “Dad.”
Or, conversation being overrated,
give the cod, flash-fried in a sauce pan,
the best lines—jokes like “the less said,
the butter.” Bleed beets with blue cheese on
the tines of utensils, staining them like wood.
Be foie gras bad, then confess: Father, I have dined.
Sharon Abra Hanen
Salt sort of tastes
like a sort of salty sea;
Salt sort of smells
like a sort of sweaty me;
Salt sort of sounds
like I’m stepping in the sand;
And salt sort of feels
like teardrops touched my hand.
The Character of Chocolate
Sharon Abra Hanen
If chocolate were a person
It would be tall, and elegant,
With a smooth deep voice.
Just when it seemed too serious
To hang around with
It would laugh
And turn out to be a friend.
Katie O'Connell King
Green fuzzy jacket
Bestows glossy tender bean
Slips passed lips and bursts