Here’s a new YouTube video of me reading my poem “The Glad Sounds of Eating” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7p7NhW6MDs
To eat is human, for it is then
that we are truly revealed,
putting our mouths around
what will become ourselves.
Yet how rarely is it depicted in art
in full gaping, masticating detail.
Instead, we get paintings of fruit or soup cans
or people gabbing around a table
while ignoring gustatory delicacies in plain view.
You would think Edward Hopper could have
shown the two women actually
eating some chop suey.
And would it have killed Norman Rockwell
to include among those grateful Americans
gleefully greeting their turkey
a chubby little boy in the corner
stuffing his face with dinner rolls?
All those paintings of the Last Supper?
Forget it. There’s nary a nibble,
not even from Judas before heading out
for the evening.
Thank goodness for Bruegel
who knew a peasant wedding feast
when he saw one, with real people
chowing down and licking their fingers.
You can hear the glad sounds of eating.
But there is no joy in Goya’s
Saturn Devouring His Son,
as a wild-eyed Saturn grasps his son’s body
like a Big Mac,
its pale limp buttocks
hanging below white knuckles,
to take another bloody bite.
I guess that’s why Goya left his painting
not for show but on the plaster wall
of his dining room
and why so few painters
elected to portray the darker things
that go on at dinnertime.
First published in Better Than Starbucks: Poetry and Fiction Journal, May 2021 https://betterthanstarbucks.wixsite.com/may2021
My new poem “Hopper’s People” was just published by the online literary journal Hawaii Pacific Review https://hawaiipacificreview.org/2020/04/13/hoppers-people/#more-72123
My poem “An Endless Afternoon of Now” was just published in the latest issue of Tipton Poetry Journal. For much of the past year, I have been reading all the novels of John Steinbeck and came across a remarkable line from his last novel The Winter of Our Discontent that seemed to cry out for a poetic response. So here’s my poem.
AN ENDLESS AFTERNOON OF NOW
It wouldn’t be bad to be that way, suspended in time—not bad at all, an endless afternoon of now.
~John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
To enter you must first
choose a now—sitting
on a bench with your
first love and the touch
of her knee against yours
or the way you watched
him through the window
as the train pulled slowly
away from the station—
think of Hopper’s
naked to the dunes,
a cigarette dangling
from her fingers,
and you get the idea.
Make it something for
the ages, something
that looks good on the wall.
First published in Tipton Poetry Journal Issue #33 (see page 30)