Posts Tagged ‘dining poetry’

Dining Out All Over The World

In Comfort Food, cooking poetry, Dining Out, dining poetry, food magazine, food photos, Food Poetry, John Ronan on March 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm


‘Coffee Club R’, food and libations- this photo was taken while our managing editor was traveling in Asia, Geonju, Korea


Extinction’s Menu

Not to drink but drown, not just any brandy,
but Armagnac, the ortolan finds itself mid-ritual
even a bird-brain would know enough not to choose.

The millet and darkness it did not mind so much,
with all the cues confused, need reveals itself
as possessive, desirous, a lover feeling the feed of fill.

And then you, illegal feaster, hidden behind your napkin,
so that not the slightest sweet corrupt wisp may escape,
so God cannot see your keen-focused, gluttonous sin.

Or because there’s mess in an ounce of crunchy death,
a whole bird in your mouth, you cat with a canary,
your mouth a mine of decadence that would argue

tradition if it were not so extraordinarily full with magic,
sizzled sweet fat, essence of hazelnuts, snap
of roasted bones, the sense you’ve cheated death by being it.

Controlled Designation of Origin

Delight that food is an atlas of our days.
This meal, that spot, such perfections.
Position is nine-tenths of the law – ask
the French, clinging tight to cognac
and champagne, the rest of the world
left with but brandy, simply sparkling wine.
And the Italians, every region with its hams,
Prosciutto di Parma, San Daniele, Modena,
distinctions fine as a charcuterie slice. Still
they shout “Here!” in a language we taste
with our tongues, travel easy as a swallow,
mapping the world morsel by morsel.

George Yatchisin has had poems in numerous publications including Alimentum, Antioch Review, Boston Review, and Quarterly West. He writes about food, wine, and cocktails for The Santa Barbara Independent, Edible Santa Barbara, and the KCET Food Blog.



Sandy says a centurion worked
this farm, fundus, booty-bought
after Actium. And Michelangelo
when the Buonarroti’s owned it.
Sandy, and the two boys no longer
boys, our friends Mitch and Kate.
The chianti grown and aged on site
by Signor Buondonno, whose vines
climb the darkening hill, hedged
by fence from Bacchus-minded boars.
Mitchel says, ‘in veritas, wine.’
Lightning! By Jove, or Jupiter!
Big bocce of Tuscan thunder!
The farmhouse terrace, thatched
over, opens on groves of holly,
olive and cypress, wind-worried
shapes in the rain. We’re dry
for the time being. A cuckoo counts
to some impossible o’clock.

;first appeared in Notre Dame Review in 2002

John Ronan is a poet, playwright, movie producer, and journalist. He has received national honors for his poetry and was named a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow for 1999-2000.




‘Beer & Pizza’ by Jonas Winfrey: Jonas is a part-time photography who enjoys food on his travels. This is his first actual publication acceptance.


The Dinner Party

Blum walks to the kitchen, away from the wine and pot. A ghost glides alongside him. He sets the guests’ bowls in the sink and notes the success of his lentil soup. Brian is telling the table about his mother’s stroke. Blum runs the faucet, which drowns out the talk. Blum’s mom died last spring from an aneurysm. A lull at the table signals time for the shrimp. Blum returns. He sees a grim scene. Brian’s head is hanging. Upon his plate, blood droplets begin to pool. The guests appear paralyzed. A slight movement at Blum’s side, the ghost of Joyce Blum enters bearing a platter of skewered shrimp. Blum divides the shrimp. For Brian’s sake he did not serve meat tonight.

Mysticism and Meat

Ideally, you are devoured in your prime by medicine men and not as junk-meat for the communal pot. With the breakdown of tissue, the cells issue a mortal cry. Around the Cook’s Bible chimes a chorus of sous chefs. The page emits a campfire glow from which a cannibal emerges. What’s missing? Pretty soon, your arms and legs—seared and smoked until dripping from bone. In the aftermath of prayer, when chords rise from the planet, you make the rounds of the soothsayer’s intestine.

The Hungry Python

All of life the python seeks to know. He slips through the flea-market with a clinging stomach, catching in his glittery eye items from the old world: sheet-music, tunic, ice-cream scoop, top hat. To touch these with quiet flicks of the tongue. At the sound of thunder, the merchants start to pack, placing wares hurriedly in boxes and covering these with plastic sheets.

Matthew Kirshman lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two daughters. He is a English teacher, and writing since the early 1980s, my publication credits include: *Altpoetics*, *Charter Oak Poets*, *Dirigible: Journal of Language Arts*, *Futures Trading*, *Helix*, *Indefinite Space*, *Key Satch(el)*, *Mad Hatters’ Review*, *Phoebe: The George Mason Review*,*posthumous papers* (NothingNew Press), *Vangarde Magazine*, *Xenarts*, *The Wayfarer*, *Wilderness House Literary Review*, and *Z-Composition*.



The night before he died he craved
for ice cream on a stick. He swore
he heard the bells outside, the truck
across the street—Could I sneak out
and buy a round for all of us? His treat!

There was no truck across the street,
no crisp bells crackling, but
the canteen in the basement did have
two dusty old machines
dispensing pops and cones and cups.

I filled the slots with coins.
At fifty cents a shot,
those two machines unleashed
more vital pain relief that night
than the steady drip of morphine
clouding father’s final scene.

“Ah, the loot,” he beamed, and drew
a shallow breath, and then another—
“I toast to the bitter and the sweet!”
He tore the wrapper off his treat
before he lost his breath completely:

I watched him eat—I watched him eat
like a kid on the sneak before dinner,
that night, as death took a brief back seat
to a chocolate-covered ice cream bar on a stick.

(This poem first appeared in a Canadian Medical Journal)


Tonight the baker holds
his lover between firm hands,
feels the heat from the day’s baking
rising back up through his finger tips.

Dennis J Bernstein is author, most recently, of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom, which received the 2012 Literary Achievement Award from Artist Embassy International. His poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly, Chimaera, Bat City Review, The Progressive, Texas Observer, ZYZZYVA, Red River Review, etc. Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, writes that Special Ed “…is art turned to us through the eyes of love.” Carol Smaldino says in The Huffington Post that the poems remind us how “…we are all connected to the sorrows as well as to the grandness of being human…”Bernstein taught writing and reading literacy in various prisons in New York City and New York State, for the CCNY/John Jay College and Mercy College.



‘Cup Runneth Over’ by Louie Clay (né Louie Crew): Clay’s photography has appeared in Annapuma Magazine,, The Living Church, Meadowland Review, Munyori Literary Journal, Rose Red Review, South Florida Arts Review, Souvenir: A Journal, Subliminal Interiors and The Taj Mahal Review. Editors have published 2,303 of his essays, poems and photographs. He is an emeritus professor at Rutgers.


Bread & Butter

green enameled stove burns bright
the rocker, moves back & forth nearby
through the lace curtain sunlight

my grandmother sits, bird’s eyes
twinkling, hands darn socks,
butter bread & make apple pie

she tells a tale of sister red fox
I listen and lick the butter
off fingers & bread, a music box

and mantle clock stutter
when she pauses, the fox is near
her fingers, socks & thread aflutter

I wait in companionable silence.

Short Breakfast Couplet

If you were a thin slice of bread,
And I were your soft comfy bed,

I’d let you toss your crusts & crumbs,
You’d be croutons when the time comes.

If you were slathered with jelly
or jam. And if I, your white bell —

I’d let your sticky fingers dance,
You’d be my marmalade romance.

If you were a brown slice of toast,
And I were your Kitchen Aid host,

I’d let your Danish Pastry cook,
You’d be my mouthful, my dear snook.

If you were a round Johnny cake,
And I were your frosted cornflake.

I’d let you backstroke in the milk,
You’d be my swimming pool of silk.

If you were my cup of sweet tea,
And I were a silver cat flea,

I’d let you scratch that itch all night,
You’d be my dear sweetness and light.

If you were the carmel toffee,
And I were a cup of coffee,

I’d let you melt in my hot cup,
You’d deliquesce so, giving up.

DiTa Ondek is an artist and poet & has been published in the “Goose River
Anthology”, “Jump Lines,” The Loft Anthology-“Lay Bare the Canvas” and upcoming anthology “The Taste of Ink.” Her poetic aesthetic is whimsical yet controlled. DiTa is currently working on a series of cupcake paintings that reflect her poetic whimsy and prismatic view of nature.


7 - Breakfast

‘Indian Breakfast’ by Braja Sorensen

is originally from Australia, but has spent most of her adult life living and working in India, London, the United States, and New Zealand. She now lives in the village of Mayapur, on the banks of the Ganges in West Bengal. Her poetry has won awards and has been published in Great Britain and Australia. She writes for several publications internationally, but is still waiting for Vogue to see the light and give her a damned column. Lost & Found in India is her first mainstream publication.



His Mediterranean ego with its full head of black hair
May reign behind the counter
While the balding skull of the proprietor in paunch and pity
Furtively smokes English Ovals in the dirty kitchen.
Tony’s Parmesan Palace spoiled several months ago
But not before his cousin Vito and brother Marco blooded unpaid family hours
Ragging the walls to that texture and tone
And painted a mural of the pines of Rome
Worthy of an Etruscan tomb,
Unpaid except for a glass or two of Chianti and the birthing of a grudge
Destined to ferment for the next ten years of birthday parties and funerals.
Tony put a few lira into the kitchen
Yet even with his tasty chicken cacciatore and pesto
The sheriff took the cannelloni
Left him with the tax warrants.
His told you so wife Gina after waiting tables and mopping floors and suffering the marinara stains from the red and white checked table cloths
Did not enjoy so much of his pasta and biscotti
That she could not
Drink a glass of Lacryma Christi farewell and leave him for Guido.
The dot (not feather) Indian who owns the building with all the improvements
Was almost able to turn key to the Greek with hardly a lost day’s rent.
Three months after the grand opening
The first dollar autographed by all the cousins
And parishioners at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church still hangs on the wall
His stained apron hides from the plumber
For no matter how good the gyros or bitter the retsina
Or full the figure of his surly teenager daughter’s waitressing
He is on the wrong side of the arterial.

Tyson West lives and writes in Eastern Washington State in the foot hills to the Bitterroot Mountains.  He has published Haiku, free verse and form verse in various on line and print periodicals and anthologies as well as  horror and steampunk fiction. His collection of poetry Home-Canned Forbidden Fruit is available from Gribble Press.


Boiled Pizza

Boiled pizza? That’s outrageous
Double boiled even worse
Better hope it’s not contagious
Good thing that my wife’s a nurse

Boiled pizza has no virtue
Boiled pizza has no vice
That’s absurd because a virtue
is providing food for mice

Maybe it could use some chicken,
pepperoni, cheddar cheese
Bet you that your pulse would quicken
if you added stir-fried fleas

Never eat it’s my position
Here I stand no ifs or buts
More than just an imposition
I don’t think I have the guts

Just the concept makes me queasy
Boiled pizza? Yucky poo!
Who must eat it? That’s so easy
My unbiased choice is you

Martin Cohen is a retired computer programmer who loves dancing (favorites are West Coast Swing, Waltz, Foxtrot, and Salsa), writing (but not revising) poems, and solving math problems. He has other works published in Danse Macabre du Jour, Bleeding Ink Anthology; Penduline Press, Napalm and Novocain, High Coupe, and “Recession Depression and Economic Reflection”.

(Click on above photographs to enlarge and enjoy)

Next issue of Annapurna is our first print anthology, Clarify. Deadline is now closed and was posted open call since October 2013. We will open up submission again in October 2014 for our 2015 issue. See ‘Submission guidelines’ for our June theme.


December 17th, Cold Food Moon

In Comfort Food, cooking poetry, dining poetry, food magazine, food photos, Food Poetry, french toast, fried eggs on December 19, 2013 at 10:36 am

2 - Cook

‘Cook in India’

Braja Sorensen is originally from Australia, but has spent most of her adult life living and working in India, London, the United States, and New Zealand. She now lives in the village of Mayapur, on the banks of the Ganges in West Bengal. Her poetry has won awards and has been published in Great Britain and Australia. She writes for several publications internationally, but is still waiting for Vogue to see the light and give her a damned column. Lost & Found in India is her first mainstream publication. (her photos- ‘Cook In India’, above, and ‘Annapurna’, below)



birthday cake icing aunt passes over tongue

Hema Ravi has had a stint in the Central Government, India- then as a school teacher. Currently, she freelances as English Language Trainer. Her write ups have won prizes in Femina, Khaleej Times (Dubai) and International Indian, Viewpoints been published in The Hindu’s Voice Your Views. Prize winner (Contest- August 2010) in, Prize Winner in Metverse Muse “Best Fixed Form Poets of the year 2011”. Has published in Metverse Muse, Poetry World, Contemporary Literary Review Online and Print Edition, The Poetic Bliss, Roots and Wings (An Anthology of Indian Women Writing in English), The Fancy Realm, The Enchanted World, Matruvani and Holistic Mediscan. She is among the top poets at, has posted verses in,,, Sketchbook, four and twenty poetry, a hundred gourds and more……. She is a member of the Chennai Poets Circle.


Chill Curing

Buckwheat Seed farming period planting period
Planting Cycle harvest Standards


Cold season growth planting yields
Wheat Rye, triticale, oats, barley spelt battlefields


Cooler Highlands
Erosion lands in optimal enchants.

Jennifer Warren, graduate of Brandeis University writes relating to environmental law and the ecosystem in the mountains of Pennsylvania.



‘Cup Runneth Over’

Louie Clay (né Louie Crew): Clay’s photography has appeared in Annapuma Magazine,, The Living Church, Meadowland Review, Munyori Literary Journal, Rose Red Review, South Florida Arts Review, Souvenir: A Journal, Subliminal Interiors and The Taj Mahal Review. Editors have published 2,303 of his essays, poems and photographs. He is an emeritus professor at Rutgers.


Weeping in Paradise

I give the sickness too much of a chance,
lost in lust, but moreso in lust’s ornaments.

It’s the culpa of the kalpa
that we are so fused by the guilt and history
scrawled on the proud bottles.

This feeble common ground—
a receded empire, a dying father,
a closed factory—makes some sense of me,

destroying my inside with liquor and cynicism,
while men and women, glowing slyly,
bed each other in the spring of the time.

I drink bourbon until I sweat. And as if
every fuck was already written in heaven,
I don’t move or look for a long time.

For a person with the real sickness,
winning and losing become immaterial.
Staying in the game is what counts.

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including *The Last Bad Job*, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay *Refreshment – A Tragedy*, was named a semi-finalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than ninety publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.


A Courtship of Recipes

She smiled demurely
and said she could seduce me
with her Blueberry Blintzes
stuffed with Ricotta,
and then she blushed.

I didn’t want to seem impetuous
and countered I could match that
with a Tuscan Bean Soup and Crusty Bread.

She went cold and offered a salad
of Pan Seared Scallops in Arugula,
with a Sesame Wine Vinaigrette
I could see there was no stopping
this culinary courtesan.

Not to be outdone, I came back big
with a Northern Chinese Orange Beef
stir-fried with mixed Spring Greens
Baby Bok Choy and a Sweet Red Chili Sauce.

I don’t know what was with her
but she went all oceanic on me
presented me with a filleted baked Salmon
on Risotto with Pesto Sauce embraced
by a miniature Fruits de Mer garnish
I could not believe this demon siren.

That was my limit. I went all out hot
with a Chicken Vindaloo and Marathi Aloo
all on a delicately saffronated Pilaf
of white Basmati with Almond shavings.
Two starches, sure, but extraordinary times
call for heroic cookery.

That stopped her.
But one day later she came back
and gave me a chocolate chip cookie
the best I ever tasted,
and not having the patience
of an of an ox or even a flea
I kissed her, actually kissed her.


Is there a god
of mushrooms and toadstools,
and small squirmy things?
Is there a separate one
for lucky ants that survive
under the recess of your sneaker tread
after you’ve stepped on them?
Is there really a special god
for young moon-eyed lovers,
and a separate one for the starry-eyed?
How about a separate one
for toiling accountants
poring into the late night
over books and records,
pining for a tropical vacation?
What about 34th St. & Herald Square,
a special one solely for that piece
of real estate?
Maybe there’s just one for parking
who smiles beneficently
and opens up a spot for your car
right when you’re about to go nuts.
Are there separate ones for each lottery?
Is there a college for gods
where they all go to become good
and great, and learned?
What about a god just for crisp seeded rolls?
If so, he’d be my favorite
and, hopefully, could also change
into a woman every other Thursday night,
gods being what they are.

Gene Goldfarb began writing a long time ago, gave most of it up to be a judge for over 30 years, and has returned to it. Recently, his poems have appeared in Cliterature, Empty Sink, andRiver & South Review.


044 copy


There’s a land just below the paradise,
Of intricate traits ; it’s sketch is imprecise.
A lady seated there in a state, tranquil,
Looks exquisite, and smiles at her will.
The goddess of the grain–Annapurna, is her name,
To apportion the grain, seems to be her aim.
She carries a bowl in one of her hands,
And with a ladle in the other, she traverses other lands.

But today, somewhat, melancholy she seems,
Upon her distress, she sadly deems.
“The ladle doesn’t pour into the mouths of who need,
The bowl is emptied by the tyrants who lead”,
thinks she, “So much into nature’s lap I lay,
But all they snatch, in a heinous way.
To favor themselves, they have rules unfair,’
Which stifle true needs, without any care”.

The nature she knows, produces all pure,
But what becomes of it, she isn’t sure.
“In greed, the grain, they adulterate,
Without compunction to earn great”
realizes she,”Oh Its so ailing to see,
This distress, with none to consider my plea.
The grain which sustains life each day,
Is now also responsible for taking it away.”

Empty handed, then , she wanders in a street,
Where the affluent enjoy, and the poor ones weep.
For this oppression , who is to blame?
Who’s responsible for these deeds of shame?
Somewhere, there are choices, difficult to make,
Somewhere, but agony, of how to take.
What is to be out into the child’s hand?
They’ve emptied the bowls in both the lands!

Gurdeep Singh Published a poem in a magazine entitled “Srijan”, which can be found at, complete link:, and usually has published in school and college magazines. More of Gurdeep’s work can be found at,
link to my profile :


Birthday Cake Catastrophe

Thembi, from Bulawayo, was

a truly dedicated young lady.

They called it diabolic and shocking.

A grisly birthday cake made of her detached leg.

The cake artist spent several hours crafting that cake,

the leg was credible, with red tattoos dotted on a bloody board.

A banner adorned on the base screamed: ‘This is a special happy birthday.’

The invitees came in droves but upon catching sight of the ghastly cake they quickly

disappeared. Not even her boyfriend or close relatives wanted to have anything to do with

that cake, let alone eat it. Some of her relatives disowned her yet others just condemned her. She felt
like an unwanted outcast and cried hysterically for hours on end without anyone coming to comfort her.

Ndaba Sibanda is a former National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) nominee, Ndaba’s **poems, essays and short stories have been published in Africa , the UK and the US. His latest anthology, **The Dead Must Be Sobbing **was published in March 2013. Ndaba`s debut novel, Timebomb has been accepted for publication in the UK. He currently lives in Saudia Arabia.

(Click on photo images to enlarge, thank you.)

The Blood Moon Has Risen

In cooking poetry, dining poetry, food magazine, food photos, Food Poetry on October 18, 2013 at 4:27 am


 Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul- Dorthy Day

One of the most dramatic sights in the night sky—and inspiration for poets, artists, and lovers for millennia—full moons captivate us like nothing else.


Sometimes the meal must be simple; fresh, local, and healthy; it is the plate that courts our palate, the colors please the mind, before we indulge in its offering. -Michael Baca, Annapurna Art Editor



Mary, I found the fruit jar of pesto
At the bottom of my freezer
Not forgotten but not thought of
From 20 years ago
When we crept naked
From our sweat soaked August bed
To pluck basil leaves to blend pesto
On a whim
Had the neighbors looked out
Under the full cougar moon
They would have admired your star striped body
Still firm sixteen years my senior
Small breasts sagging ever so slightly
Great shape for your early 60’s
You invigorated your sterile sheets
And the sparse rooms of your pristine castle
With my captive chaos.
Your sister tells me
Of your stroke
Words have abandoned you like old lovers
Not that you had many of either to begin with
But you still swim laps at the YWCA
As precisely as you diced the garlic and basil
While I grated the romano that hot summer night
Cheese and nuts are not supposed to freeze well
But bad news thaws
My memory to find this last momento amori
Of our dalliance.
If I wait until your funeral
To thaw this pesto and baptize my bitter rye flat bread
My children may be discarding it after my own.

Tyson West is a is a traditional western poet whose aesthetic continually shape shifts. He watches the Northwest with veiled and hooded lynx eyes, broods among the conifers and quarrels with Coyote. He has a degree in history, but writes a variety of poetry styles, and has written a series of poems around Spokane Garry who is our local magical Indian.


Seeing Naked

pizza in my box infuriates me,
especially when I know I ordered it
dressed in mushrooms and pepperoni. Pieces
of various food groups strategically placed
to balance my meal. Instead,
bland expanse of cheese stares back,
a boring plane of white. My teeth are
hesitant to bite.

With Killer

pickles hiding
behind every shadow, my heart
burns for a spear. To slice
or not to slice? Such a question
is too loaded for a single piece. The buns
in front of me are average
at best, sedentary, stuck in stale postures
of enticement. Open sesame! I chant
in my mind. Nothing
happens. I toss a dash of salt over
my shoulder for luck before I move

A.J. Huffman has published five solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her sixth solo chapbook will be published in October by Writing Knights Press. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and the winner of the 2012 Promise of Light Haiku Contest. Her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.


Autumnal Equinox

She saunters in

Embracing acquaintances

With a snappy breeze

Tuning heads with blazing

Hair of falling fireworks

Vainly watching everyone drool

Over her caramelized skin,

Constantly swiveling

She-devil branches

Bearing her annual harvest

Of plump plum smooches

And cheeky apple blushes

All succumb to

Her tempting dinner

Of no remorse

As she tenderly

Prepares us for

A frosty future

Temporarily pilfered by

Her aloof nemesis

With the gelato eyes.

D. Janikowski-Krewel is a Midwestern writer of poetry and short fiction. She currently lives in the Milwaukee, WI area. Her work has appeared previously in Annapurna Magazine as well in Cowboy Poetry Press, Red Fez and Tuck Magazine. She can be found at “the lost beat” where she collaborates with her cousin and fiction writer, Tom Janikowski.

Cafe Bustelo

Today I acquired a canary-yellow can
Of what I have just learned is your coffee of choice.
Siempre fresco, puro y aromatico como ninguno
It informs me in white-on-red capital letters,
The version I can actually read on the opposite side
But somehow less compelling.
It’s designed for the espresso maker I don’t have
So I just scooped some into my no-frills drip coffeemaker
Immediately upon returning from the supermarket.
It’s so strong I had to dilute it with an unexpected level of milk
And, while I immediately appreciated the taste,
What I really adore is, naturally,
The way it makes transportation easier
To that perfect imaginary place
Where you and I are at the table late at night,
Drinking cup after cup from matching mugs
And having brilliant conversations
Until we are startled by the sun
breaking through the kitchen window.

Quinn Collard is a Smith College graduate living in Seattle. She has won NaNoWriMo five times, publishes three zines, and has library science ambitions. She loves typewriters, her cat, and They Might Be Giants. You can find her at


The Hunter

A winter’s tale, once told,
You said,
Had turned a heart and
Bleeding, searching,
Reaching for something
To ease the pain.
Were there only
Did you find the starry cold
Where brave Orion
Fought back the dawn?
Is it fair
To hunt
What you have tamed?
A question
People ask expecting
No answer. Answer no.
A falling star and
Orion is no more.

Brian Marshall divides his time between New Jersey and Merida, Mexico. He loves languages and the written word. Brian holds a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Spanish”.


The Last Autograph

I was on my way to the restroom in a 50’s-style diner, the chrome kind that looks like it’s about to spin off into outer space, the kind that makes “Marilyn Monroe” milkshakes and has a “Captain Kangaroo” kid’s menu, when I noticed a framed photocopy of a speeding ticket. The restaurant showcased wall-to-wall memorabilia: pictures of actors and actresses, ancient advertisements, calendars sporting classic cars, even a Buddy Holly vinyl. The ticket had been made out to James Dean, and below it was a caption that told how only a few hours after signing it he had rolled his Porsche while going around a sharp turn. That morning my stomach had been turning too, and I was out of my medication. Sitting in the stall, I compared my current situation to Elvis’ end, and managed a strained laugh when I realized that he had had the opposite problem with his prescription drugs. Above the sink there was a Cold War era black and white still of a mushroom cloud. I felt I could relate to that. I washed my hands and thought of Albert Einstein, the pacifist, and how he had signed the letter to President Roosevelt urging that the bomb be built. Back at my table I pictured James Dean on his reckless last ride, living. I thought of Buddy Holly and how he would’ve been bigger than The King. When the waitress came I ordered the “Atomic Chicken.” I told myself I could take it. Hell, I could take anything.

Derrick Paulson received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2011. His work has appeared in print and online in Canary, Disingenuous Twaddle, Orion Headless, 365 Tomorrows, The Gander Press Review, Lovechild, Red Weather, and elsewhere.


Calcutta Bites

The chubby, perfumed woman entered the restaurant and slid into the heavy wooden chair, sweeping her long, untied hair aside so she wouldn’t sit on it…

…the thick linen tablecloth, the shining glasses that sang crystal notes when tapped, the perfectly aligned cutlery: everything appeared to satisfy her. Her plump cheeks grew rounder as her red painted mouth squeezed itself into a smugly contented smile. The seams of her clothes squeezed and strained and bulged as she wiggled herself to comfort. Her kajal-lined eyes peered above black-framed specs and raked the room. Like a Bollywood movie set. She was the star in her own lunch hour. She could feel it…

Her friend arrived, towering above the table, big hands lifting the heavy chair too easily, the soft silk sari too delicate for the build, pale pink lipstick too pretty for the firm jaw, the haircut an over-zealous endeavor at femininity, the deep voice quietly alarming.

Long streams of Bengali flowed from them, interspersed with fragmented, random English, phrases not existing in their mother tongue. “Tara swami ye patha na bala ucita, this is only my opinion, na?” They waved oversized menus around as they spoke, their huge and obnoxious size lost on Pouty and She-man, who were huge and obnoxious in their own charming ways.

Plates of food arrived. Pouty picked at bones, pursed lips blowing at steaming rice, puffed air making hot clouds. Small round lips parted, small sharp teeth dragging at a long green chili. They both spat words and bones, parking the latter plate-side, unleashing the former between bites, most landing on the hapless waiter whose excessive and obsequious “yes, ma’ams” somehow deserved the slap.

Elegant drinks clashed with lusty mouths. Heavy gold bangles clashed with china. Cutlery clashed with teeth. War was declared.

Pouty & She-man ruled.


I sat and watched the core
of suffering humanity
feast upon life
ravishing each moment
like it were the last.

The whore illusion smiled back
the red slash of her mouth irresistible.
She gorged, but on the weakness of the willing
“Are you happy now?” she asked
indifferent to their bleating responses.

They sat back sated
wanting more
“No one is happy here,” she thought.

The relentless stuffing of the body
does not feed the soul…

Braja Sorensen is originally from Australia, but has spent most of her adult life living and working in India, London, the United States, and New Zealand. She now lives in the village of Mayapur, on the banks of the Ganges in West Bengal. Her poetry has won awards and has been published in Great Britain and Australia. She writes for several publications internationally, but is still waiting for Vogue to see the light and give her a damned column. Lost & Found in India is her first mainstream publication.


Dinner at Manresa

Our table awaited us, lit with droplets of phosphorescent seawater,
each napkin wrapped, tucked and tied with stems of Neolithic rye.

We began with a salad of sea vegetables harvested by unmarried mermen
and wedges of cheese from cows fed white flowers in moonlight.

A few hours later our waiter brought the voice of the west wind
caught in hinged bamboo boxes, then a bonsai forest sculpted from

iced asparagus, arranged in terrariums, and drizzled with dewberry sauce,
followed by dark brown breasts of Muscovy duck trimmed in silver feathers

and dappled with salted foam – our knives touched – too much?
My fork tapped the slope of a miniature mountain amended

with live mushrooms, nestled on a plate of scented grasses,
undulating in the warm breeze. For dessert, the view from 30,000 feet

rendered in clouds of meringue, and a small box to open later which
we held in our interlaced fingers like the promise we made all those years ago.

Erica Goss is the Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA. She won the 2011 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Contest. Her chapbook, Wild Place, was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press. Recent work appears in Up the Staircase, Bohemian Journal, Hotel Amerika, Passager, Rattle, Eclectica, Blood Lotus, Café Review, Comstock Review, and Lake Effect. She was nominated for a Pushcart in 2010. Erica is a columnist for Connotation Press. Please visit her website:

The First Day of Spring is March 20th

In Food Poetry, french toast on March 19, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Promises and pie crust are made to be broken. – Johnathon Swift


The Vernal Equinox

Ah, spring! This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna.

The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west.


The Cosmic Law Of French Toast

The cosmic law of French toast
Highlights its warm & wondrous
Edifice with edible glee

Concocted here it is covered by
Only truth
So one’s hunger is incredibly
Made to discover why
It constantly
Craves it most

Likening the cosmic law of French toast
And the adventure drawn to it
With a sensitivity that stirs up thoughts…

…To hasten the myth

Overindulging one is fulfilled
From the syrup brought to taste it with

Far be it from me to not
Render myself helpless in
Extraordinary paradise
Never mind the
Consequence I find
Heaven in each perfect slice

Therein I melt as
One does in this that I desire
And I am stricken by delight putting my whole
Self in the fire
To thicken the plot

As I give up the ghost
I am quickened a lot
By the cosmic law of French toast

Tony Haynes is a practitioner of Acrostic Poetry As an author, Tony has co-written a book with Karyn White called “Carpe Diem, Thoughts & Affirmations To Seize The Day.” He is also the author of “SpiritChili, Recipes For Life.” With SpiritChili, Haynes uses acrostic poetry as his tool to deliver an additional insight within each body of work. He offers a more scenic trip down the road towards enlightenment. SpiritChili is a thick, rich, warm & spicy stew created to feed you spiritually.

Before Tony realized he had this rare talent, he was a songwriter, music publisher, record producer & author. As a songwriter/music publisher, Tony has accomplished a great deal. “Send A Little Love,” – his first song, was recorded by the Spinners in 1981. Since then, Tony’s songs have been recorded on over 200 albums, selling in excess of 70 million copies worldwide. These songs have earned him 60 gold and multi-platinum awards, as well as several ASCAP Awards.


Fried Eggs: An Indian Food

I can tell
when an egg breaks over sizzling pork fat
From here to (the ancient fried-egg capital of) Machu picchu,
So grant me the one with twin yolks.

Oozy in beds of orange cream, not gone too dry,
a moat of wet
translucence still
quivering around it, soft fluffy white;
the crackling rust bottom.

Make mine with salt and chilli flakes,
crumbs of cheese that melt on top,
crispy shreds lacing the base.
On rice, fried, roti that drips butter,
or bread if it’s sour, hollow—
hard crust and porous soul.

Don’t waste the deep brown grease in your pan;
Don’t mind if I turn my back to you when I eat;
It means I won’t share,
and that you can’t see me
Lick my plate
clean with my thumb.

Sonali Raj lives in Delhi, India. She is an M.F.A. student at the low-res program at City University, Hong Kong.


The chocolate bear

the chocolate bear
smudges notebooks
his empire arranged
in the spaces
between furniture

diminished by ants
he rules unsteadily
suspicious intrigues
of courtesans,
sugargum pears

The Tragedy of Vinaigrette

the blanched almond
cried salty tears
as he tumbled onto the salad

near a mandarin orange,
whose juices bled
on unfeeling lettuce-surface

Debby Regan lives in Huntsville, Alabama, US with her husband and two children. She has had poetry published on, Bolts of Silk, and in the Sigma Tau Delta’s Southern Gazette.


Harvesting Goji Berries

Pluck one off the vine,
but dare damage.

Such delicacy needs coaxing.

With wind as if from pursed lips, or an in-person
journey to its dance floor of branches.

To shake and shimmy a request.

Hereby win a basket of the happiest berries,
each laughing from a petite core,

Dusky pink marquis diamonds,

With tastes of tea, tomato and raw almond,
or perhaps of what lingers just after

A kiss with a stranger.

You smile, stay balanced, gojis loosen and fall.
How many others have done themselves in

For something so small.

Cynthia Gallaher is a Chicago-based poet and writer, is author of three full poetry collections and two chapbooks and is a writing workshop leader. She is on the Chicago Public Library’s list of “Top Ten Requested Chicago Poets” and named one of “100 Women Making a Difference” by *Today’s Chicago Woman* Magazine. The poem “Harvesting Goji Berries” is from her poetry manuscript, “Botanical Bandwidth: Poems About Food, Herbs and Spices.



the a.m. grill cook tells you over
coffee. You think she’s cracked
too many egg shells, numbed
by the morning scramble of orders
and asides exchanged between
waitresses and men who leave
big tips and take phone numbers.

Her Zolofted eyes are saucers
some spoons might flirt with.
As you fork a stack of flapjacks
she explains her husband
ran away with the Avon lady
who wore pancake, blush,
and kissed bloody
as Cleopatra.

“I am a laughingstock.”
She laughs for emphasis.
Her husband got his come-
uppance when the lady turned
out to be a drag queen,
a misogynist in a mini skirt, bent
on destruction of the gentler sex
through bad taste.

“I hear their whispers,”
the cook whispers to you.
You worry about her
plans for retaliation
as she crushes the head
of a Pall-Mall on the face of the table.
Dipping her thumb in the ashes
she marks your forehead
anointing you, a convert,
and into your hands
she commends her spirit
saying, “I am forgotten
like the unremembered

Donna R Kevic from Weston, WV., and has a MFA from National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Bijou Poetry Review, Naugatuck River Review, Prime Number, and Third Wednesday. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published
by Main Street Rag. Recent short story publications include Colere and the anthology, Seeking the Swan. Two plays, The Interview and BOOBS received readings in Chicago and New York, respectively.


Louis Marvin


O Baby

Bakery cake from Lovejoy isn’t all that. Though, the other girl down here half-time said it reminds her of her mother. We have a lot in common, she and I.

When I lived on Oak I baked figs in honey. Bees settled in.

The note you sent said it was all over-determined. Was it the nymphs or the satyr who got me dancing snake-bitten? Either way I see in your hand it’s my fault.
This bitch goddess from Ephesus came to check in, her heart chthonic. She met you once, she said, at that bar, Tartarus. What a pit. But, you charmed her, lovely.

You grew up with nine women pressing egg rolls into your fevered hands, singing you to sleep, giving you oil footbaths, taking you to shows with happy endings. No wonder we never made it through our wedding day.

You hide behind that lyre, don’t you? Your x-actoed rib cage is always the same blood twice. Flashy evisceration means nothing down here.

It’s not so brave really, trying to spring me with a store-bought cake and a song from Swingtime. If you loved me you’d rest here, not just drop in with a red and white twined pastry box. Being afraid of death is cowardly, no matter what the lyrics say. Being afraid of death is being afraid of me because I wasn’t coming with you anyhow.

Michelle Auerbach’s work has been published in Van Gogh’s Ear, Bombay Gin <> , Xcp <> , Chelsea, and The Denver Quarterly, and anthologized in The Veil UC Berkley Press, Uncontained Baksun Books, and You. An Anthology of Essays in the Second Person from Welcome Table Press. She is the winner of the 2011 Northern Colorado Fiction Prize and has a book of poetry forthcoming from Durga Press.


The Luncheon

Excerpt from Lily’s Odyssey, a novel, published with permission by All Things That Matter Press; its first chapter a Short List Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award for Best New Writing

At the funeral luncheon, relatives I’d never seen before told me they didn’t know whom I resembled. When I was small, I thought a couple I liked down the road were my real parents and made up stories that never failed to bring tears why they had to give me up. When I sat down, one of the rubber tips on the legs of my folding chair was missing: the sensation of being off balance continued when I got up.
I avoided looking in the direction of Rachel and JD. JD, whom she married after Cal died, was what people called respectable looking—a stocky man in checked vests who looked at people with such steady eyes that they were impressed with his sincerity. But the next time they saw him, they realized his eyes looked the same whether he was shaking hands (he did that a lot) or when they passed him on the street. Rachel and JD were taking turns pushing Mark and Becky’s baby, Sue Ann, in her stroller.
What was the name of that weave of the baby’s blanket? I’d learned about weaves in Miss Dixon’s high school home ec class. Herringbone, that’s what it was: woof, warp–I’d always liked those names. Miss Dixon had also taught how to present attractive meals that had contrasting color, hot and cold items with various textures. Meals like hot chicken, hot red harvest beets, cold iceberg salad with carrot curls and radish roses, just baked whole-wheat bread, room temperature daisy-mold butter buds, iced tea with a lemon slice perched on the rim of a frosted glass. Matching freshly ironed tablecloth/napkins, an appropriate centerpiece. And always to shower, apply deodorant (we got samples of Mum), and select attractive fresh clothing from a closet scented with oranges poked with cloves, and finish with a powder puff and lipstick. When your husband arrived to a clean house and clean kids, you smiled when you greeted him at the door, hung up his coat, offered him a drink and an array of tempting appetizers. You asked him about his day. If asked about your day, you only mentioned pleasant things.
I made as many trips as I dared to the restroom without causing comment. Once inside the unheated cement block room, when I opened and shut my mouth to relieve my clenched jaw my breath came out like smoke signals–sometimes I could make the string to the bare light bulb sway. Each visit I saw a crack in the ceiling I hadn’t counted before. Some natural light (and snow) came through a small window dotted with snow; as a child I made dots of snow on windows into dot-to-dot pictures.
When complaints reached his ears about the cold restrooms, Aunt Heidi related that Father Couillard (the priest before Father Mulcahy) had said: “Enjoy the cold while you can, my friends. Where many of you are headed will be plenty hot.” She laughed about it but Aunt Hester had frowned on laughing about God’s representatives on earth. Father Couillard’s stomach had hung over his belt like bread dough reaching the edge of a pan, and I always wanted to pick it with a fork to see if it would make a wheezing sound before collapsing. I had a dream about going to see Father Couillard and screaming at him when he started in about the love and wisdom of God.
The ground was frozen so burial would be in the spring. I pictured a man with a shovel determining the cut-off date digging near the graves of my mother and father. When I went with Aunt Hester and Uncle Walt to my parents graves as a child, Uncle Walt would always sob. A kneeling angel with wings over its face held a scroll: “In Memory of My Beloved Brother and Wife. Erected 1942 by Walter Augustus Walter.” The angel’s wings were the first to crumble and each year the angel increasingly resembled an aging boxer. I’d liked the chunky Dutch wooden windmills painted yellow and blue on graves because they had a human look.
I mostly avoided the cemetery because I didn’t like seeing dying plants or the dying grass from newly dug graves—and the awful silence. And when the headstones were deep in snow, finality seemed to shout in the silence, and I’d flee their graves mumbling apologies, terrified they might’ve been buried alive.

Carol Smallwood
co-edited Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching (McFarland, 2012) on the list of “Best Books for Writers” by Poets & Writers Magazine; Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing (Key Publishing House, 2012); Compartments: Poems on Nature, Femininity, and Other Realms (Anaphora Literary Press, 2011) received a Pushcart nomination. Carol has founded, supports humane societies.