Eating & Drinking

Wake Me in South Galway

Wake me in South Galway, or better yet
In Clare. You'll know the pub I have in mind.
Improvise a hearse — one of those decrepit
Postal vans would suit me down to the ground —
A rust-addled Renault, Kelly green with a splash
Of Oscar Wilde yellow stirred in to clash
With the dazzling perfect meadows and limestone
On the coast road from Kinvara down toward Ballyvaughan.

Self Help

A chicken soup for the rainbow lover’ s soul.
A chicken soup for the lover of chicken soup.
A carnage of birds, a devastation.
Chicken soup for the dried-up garden —
It’ s been a lousy summer sucking us dry.
Chicken soup for the grocery list.
Chicken soup for unwanted potatoes.
Chicken soup for extinct animals.


What’ ll it be?

Roast beef on rye, with tomato and mayo.

Whaddaya want on it?

A swipe of mayo.
Pepper but no salt.

You got it. Roast beef on rye.
You want lettuce on that?

No. Just tomato and mayo.

Tomato and mayo. You got it.
… Salt and pepper?

No salt, just a little pepper.

You got it. No salt.
You want tomato.

Yes. Tomato. No lettuce.

No lettuce. You got it.
… No salt, right?

Right. No salt.

You got it. Pickle?

No, no pickle. Just tomato and mayo.
And pepper.

I Flew into Denver April

I flew into Denver April.
Rock salt and sand peppered the asphalt
reflecting myself on a downtown street
where I’ d paused on my route to smell lilacs.
The wanton winds chortled wickedly
over remnant snows in gray clumps of doom
and my heart soared gladly at winter’ s death
but an hour later I had whiskey breath
at a dead end bar full of Indians.
A Winnebago woman waltzed with me
and told me how handsome I truly was
so I bought her drinks and felt her hips
and somewhere between the grinds

If I Laid Them End to End

That old guy with the muskrat soup
slurps it loudly from the ladle
Hoowah, pretty good stuff!
You shift your weight on the stool
raise the bad leg just enough
and retrieve the red bandana hankie.
Talk still spills like sunshine
over the knife-marred counter
as slowly you wipe the can
push the cloth back in your pocket
and cough down the grape pop
glancing at the bobbing black head
where it surfaced in the pot.

Rice pudding

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She’s crying with all her might and main,
And she won’t eat her dinner — rice pudding again —
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
I’ve promised her dolls and a daisy-chain,
And a book about animals — all in vain —
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She’s perfectly well, and she hasn’t a pain;
But, look at her, now she’s beginning again!
What is the matter with Mary Jane?