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Unread 12-05-2021, 06:37 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3,524
Default Foodfest


Bring forth your menu of culinary poetry. Fill us with your gustatory fantasies. Freshtival ain't got nothin on Foodfest : )

There is not a chance in heaven or hell that this is anywhere near finished, but I'll start things off with this:

White Clam Pizza Dreaming

In New Haven, Connecticut there is a pizzeria that makes the best white clam pizza in the world. I have proof.

Being there, tucked inside the dark green
high-backed vinyl upholstered booth numbered “9”
time slowed to the sound of banter commingling
with the smell of garlic and a coal-fired oven.
Heaven filled the air. I would ensconce myself in it...

...Today my kitchen invokes the ethereal memory
and heaven calls to me. I have everything
I need to create the gustatorial alchemy:
Fresh ball of dough, alive, rising
stretched out to skin with a rim of chub
Chopped canned clams
Anchovies and capers
Parmesan Reggiano
Olive oil infused with garlic
Pepper pepper pepper salt.

Hot stone slab radiating
in a 500-degree oven.
My age-charred peel slips the offering in.
The vigil begins. Hope and dreams
have ferocious appetites when combined.
Alexa says it's done.
I peel it out and place it on brown paper,
dissecting the imperfect circle
into imperfect triangles.
Steam escapes, rises.
Heaven arrives in threes.

...But you can do better than that : ) Pull up a chair. Dig in.


Last edited by Jim Moonan; 12-05-2021 at 08:04 AM.
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Unread 12-05-2021, 11:10 AM
RCL's Avatar
RCL RCL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,305

Thanks, Jim. Your clam sauce version is a winner. I usually prefer a Sicilian slice and diet coke.

Off the bone pile:

Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Genesis 1:26

Of God and Eggs

Defeating darkness, an egg’s my paragon,
capable of hatching life again

when bearing from God’s essence seed and ovum,
passed on in progeny of Eve and Adam.

So, when pondering eggs in life or art,
I know that death’s as certain as life’s start,

but grimly smile, since as God’s clone I beg
for grace, bedeviled as a scrambled egg.

Last edited by RCL; 12-05-2021 at 01:39 PM.
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Unread 12-05-2021, 11:22 AM
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RCL RCL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,305

Omegas & Alphas

raw & cooked
soft & hard

whole & scrambled
pure & deviled

shirred & coddled
poached & painted

in rebirth baskets
& natal nogs

on our faces
& in our noodles—

eggs are words
& words are eggs

first & last
last & first

from Sonnet Stanzas & Ghost Trees

Last edited by RCL; 12-05-2021 at 11:28 AM.
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Unread 12-05-2021, 05:22 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3,524

These are great Ralph. Especially Omegas & Alphas. Next up: Chicken

I used to juggle eggs. Badly. Intentionally. Successfully.

I taught a creative writing class to kids and each week gave them a plastic egg with a word to break open and play with. The next class we took the words and put them into a sentence or two. (They were allowed to add words.).

I'll come up with something to add to this foodfest menu at breakfast tomorrow morning.

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Unread 12-05-2021, 11:09 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Plum Island, MA; Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 10,963

Here's and old one that I actually looked up and used (I forgot the roasting temperature) when doing this year's Thanksgiving dinner.

A Starter

You take your brussels sprouts
and rub their little snouts
in olive oil and sel de mer.
Then bake at four-five-oh
for half an hour or so –
add some goat cheese, and you’re there.

Last edited by Michael Cantor; 12-06-2021 at 12:22 AM.
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Unread 12-05-2021, 11:28 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Plum Island, MA; Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 10,963

Another semi-oldie. This (with a shorter "glossary") was in my 2019 collection, Furusato.

The Love of Sushi Sue

I lived near Tokyo’s Hama-Zushi bar
those years I was a seafood sybarite –
would start off there with monkfish caviar
and sweet live shrimp, to set the appetite –
then grab a cab to narrow streets where night
melts into dawn, to hunt for something more.
I’d often wander home about first light
to meet Old Hama, sweeping out the store.
He’d eye the girls I hustled past his door,
but knew my true love was an artful blow
fish broth, or chunks of fatty tuna, raw,
caressed with strands of gleaming herring roe.
Good food was all I worshipped and revered
and women, though amusing, interfered.

In time, the real-life girlfriends disappeared,
replaced by fantasies of Sushi Sue
who, naked as a salmon, commandeered
my reveries - slim sushi ingenue
enshrined behind Old Hama’s bleached bamboo.
She worked like nude quicksilver, with a blade
in each small hand - Hama’s fish swam through
her fingers and in seconds were fileted -
embraced by rice and seaweed, and arrayed
with fat carp’s heads and pouting silver bream,
sea urchin eggs, fresh squid and trout - displayed
as backdrop for my slick, wet ocean dream.
But Sue repelled me when I cupped her breast:
“A sushi girl cannot make love to guest!”

Although all that was years ago, the quest
remains. My thoughts have never wandered far
from Hama’s pickled prawns with lemon zest,
the earthy taste of slow-baked arctic char -
or Sushi Sue’s small room behind the bar -
where I now nibble her hirame, coax
the sweetness from her uni, feel a star
in me explode as she adroitly strokes
my ana-kyu, and whispers private jokes.
At last, with sake sips and salty nips,
I polish off a banquet that evokes
a sigh - and mirugai - from parted lips.
“I’m glad that you like raw fish,” she will coo,
as I finally taste the love of Sushi Sue.


hirame: Halibut. Often served as a sashimi style first course, with a ponzu dipping sauce (lime juice, soy sauce and sake). Good hirame should be so fresh and sliced so thinly that you can see through it, and detect the pattern on a plate; and it is often ordered as a first course to enable a gourmet foodie to quickly evaluate the sushi shop.

uni: Sea urchin gonads.

ana-kyu: A conical, hand-made sushi specialty of rice, cucumber strips and ocean eel, rolled in seaweed and topped with a thick, sweet sauce. This is much more elegant than the tight “California roll” style popular in the States, and superb ana-kyu is regarded as one of the criteria of a fine, traditional sushi establishment. (Warning - it’s impossible to eat without having the impenetrable dark brown sauce drip through the bottom of the cone and down your arm; and ana-kyu devotees are distinguished by stains of honor on their wrists and forearms, not unlike the nicotine-drenched fingers of post-war French intellectuals.)

mirugai: A large clam. Analogous to a New England quahog.
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