Menpoems, for National Poetry Month
by Esther Cohen, Oded Halahmy, Dania Rajendra, Miriam Halahmy, Tony Fallon, Dean Lavin, Margaret Waldhelm, Lois Vendon, and Linda Larson
If poets wrote menus, we would never ever have to endure cold crispy salads. Here are some for this year.
What’s on the menu today
by Esther Cohen
R months no longer matter
not in the usual circle
Montauk on top
eclectic artichokes they
peel in not out
can you imagine that
impossible to have
without chocolate. Dark,
if dark is possible.
The wine list won’t say
wine list. What You Could
Drink If You Are Lucky Today.
As for Main Course Main Event
What’s smack in the middle
Inconceivable Surprising Unexpected
Let us just give you something you don’t know
Gracefully followed by
perfect menu endings.
Nothing better than dessert.
|Esther Cohen is Alimentum’s menupoem editor. For more about Esther: EstherCohen.com.|
by Oded Halahmy
A rose is a rose
I gave her pomegranates
She gave me vegetables
I picked a leaf off her body
I felt loved
by Oded Halahmy
Born in Baghdad
I do not have a flag
Since I am wandering
Jerusalem always on my mind
I stand for pomegranate
That became my flag
This is a love flag
This is it
by Oded Halahmy
Never fall from heaven
In the stars
|Oded Halahmy was born in Baghdad, Iraq and lives in Jaffa, Israel and New York City. He's a sculptor who has exhibited around the world. He runs the Pomegranate Gallery in New York City, a non-profit center for artisitic work from Iraq and the Middle East. Ten years ago, he began to write poems in Hebrew, English and Arabic.|
New Year's Instructions
by Dania Rajendra
To deseed a pomegranate with-
out making a bloody mess,
Hold one half in a deep dish
Of cool water set in the sink.
Use both hands. Under water
Begin to bend and twist.
The connective tissues
Release the arils.
It helps, submerging the pith.
Cold water holds
Bright red evidence.
Drain the resistance
|In her Brooklyn apartment, Dania Rajendra Rajendra crafts social justice strategy by day and dinner, dessert, and the occasional literary offering in the eight hours for what we will.|
by Miriam Halahmy
Like Mandela casting his vote, I smile
And peel Cape stickers from green apples,
Reel back years of vigil, marches,
Taking my small son to sign.
He knows now why I said
At street stalls, in supermarkets, not those, or those,
Why it was never just an apple.
|Miriam Halahmy has published novels, short stories and poetry for adults and young people. She’s been a Londoner all her life.|
From Menupoem Class
This year’s class at the Cairo Public Library wrote some poems with Alimentum. They all live in Greene County now, but they come from everywhere else. This year their menupoems will be distributed to the town through the library.
Cairo Public Library, Cairo, New York
by Tony Fallon
Today I've come to this diner. I do not know it's name,
I'm such a fussy eater, I don't know why I came.
I have so many allergies, I sound like I'm whining,
But I'm a fairly good tipper, when I enjoy my dining
I'm conscious of my fine figure, conscious of my weight,
So I don't want fattening things, like butter on my plate.
And don't think you'll load me up, on white Italian bread,
I only want whole wheat, or grainy stuff instead.
When you place my salad order, you must be stressing,
That it's going back to him, if he uses any kind of dressing
Don't put onions or beans in my soup, I have a fancy date,
And don't serve me cabbage or garlic, they make me flatulate.
Don't mention any beef dishes to me, that's not tony fallonish,
Pork and chicken are ok, and swimming kinds of fish.
There's one thing I won't eat in a diner, I have to be frank,
Those orange colored things with claws, you keep in a tank.
For the main course, well cooked chicken legs and thighs
A good selection of vegetables, and plenty of home fries.
Baked are just as good when it comes to the potatoes,
Don't make me sick, by bringing green fried tomatoes.
For liquid no soda, or wine, just a cup of Lipton tea,
And I don't want heavy cream, just a little milk, fat free.
But I have one weakness, you'll find out before I depart,
I may take three or four helpings from the dessert cart.
And when I'm paying up, I always check the final amount,
And since I'm over 70, I want a Senior Citizen discount.
by Dean Lavin
Stopping to taste
It all. I’ll start with Harry’s Happy Eggs
Add a touch of secret spice
Make a shadetree organic
Fair trade cappuccino with coconut sugar
As many slices of sour dough walnut bread
With Irish butter as much
As possible stopping
To taste it all.
by Margaret Waldhelm
The menu is not complete
Pasta fagiole with garlic bread
And crème brulee. I can cook the pasta
Make the bread, but only my son
A chef he can make
Crème brulee to die for.
But wait where’s the salad
And the greens I promised myself
I’d eat? Should I have them first?
My menu is not complete.
by Lois Vendon
Sour crem flaked
Broccoli with cheese
Dinner to please.
by Linda Larson
So many calories
No reason why