Each month a contemporary poet presents three poems and one personal essay in which food is consumed, passed over, or reckoned with. Gianmarc is our poet for December, 2013.
Summertime Blues II
The hour loads its one good bullet
and aims. Air conditioners resume
the gargled drone of clearing throats
to keep out the summer.
Thick with a whiff of approaching rain,
August coils inside me disguised as a memory.
Noon films my face
with the sweat I wiped away
at my prom date’s door,
concealing a chilled corsage
in a suit and scuffed shoes.
I am a boy then,
crashing my lips into hers
with the inelegant abandon of a first kiss.
Memory scents the screened-in porch
with smells of grease and grill fuel.
Only the neighbor’s spices know how
they reach me here
all the way from my boyhood
to reconstruct an obscure despair,
the stink of onion on my mother’s hands
the day she reached across the meal she made
to tear away the shot glass of Heineken
my father poured on a whim for me,
denying me, I thought, the one thing
any boy must do
to make a father love him.
Gianmarc Manzione received his MFA in creative writing at The New School in 2004. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. This Brevity, his debut collection of poetry, was published in paperback in 2006. Pin Action: Small-time Gangsters, High-stakes Gambling, and the Teenage Hustler who Became a Bowling Champion, is forthcoming from Pegasus Books in 2014.