Poetry – The Inquisitive Eater http://inquisitiveeater.com New School Food Mon, 21 Aug 2017 21:00:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 TIE Poet of the Month: ‘I Prefer To Be Amazed,’ by Sabrina Hayeem-Ladani http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/05/22/tie-poet-of-the-month-i-prefer-to-be-amazed-by-sabrina-hayeem-ladani/ Mon, 22 May 2017 16:00:43 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15664 after Wisława Szymborska

I prefer black tea.
I prefer the green olives.
I prefer depth to shoreline, the marshlands
to the safety of the riverbed.
I prefer noticing.
I prefer to bend the corner of the page.
I prefer to let the rice be.
I prefer to be curious.
I prefer to wash my vegetables.
I prefer the pop of my teeth
through the apple skin, to the smooth grain of its flesh.
I prefer Madrid to Barcelona.
I prefer wandering.
I prefer to breath.
I prefer to be spanked.
I prefer duende.
I prefer the dad who cooks breakfast
to the one who drinks.
I prefer not to trust my wiring.
I prefer to pin the tail on the donkey.
I prefer a soft mouth—to be kissed often, deeply.
I prefer heat.
I prefer the authenticity of your flaws
to the implausibility of perfection.
I prefer the palest flower of your heart to the red one.
I prefer the bullet in the gun
to sweet blood syrup.
I prefer the symmetry of placement
to the absurd chaos of the random.
I prefer to wait my turn.
I prefer to list the ways I am alone,
to accept this ripe truth.
I prefer to say less.
I prefer you.
I prefer never to regret
what I’ve had to do to survive.


Sabrina Hayeem-Ladani is a native New Yorker, poet, and multi-genre performer. Her work weaves poetry, dance, and song to explore themes of love, family, grief, and what it means to human. She has performed across the United States, as well as in Europe. Sabrina’s poems can be seen in various publications such as in the anthology So Much Things To Say: One Hundred Poems of Calabash (Akashic Books), and The Wide Shore, a journal of global women’s poetry. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

featured image via Alpha on Flickr. ]]>
‘Waffle House Love,’ by Donovan McAbee http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/05/16/waffle-house-love-by-donovan-mcabee/ Tue, 16 May 2017 16:00:29 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15634 Nothing’s open here at 2 a.m.
except the Waffle House on the edge of town.
Cigarette smoke wrapped in fried-egg-smell smacks me
in the face as I pull open the glass door.

I take a booth and order sweet ice tea.
Maybe that’s her getting out of that blue Mustang
with a cherub’s smile and a short black skirt,
but no, there’s someone else with her.

It’s twenty past, but I guess I’ll stay.
We’ll laugh one day when we tell our kids
that we met in the middle of the night
at a Waffle House next to the interstate.

In the Tru-Luv chatroom, I just knew that MegHam1986
was the girl for me, the way you know the earth
is round, that Jesus saves, and that two-dollar bills
will one day be worth more than two dollars, so you keep them.


Donovan McAbee’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Five Points, Tar River Poetry, The Christian Century, and a variety of other journals. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and newborn son and works as Associate Professor of Religion and the Arts at Belmont University. You can also find more of Donovan at http://donovanmcabee.com/

featured image via Eater.

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TIE Poet of the Month: ‘Upon Telling My Sister I Fell Between the Train and the Platform’, by Sabrina Hayeem-Ladani http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/05/10/tie-poet-of-the-month-upon-telling-my-sister-i-fell-between-the-train-and-the-platform-by-sabrina-hayeem-ladani/ Wed, 10 May 2017 16:30:52 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15605 She decides that we need to celebrate, takes me to buy shoes:
black suede ballerina flats to show off the high arch of my foot.

I wear them out of the store, dancing and limping.
Next is dinner: we gorge on things we can’t afford to eat—

lobster, scallops drenched in butter lifted to our lips delicately
as a surgeon would an organ to the one who awaits it.

We wash it down with the best white wine on the menu.
Mashed potatoes on our forks, we rant about boys, the trip to Texas

where a cowboy made love to her with his boots on. Later,
after warm apple pie, she leans in close, whispers

you almost died.

She never asks to see the plum scar, where the skin purpled, swollen
from the force with which they pulled me from the tracks. Instead,

more stories about the Texan. Gulping down the last swig of wine,
she pays the check. My treat, she says with a wink.

And though I had promised myself I wouldn’t, I can’t help
but see her as the survivor—

Hers is the door that death passed over. She is the one
that kissed the tumors back hard on the mouth, dissolved them like candy

on her tongue.


Sabrina Hayeem-Ladani is a native New Yorker, poet, and multi-genre performer. Her work weaves poetry, dance, and song to explore themes of love, family, grief, and what it means to human. She has performed across the United States, as well as in Europe. Sabrina’s poems can be seen in various publications such as in the anthology So Much Things To Say: One Hundred Poems of Calabash (Akashic Books), and The Wide Shore, a journal of global women’s poetry. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

featured image via Prayitno on Flickr.

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TIE Poet of the Month: ‘My Therapist’, by Amy Lawless http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/04/19/tie-poet-of-the-month-my-therapist-by-amy-lawless/ Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:00:35 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15500 I told my friend
the reason I don’t go to therapy:
I would lie to any therapist and adjust my
problems according to what
I think the therapist would want to hear

He said that means
I’m crazy and really need to go to therapy

I wouldn’t argue with this point

I give a name to a new kind of therapy:
Silence of Night

The sound a plastic bag makes
slapping against my thigh
as I walk home from the bodega

When I get home, therapy becomes the rosy ceiling after
I turn on my Himalayan salt lamp

Did you know Freud
never said the Irish were impervious to
psychoanalysis? Rather something
claimed again and again
without attribution
and finally made its way into Martin Scorsese’s film
The Departed
And now everyone thinks it’s true
But it’s not

Come on,
you’ve been there

At 4 am
when I couldn’t sleep I took an online quiz
and the result is
I’m a demon
of the night

I read the same Elizabeth Bishop poems
until I can hold the almanac
or taste dark brown tears
or feel the ancient wallpaper or see a gesture
I love

People walk around with names like Mike, Dave, Elliot, Jose, Keith, and it’s fine, it’s totally fine

I am an American
I shit like the Pope

It’s fine

I rebound ideas
off silence
I talk to it and there’s no
response, which in this way is its
own kind of response

Silence is a message
I listen

unnamed Amy Lawless is the author of two books of poems including My Dead (Octopus Books). Her third poetry collection Broadax is forthcoming from Octopus Books this summer. A chapbook A Woman Alone is just out from Sixth Finch. With Chris Cheney she is the author of the hybrid book I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected from Pioneer Works Press’ Groundworks Series (2016). Her poems have recently or are forthcoming in jubilat, Reality Beach, The Volta, Washington Square Review, Best American Poetry 2013, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion, and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press). She received a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2011. She lives in Brooklyn.

feature image via Ryan Rosa on Flickr.

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TIE Poet of the Month: ‘Ars Poetica’, by Amy Lawless http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/04/12/tie-poet-of-the-month-ars-poetica-by-amy-lawless/ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 13:00:06 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15469 In sixth grade, Mrs. Nerbonne assigned us the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. We had to memorize and recite it aloud both to each other and as a chorus for the principal, a man who wore these Italian suits we’d only seen in movies. I remember standing there in a chorus of other children saying “And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep.” It was being forced to promise not to commit suicide in front of the whole class. Parochial school, am I right? The next week we had to write a poem in response to Frost’s poem. The drafting process was laborious but fun. I had the most vivid dream the night before the poem was due. In the dream a female classmate read and recited her poem to me. I was blown away by how beautiful it was. It was a revelation to me, a reverie. I was probably thinking about the lines: The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, / But I have promises to keep in the dream and heard these words tuned in to my classmate’s voice channel—my thoughts through her mouth. Dreaming still, I attempted a transcription of her poem…a winter chill. The next morning, I was awoken by the nagging jealousy of my classmate and the fear that she was the better poet. That ugly jealousy hurled me forward. I tried to write down what I could remember from the dream of her poem, but I could only recall the mood it set in place. This classmate had not-the-best family situation, and I knew things I wished I did not. What if she had a closer access to the death drive Frost idealizes? I wasn’t thinking that at the time, but I was thinking something rancid. I believe I really became a poet that night I dreamt in words. I returned to class totally fried with unbrushed hair—ready to recreate the poem of my dream. I wrestled with whether my memory was a plagiarism. During lunch, I asked to read my classmate’s poem. She handed it to me: it was a poem that stole its rhyme scheme and end words from Frost. I smiled to her and sighed relief. Poetry was my own rotting apple I’d bobbed for and caught in the night.

‘Ars Poetica’ first appeared in a zine titled Girl Blood Info.


unnamed Amy Lawless is the author of two books of poems including My Dead (Octopus Books). Her third poetry collection Broadax is forthcoming from Octopus Books this summer. A chapbook A Woman Alone is just out from Sixth Finch. With Chris Cheney she is the author of the hybrid book I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected from Pioneer Works Press’ Groundworks Series (2016). Her poems have recently or are forthcoming in jubilat, Reality Beach, The Volta, Washington Square Review, Best American Poetry 2013, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion, and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press). She received a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2011. She lives in Brooklyn.

feature image via Caleb Zahnd on Flickr.

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TIE Poet of the Month: ‘Sculpture, Weed, and Bon Iver’, by Amy Lawless http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/04/05/tie-poet-of-the-month-sculpture-weed-and-bon-iver-by-amy-lawless/ http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/04/05/tie-poet-of-the-month-sculpture-weed-and-bon-iver-by-amy-lawless/#comments Wed, 05 Apr 2017 13:00:11 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15425 According to Jezebel.com, Brad Pitt is coping with his breakup
with sculpture, weed, and by listening to Bon Iver.

This is cliché and almost the perfect prescription.
So, a great start.

Funny: I think an old photo of Brad Pitt
once helped me get over a breakup.

Or was it a photo of someone else?
A photograph is an eye’s residuum, technological output of desire.

He uses art, soft drugs, and music to heal himself.
This is tried and true, but certainly not complete.

You know—friends.
We’ve all used that one song…you know the one…
a roaddog of self pity.

I would love to be placed in a little cradle right now.
Throw on the right song.
I’ll fall asleep in no time.

Or just let me look at something beautiful.
Hold me like a baby.

Sleep and care is what the alien overlords have gifted to us
with the math of music. It is ok to be sad.

Once I went through a breakup
and all the drugs and art and music in the world

could not heal me.
I needed a clock

to pass its hands over itself
many times. I also needed sleep.

My dreamscape had to reconfigure its organization of the world,

and I needed to come out of a trance.
I thought about old TV shows, and how common media diverged from personal experiences.

I thought about how my parents found love,
and without resenting them, I needed to find my own person to love.

Once I dreamt my parents pushed me
into a craggy ravine.
I needed to meet another guy at the fruit stand

and to pet at least 24 puppies of friends
and even strangers—that’s not just a metaphor.
But this is: I needed to make awkward eye contact with a cat.

I needed to stare at one person’s Instagram photos for hours
wearing a deerstalker hat while smoking a pipe
and playing the violin under the cover of darkness.

Once I needed to stay up all night and imagine he was beside me.
Once, no thrice, I needed to be gently chided by my friends.

Once I needed to break down in tears in the glorious sun of the Getty Museum.
Once I needed to be privately aroused by Robert Mapplethorpe’s ability to love

the image as expressed in his photos.
Once, as I watched Love Actually with my family,
I tried hard to not to be an asshole.

Once I understood the way Mapplethorpe’s camera was an eye, was even a cock, how his camera was a machine blinking with desire like a text message alert from a crush,

I was able to finally recommit myself to “online stalking” in a refreshed way
where I saw an end.

Once in college I took an extra bong hit and needed my hand held the whole walk home.
And once I laughed all day.

unnamed Amy Lawless is the author of two books of poems including My Dead (Octopus Books). Her third poetry collection Broadax is forthcoming from Octopus Books this summer. A chapbook A Woman Alone is just out from Sixth Finch. With Chris Cheney she is the author of the hybrid book I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected from Pioneer Works Press’ Groundworks Series (2016). Her poems have recently or are forthcoming in jubilat, Reality Beach, The Volta, Washington Square Review, Best American Poetry 2013, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion, and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press). She received a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2011. She lives in Brooklyn.

feature image via Aslaveoflove at Pixabay.

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TIE Poet of the Month: ‘Self-Portrait: As Harpy’, by Kate Angus http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/03/27/tie-poet-of-the-month-self-portrait-as-harpy-by-kate-angus/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:00:38 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15335 Bird-bodied, women-headed
and so hungry:
the food that spills
over pendulous breasts, the wine
that stains belly-fat, vulva.
The crease, the folds, the flesh of it.
The red of it too.
Who could love you, hideous?
Who could desire
claws that clutch
hair that seeps lank
breath rancid
And so noisy—always talking
shrieking singing if that’s what you call
such noise
claw feet
wings
that you do not use
enough to lift you
fly
rise up high enough
to gouge eyes
out pluck tongues
from mouths
that do not know enough
to know they should praise you

Kate Angus is the author of So Late to the Party (Negative Capability Press, 2016), the Creative Writing Advisor for the Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities at Sarah Lawrence College and a founding editor of Augury Books. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic online, The Washington Post, The Awl, Verse Daily, Best New Poets 2010, Best New Poets 2014, Gulf Coast, Subtropics, The Academy of American Poets’ “Poem a Day” and Tin House’s “Open Bar.” More information about Kate can be found at www.kateangus.org.

featured image via Cushion Source.

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In The Panhandle, by Keri Smith http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/03/16/in-the-panhandle-by-keri-smith/ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 22:00:55 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15317 The frozen crab legs
and artichoke dip
and french fries.

Endless chardonnay
on the porch at dusk
and a cigar

and my step mom sneaking off
to call her daughter,
who she never speaks about.

The pool, unused and warm,
the sound of frogs calling out around the yard
and the ocean, a few blocks away, also making its call.


In the morning the drive to the liquor store
for more wine and my dad listening
to baseball scores on the radio.

Nothing to talk about
except for the weather
and what we might want for dinner.


Keri Smith moved from Florida to New York to pursue her MFA in Poetry from the New School. At night she works in various bars in Brooklyn and during the day reads and works for Hanging Loose Press. She finds to time to do literally everything.

featured image via eHow.

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TIE: Poet of the Month: ‘Never In My Life,’ by Kate Angus http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/03/15/tie-poet-of-the-month/ Wed, 15 Mar 2017 20:00:06 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15308 have I eaten so much sugar
as in Cuba: profligate blizzard thrown

over churros warm from their oil bath, now wrapped
safe as babies in brown paper blankets. Glamorous

Old Hollywood starlet sparkle of sweet diamonds
spackled over the fruit (guava, papaya, words thick

on the tongue, as if language were edible). Pulped from the cane
by a machine for the thirsty to quaff over crushed ice. Deluge-poured

into coffee. Hurricane-stirred with rum and mint. The sugar
shades of buildings like sucked candies. The syrup of sun. Never

so much sweetness as here where even the smoke
of the santera’s cigar drifts a soft cloud over a shell bracelet

with which she will bless me. Her children bringing
Valentine’s Day candy before the ceremony begins; her face

as she speaks to the gods. Only now do I understand
what sugar is, dodging old cars in the street: my broken Spanish

and my new friends’ patience so words still bridge silence, the picture
in my phone of my boyfriend I look at so I can pretend

he’s still near. To be in love
while in Cuba with someone who waits in New York

is better than all sweetness: the longing that deepens the sugar,
the sugar that is knowing a future embrace.

Kate Angus is the author of So Late to the Party (Negative Capability Press, 2016), the Creative Writing Advisor for the Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities at Sarah Lawrence College and a founding editor of Augury Books. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic online, The Washington Post, The Awl, Verse Daily, Best New Poets 2010, Best New Poets 2014, Gulf Coast, Subtropics, The Academy of American Poets’ “Poem a Day” and Tin House’s “Open Bar.” More information about Kate can be found at www.kateangus.org.

featured image via Wikipedia.

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TIE Poet of the Month: ‘February Is An Early Spring’, by Kate Angus http://inquisitiveeater.com/2017/03/08/tie-poet-of-the-month-february-is-an-early-spring-by-kate-angus/ Wed, 08 Mar 2017 18:30:41 +0000 http://inquisitiveeater.com/?p=15265 If I slept like an egg
(unbroken), my eyes opening

crack the shell. This morning,
a cloud formation

takes the shape of Great Britain; elsewhere,
a garage floods, recedes,

and America stains concrete.
This is a compulsion

called cartocacoethes
where one sees maps

everywhere. I found the website,
and now left-over breakfast toast

is Cuba, where I want to go. I have a tendency
to make every happenstance

important. The light’s not green?
Take a right at the corner and notice

how those willow branches
are wet hair cascading

down–this means
we should go swimming. Think

how many people
there are in this world. I am so lucky.

This whole planet:
you could have been anywhere.

Kate Angus is the author of So Late to the Party (Negative Capability Press, 2016), the Creative Writing Advisor for the Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities at Sarah Lawrence College and a founding editor of Augury Books. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic online, The Washington Post, The Awl, Verse Daily, Best New Poets 2010, Best New Poets 2014, Gulf Coast, Subtropics, The Academy of American Poets’ “Poem a Day” and Tin House’s “Open Bar.” More information about Kate can be found at www.kateangus.org.

featured image via cesarastudillo on Flickr.

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