food poetry


Poetry: Practicability of Challenges

by Jina Song

You who step on a banana peel are unfortunate.
You who step on a loach are not.
Improperly stepping on the fish, you will slide.
The storekeeper will reject the trampled loach,
then you claim it, bring it into your sink
and let it be washed for a minute.
Boil it with water, it will be crushed then you mix
it with chili pepper and soybean paste;
A loach soup, sometimes, comes as an absolute gift.


You who chew a plum pit are unfortunate.
You who chew a chocolate-coated sunflower seed are not.
Not only chew but eat. Sunflower seeds are yours.
Intake vitamin E, prevent cardiovascular disease.
Be rich with magnesium and selenium,
reduce cancer incidence and bone breaks.
You are getting old.
Your body is a temple, your teeth are yours.
Have you chewed ice? No, please don’t.


You who rub your eyes with garlic hands are unfortunate.
You who touch your face with aloe vera hands are not.
Is your face sunburned or scarred? Even better.
It will rejuvenate your cells,
you will shine by the succulent leaves.
If you like slickness of aloe vera,
feel it inside your throat by drinking its concentrated juice.
You who have experienced all the good news,
are you ready to share with other you?


Jina Song is a MFA candidate at the New School studying Creative Writing in Poetry. Her poetry has appeared in Runaway Parade and Christmas Cowboys, Mistletoe Diners and Other Short Stories. 

Poetry: Bakery Tritina

by Amanda Harris

Aroma of coffee beans freshly ground,
Cheese Danish: twisted little loops of rope,
Chocolate cakes chiseled like ornate tombstones.

Sharp, crisp cardboard boxes stacked like tombstones,
Everything leaves crumbs, baguettes on the ground,
Thin waxed paper, fingertips touching rope.

Half-pint of Waldorf salad, veins like rope,
Strudels are pinwheels, croissants are tombstones,
Hot breath of ovens, don’t look at the ground.

All that cradled the casket was thick rope,
Slowly lowering her past the tombstone,
Onto a bed of hard, bark-colored ground.

Amanda Harris received her MFA from The New School in 2012.  She is currently working on a story collection and a novel.   

Poetry: Artichoke; Kiwi; Corn

by Michelle Lerner



The softness of the heart
The sinking of the teeth
The scattered petals that were its sheath



Elephant skin
Stone from Easter Island
Emerald in a brown paper bag



From the Jersey jungle
Half undressed
Praying mantis


Michelle Lerner is a graduate of the New School MFA program in Poetry.  Her poems have been published in various journals and anthologies including Paterson Literary Review; Lips; Knock; The Poetry of Place; and others. 

Poetry: The Fall of Food

by Michael Cirelli

I blame it on field greens
and the French — with their anti-gravity
noses pointed towards the point
of Tour Eiffel. It was Bush-I-era when our
groceries, not Provençal, were flooded
with these preemie leafies whining
on our plates. So deceived by
this new alien word for salad: our Icebergs sunk
by rocket (arugula), God’s breath (Swiss chard),
and N-dive or On-deev or whatever whatchamacallit.
Our romaine omitted for Dijon’s child
(mustard greens), for mizuna, for oak leaf,
mâche, radicchio. A million combinations of salad
mixes piling up (like leaves) on Stop &
Shop conveyor belts, paving the way for aisles
of spelt, sprouts, whole wheat crusts.
Cutting ribbons for Whole Foods and gentri-
fication. Now at brunch, instead of home
fries we get mesclun, instead of sausage
get turkey-links, instead of eggs, Eggbeaters.
What happened to slices of bacon
thick as dominoes, chunks of blue cheese
stank as hockey socks? Enough Tofurkey,
Tempeh, Tazo. I want mom’s pork
chops, Homer Simpson’s favorite food: stuffed
with smashed Ritz and butter rich as Versailles.

Michael Cirellia is a graduate of the New School’s MFA in writing program.  This poem is from the forthcoming collection entitled The Grind. His poems have recently been published in Gastronomica, Edible Brooklyn, among others.

Looking in the Fridge and Finding Some Poetry

New York Times Book Review of ‘The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink,’ Kevin Young, Editor

“Take away this pudding,” Winston Churchill reportedly said. “It has no theme.”

Poetry: Variation on a Summer day

by Trey Teufel

Variation on a Summer day
                  (after Wallace Stevens) 
Last Tuesday we shared an orange
             Took turns and ripped off the skin
             Peeled away its textured coat
Rind collected under our fingernails
             We fed each other wedges
             Wiped juice from our chins
             Your hands on my face
             The smell of orange 
             Still under your nails

Trey Teufel is a writer, actor, and personal trainer living in Los Angeles, CA. He works out, acts on occasion, and writes far less frequently than he would like.

Poetry: Did You Know, Night, and Pans

by Aaron Belz


That there’s no way to say
“I love you” in French?
And there’s no way to say
“I love Judi Dench.”

There’s no way to say
“Hey did you just paint
this bench?” or “The
meat tastes like finch”

or “This knackwurst
contains about two parts
canary.” But you can say,
“Which way is the ferry?”

You can say, “Tomorrow
promises to be bulbous!”
or “Where is my horn,
you flatulent mumbler?”

Ah, you know. Those French.
They drink ginger ale
from tumblers and ogle
Le Monde through monocles:

“Would you like a croissant?”
“Why, certainement!”
In France, pants come with ants
and aunts act like uncles.



Sky shut; sand shut; tide shut;
cocktails in a tiki hut;

all is out, the moon is out;
lights out; dog out;

food done; dishes done;
conversation all but done;

things moving and unseen,
crawling beneath, between;

and in the deep dark lurks
a ship’s hulk, anchor chain,

slosh and clank, clank and slosh;
weighing in the mind, a wish.



I’m still depressed
about identity politics,

and now I can’t
find the cookie sheet.

I was going to bake
Pacific Islander-American

cookies as a surprise
for when Rudy gets

home but now I’ll
have to use the biscuit

pan—some surprise.
The buds on the

hibiscus bush say,
as they open, “identity

politics. Identity—”
So I close the window.


Aaron Belz is a poet and essayist who has published across a wide range of venues, from Wired to Christian History to Boston Review. He currently serves as a contributing editor for Capital Commentary, the weekly current-affairs publication of the Center for Public Justice in Washington, D.C., and writes regularly for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Books & Culture, and other periodicals. He has published two books of poetry, TheBird Hoverer (2007) and Lovely,Raspberry (2010); a third, Glitter Bomb, is forthcoming from Persea Books.