Pick an armful of fresh words from the poet tree.
Trim off dry leaves. Dispose of the ordinary or over-ripe.
Choose words that flower when juxtaposed.
Choose tiny clinging bees that sting.
Choose pollen dusted blossoms that make you sneeze.
Choose fragile leaves that swing when you breathe on them.
Staunch stalks that do not budge.
Throw them in a vase so that they go where they want to go,
then rearrange to suit your fancy.
Admire your arrangement
as you bring a stock to boil.
This stock consists of honey and vinegar,
water to float the theme,
lightly peppered with adjectives
and salted with strong verbs.
When the water boils, break nouns from your bouquet.
Tender stalks may be sliced to syllables, but leave the flowers whole.
Do not cook too long lest they be too weak to chew upon.
Scoop with a wire ladle and lay on parchment to drain.
Arrange on a bed of crushed hopes pre-baked with future expectations.
Pile to the plate rim, then sift through and remove most of what you’ve put there.
Fill up to the top and beyond with whipped dreams. Careful, not too sweet.
Put on the shelf to gel.
The crust will grow crustier.
The whipped cream will not fall,
but some of the words will rise to the top and blow away.
Others will sink to the bottom and become so mired in crust
that they will stick to the cheeks and teeth of all who sample your pie,
and this is what you want.
This pie will not be to the taste of all
and there may not be enough of it to satisfy the taste of others,
but it will be a pie that satisfies you,
and others may become addicted enough
to order it now and then
in spite of that shelf
of so many delectable pies.
Perhaps because it is tenacious.
Perhaps because it suits their idiosyncratic taste.
Perhaps because of its placement, front and center,
so it meets the eye.
Whatever the reason, whether to the taste of many or few,
it will be there for so long as the cook holds out
and the poet tree stands and keeps blooming.
Poet Pie. Special this week.
Comes with a big napkin and no fork
so you’ll need to eat it with you hands
and suck it from your fingers.
It will run down your arms
and cause your elbows to stick to the table,
drip from your chin onto your shirtfront,
adorning you like splatters down the fronts
of old ladies in voile dresses.
It will adorn the beards of the hirsute,
hide the pimples of preteens,
make ruby red the lips
of little girls too young for lipstick,
cause the drying lips of old women
to swell as though Botoxed.
It will cause tongues to wag
and fingers to write poetry of their own
in the air or on paper or perhaps
merely in minds
infected by the addictive
nature of poet pie.
You can both smell and taste it.
Feel on your fingers. Hear its
tender branches crunch between
your teeth–those parts of the poem
that hold the whole together.
That poem that perhaps holds your life together
for the minutes you consume it
and further moments when you try to wash it from your beard
or fingers or chin or shirtfront,
and fail. So a part of the poem goes with you.
Some may notice it and try to scrub it from your chin.
Others may not be able to resist,
and in wiping off its sweetness from where it has streaked your arm,
may put their fingers to their mouths to taste it themselves
and may be suffused with a yearning for a piece of their own.
Or, say, perhaps, “Not to my taste”
which leaves more poetry pie for you.
The Prompt: If a restaurant were to name a dish after you, what would it be? For extra points, give the recipe.