Wednesday, May 1, 2013

there is that hunger...

I thought it must be time for a little Gwendolyn MacEwen:

A Breakfast for Barbarians

Gwendolyn MacEwen

my friends, my sweet barbarians,
there is that hunger which is not for food—
but an eye at the navel turns the appetite
with visions of some fabulous sandwich,
the brain’s golden breakfast
                                        eaten with beasts
                                        with books on plates

let us make an anthology of recipes,
let us edit for breakfast
our most unspeakable appetites—
let us pool spoons, knives
and all cutlery in a cosmic cuisine,
let us answer hunger
with boiled chimera
and apocalyptic tea,
an arcane salad of spiced bibles,
tossed dictionaries—
                                        (O my barbarians
                                        we will consume our mysteries)

and can we, can we slake the gaping eye of our desires?
we will sit around our hewn wood table
until our hair is long and our eyes are feeble,
eating, my people, O my insatiates,
eating until we are no more able
to jack up the jaws any longer—

to no more complain of the soul’s vulgar cavities,
to gaze at each other over the rust-heap of cutlery,
drinking a coffee that takes an eternity—
till, bursting, bleary,
we laugh, barbarians, and rock the universe—
and exclaim to each other over the table
over the table of bones and scrap metal
over the gigantic junk-heaped table:

 by God that was a meal


  1. How I love that! You are an education my dear! "Coffee that lasts an eternity..."

    1. Makes me happy that you love the poem. She's one of my favorite poets.


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