Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bunfight at the OK Erato

While I don't tend to post many draft poems to the online poetry workshops these days - I currently lack the enthusiasm to critique in the detail other poems deserve - I do visit a number of workshops on a regular basis. Why? Because I do enjoy a good bunfight, and every now and then a poetry workshop will explode in a dazzling display of anger and bile.

True to form, such a fracas erupted while I was away from a connection to the 'net. Able Muse's Eratosphere had a wonderful slugfest following the (temporary, I think) banning of one of their longstanding members. The denouncements and accusations in the relevant threads are wonderful to read.

So why am I advertising a poetry board's family tiff on my blog? Because it gives me a chance to post one of my (un-workshopped, though it needs a bit of work) poems. And the beauty of this poem is that I only have to change a single letter to make the poem fit the current circumstances! Enjoy!

Serving the Muse

I chose to dine at E's establishment:
a restaurant well marked for style, panache
and quality, a place for nourishment
of soul and sense - at least they kept the trash

at bay when one's inclined to eat good food -
or so I was informed. I ordered boar
and settled back to contemplate the crude
parade of riff-raff shambling past the door.

"My deeply felt apologies," a voice
beside my elbow murmured. Looking down
I saw the chiselled bones of service hoist
into my view. "Why so?" I asked, a frown

across my brow. "We've had to ban the boar,"
the waiter cringed: "It charged around the place
creating havoc, carnage! Such a chore
to clear the mess - we turfed it out, disgraced!"

Nonplussed, I checked the menu once again.
"What else is there to eat?" The old man smiled,
his lips a gruel of soup. "The chicken, plain,
is rather good - a filling dish, par-boiled."

"But rather boring, I'd have thought?" He shook
his head and said: "You do not understand, young sir,
but plain is best - no sauce to hide the look,
no herb or spice disguising taste! The bird

served bland delights the plate. Just try a breast
or two."
I was intrigued, I have to say:
"You use no salt? No stuffing? Just undressed?"
"Oh yes!"
he said. "It is the only way

to exercise the muse! We don't allow
ingredients to spoil the meal, the chefs
must work in peace and comfort - once the row
of discontent is banished, gone, they're left

with harmony in which to hone their skills
and arts! A space where they can learn to shape
their honest, soul-full heart-wrought chicken meals
to feed our guests: a dish you can't escape!"


  1. Haven't been there in months, not since I got caught up in one of the last squabbles they had, but it was fun to pop back and read some of their hysterically self-important posts.

    So yes, *snerk* indeed.