Monday, April 28, 2014

Get Cookin'

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Fried Chicken
Among twenty fast food joints
The only place where dinner once flew
Was the chicken shack.

I was of three minds,
Like a menu
On which there are three combo meals.

The bird sizzled in the July winds.
It was a high point on the map of Kentucky.

A thigh and a breast
Are one.
A thigh and a breast and a wing
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The comfort of the classic recipe
Or the mystery of a new special sauce,
The chicken about to cross the road
Or just after.

Tears flowed down the window
Of the Kenny Rogers Roasters.
The neon chicken on the sign
flickered, on and off.
The image
Limned in shadow
An unhatched riddle.

O business men of Crisco,
Why do you dream of boneless birds?

Do you not see how ossified pyres
Reach toward heaven
In honor of our solemn banquets?

I know the way through breaded prairies
To secret ingredient hideaways;
But I know, too,
That the chicken is involved
In what I know.

When the chicken emerged from the egg,
It came first
And it came last.

At the sight of chickens
Glowing on television screens
Even the vegetarians
Would cry out sharply.

He rode home with me from work
In a greasy bucket.
Once, a fork stabbed him,
Before greedy fingers
Peeled back the disguise
Of chickens everywhere.

The hour is late.
The drive-through might still be open.

It was a picnic all afternoon.
It was not snowing
And it was not going to snow.
The chicken did not last long
Beside the biscuits and slaw.
by Noel Sloboda
in Volume 2 Issue 2

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