Issue 9

Autumn 2013



Utensils like a minuet,   
a plate more like a picture frame,   
and in it there's a work of art   
that died for me, and even now
has not entirely ceased to be,
both animal and vegetable.

What is wasabi, anyway?
I wonder absentmindedly,
again, and nothing answers me.
I'm not even certain I like the taste,
I only know it's a green paste
that causes pain, but pleasingly.

I've never seen a yellow fin
Tuna, I've only eaten them.
And I don't think I'd stand for this
wide-open eyeball on a stem,
this delicate indecency,
if I were anywhere but here.

But here, in fact, is where I am.
And this is how they do it there.
And isn't this a lucky life
we're living here, in this immense
and many-toned metropolis,
where we can sample freely from

the whole nightmarish smorgasbord,
the infinite variety
of life and death, and never once
cause pain, and never once leave home?
Well, that depends on who you ask.
Or whom, if that's the way it is.



Jim Burrows