Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Pie Poem

Here's another pie related poem I wrote and got to perform for October's Third Thursday. I had a lot of fun writing this one.

Pie eating contest.

Mrs. Pollard, my fourth grade teacher,

in her infinite wisdom,

instituted bi-weekly pie eating competitions.

Where this unbridled and frenzied consumption of calories and sugar

fit into an age appropriate educational curriculum

is a mystery.

A sweet

and lovely mystery.

You are looking at the year long,

undefeated, 1990,

Pullman elementary,

4th grade,

pie eating champion.

I have a t-shirt designed all planned out.

Later in life I imagined Mrs. Pollard placing

bets on us with the other teachers.

“Who won today?”

They’d ask.

Hearts pounding.

A March Madness style,

pie related, betting pool

in the lounge,

money exchanging hands.

Pie day

would arrive

feeling like half a birthday

or an 1/8 of a Christmas.

Brown school paper towel

carefully torn,

boasting enough space for pie shrapnel ,

delicately placed.

Around the table

steely eyed combatants:

friends, bullies, nerds

future nerds, wall flowers, class clowns,

bad kids, good kids.

All of them Suckers.

I’d eye them, sending out aggressive 4th grade vibes.

Pre-testosterone warnings,

“You don’t know me!” my eyes would say.

“Don’t mess with me.

I will mess you up.

I am bad ass, pie eating robot!”

Hostess lunch box pies

primary color,

wax paper wrappers,

glistening with promise

like sugar glazed pocketbooks.






would cascade in cavalcade of dull thuds

onto the table.

I’d eye my pie. My tiny will straining

towards the predestined

deep fried confection.

Vanilla. I always chose vanilla.

Pudding charged pastry

don’t be hasty

set down with precision

unwrapped with affection

placed just so.

Waiting for go.

Hands were not allowed.

They were locked like

honor system pretzels behind backs

No hands,

this was the feral feel

of straight mouth to pie frenzy.

All eyes waiting

for the big hand to get to the 6.


Blood racing,

boasting adrenaline levels not attainable in adult life

5, 4, 3, 2, 1


A proud 48.25 seconds later

I emerge from a filling crust and haze

the reigning king

of consumption, the

the thoroughbred of the teacher’s lounge

betting pool.

I’d like to think that Mrs. Pollard,

or a least Mrs. Pollards’ bookie,

always doubled down on

my name when pie day arrived.

And later in life she retired early

because of her vast winnings.

That year I had to memorize multiplication tables

including 11’s and 12’s.

Joni Willingham, prettiest girl in the 4th grade,

broke my heart.


Once on the playground.

Once in a note.

And I was forced to oldest child adjust

to a 1990, new brother baby.

All I can say is,

the pie certainly helped

Monday, November 12, 2007

A poem!

In effort to post more I thought I'd put up some of the other writing I've been doing lately. This is a poem I wrote for a Third Thursday, a monthly Wild Goose Creative Event . This was read as people ate freshly baked apple pie.

Grandma’s pies

My grandma
never baked pies.
Not that I can remember

She made egg strata
ocean sized dishes
with tiny sausages buoys.

She made almond kissed Christmas cookies.
Santa Claus cut outs laced with addictive sprinkles.

She made clam chowder
served in metal bowls
and potato casserole
one half thick with onions
the other with out
a thin tooth pick dividing
like the mason Dixon line’s
casserole cousin
joking uncles would shuffle the pick
and watch culinary Gettysburgs ensue

And jam
She made jam.
Oh she made jam!
Cold jam in foil covered freezer jars.
The size and shape of bazooka shells
pressed into our eager hands before we went home.
Ready to detonate.
Pectin sweet
fruity treat.
tasting like heat
like summer
like being “this” many.

My grandma was the president of jam.
Elected by the people for the people
to a lifetime of jammy terms.
Her inaugural addresses spread over toast
on biscuits
her state of the union spooned in directly
into waiting mouths.

But no pies. At least none that I can remember.