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February 2008 - Clark
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"Horseradish Sauce"
E. A. Hanninen - 2008

      John Thomas Clark

                            Singing for my Supper

In my Bronxtime, long ago, far away,
I'd look on my father's kitchen day
With joy. To Mom, our domestic diva
Of the galley, I'd never say "Viva
These Vittles." Cellars of comestible
Courage laced foods of contestable
Taste ladled to my plate with her chorus
Of "You eat it, eat it; it's good for us."

But Dad learned from his father — a chef —
To orchestrate meals. His culinary clef
Symphonized plain tastes. Eager consumer,
I gorged all he served. His sense of humor
One day, though, had me sing out — a kaddish*
He'd lathered my sandwich with layers of horseradish.

*A kaddish is a mourning prayer

                                  From the Flesh Pots

The good news around for all us fatties—
Now we can load those juicy beef patties
With more fats and oils and fry ‘em in grease
‘Cause we can't be blamed for being obese,
Anymore. So if we've gained too much weight
Someone else can be charged for our extra freight;
My Mom's the one who's made me a glutton;
Dad passed me that extra leg of mutton
For when they stirred the ancestral tureen
They set my table. Blame the large Fat Gene
From my parents. They are the big culprits;
They' re the real reason I've nothing that fits.
So pass the mayo; say hubba, hubba—
Now I'm guilt-free, love me and my blubba.

Arts & Crafts Menu Border - Ca. 1910

John Thomas Clark, a retired New York City teacher, lives in Scarsdale, NY. Currently eighty-three of his poems appear or are scheduled to appear in Exit 13, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Lachryma, Hidden Oak, The Boston Literary Magazine, Contemporary Rhyme, Mobius, Hospital Drive, Cynic, Right Hand Pointing, Clockwise Cat, Byline, Atlanta Review, The Centrifugal Eye, Wordgathering, Tiger’s Eye, Spindle, Paradox, Halfway Down The Stairs, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Perspectives, Mississippi Crow, Vocabula, OCEAN, Xelas, The Copperfield Review and Clapboard House. He has also penned The Joy of Lex, an upbeat romp of seventy-five sonnets and a crown which tells of life with his black lab, Lex – the best service dog in the world. Othering is his collection of 150 sonnets that recounts the journey of a person who becomes "an other" facing a burgeoning physical disability.

This is John's second appearance in
The Centrifugal Eye.

Contact John

Sunday Dinner
Number Eight: Whipped Cream Horseradish Sauce
"Mix 1/4 cup fresh grated horseradish with 1 tbsp. cider or malt vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt. 1/4 tsp. paprika, f.g. cayenne. Just before serving, fold in 1/4 cup triple cream beaten until stiff. Pile lightly in a fancy sauce boat and sprinkle with finely chopped chives." ~from New Dinners, ca. 1910.
Elizabeth O. Hiller

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