Food Goes In, Poetry Comes Out #2

november 026

Spaghetti Bolognese, The Gallery Cafe

6th November 2013

It was the garlic bread that did it,
tempted me to take off my coat
and settle into some spaghetti Bolognese.
Now, it might seem that I don’t eat my greens,
but rocket’s just too bitter for me,
so I move it aside and dive right in.
And I confess, I tried just one tomato,
because I don’t like them raw
but the veggie meat-like pasta
has me begging for more.
I twirl it in tomato-y bliss,
taking bites of my bread;
garlic breath may make a smelly kiss
but my heart it found when I’m well fed.

november 033

Mi Casa Burritos

7th November 2013

I’ve just eaten the most disappointing burrito.
I picked chicken, pepper, salsa verde – simple. Or so I thought.
I checked if it got heated up and they said that yes, it’s freshly made.
The foil wrapper felt toasty but it was mostly just the pepper, roasted
and quite tasty… But the rest was just disgraceful.
I’d spent nearly seven quid on something quite disgusting!
And I’m pretty sure it was gone-off pigeon and not chicken.
I’m really not sure where they plucked that meat from,
but I simply couldn’t finish it, or else I would vom!

Nando’s Sestina

13th November 2013

Table Four. How spicy do you like it?
Hand over loyalty card to get stamped.
A free half chicken built up over time:
A dedicated peri-peri fan.
Regular chips, corn on the cob, please.
So much food, but I’ll manage it just fine.

I’m sat on my own and I’m feeling fine.
It won’t be much longer – I just know it!
Cutlery, water, spicy sauce – yes please!
Back at the table, I count what’s been stamped
On my Nando’s card, showing I’m a fan.
Waiting for my food, looking at the time,

I need to make sure that I leave on time
And just when I think it will all be fine,
On the table next to me, a new fan
Sits down, away from his mum, I know it:
Trouble. Loudly he spoke, loudly he stamped
His feet and blew down his straw – oh please!

I wanted to ask could you move him please?
Back to his mother, I haven’t got time,
I’m writing a Nando’s poem. He stamped
Again, walked flailing his arms around. Fine,
I guess I will have to put up with it.
Guess I felt sorry for my fellow fan.

Clearly, his mum knew he was such a fan:
I got my food, he got his, seemed to please
Him, and yeah, he didn’t need to fight it,
A wave of silence fell over us this time,
Mouth filled with food and everything was fine.
Bet his mum didn’t miss the way he stamped,

But he had stamped for food, didn’t say please.
I’m a big Nando’s fan and it was fine
But next time –  that boy should put a sock in it.

november 098

Pad Thai, Thai and Lao Street Food

14th November 2013

A regular favourite, I always get the same thing,
still plated up, I was excited to mix it in –
noodles, egg, buts and proper prawns,
the only niggle I’d say
less salt, extra spice,
but for £7, I can’t complain –
this Pad Thai is pretty damn nice.

november 128

Chicken Satay and Chips, Charter House Bar

20th November 2013

Reading Proust under the glow of red lights,
I forego the salad for chicken satay
and hand-cut chips. Leaving the bed of rocket,
I feel plump as a pillow. I remind myself
to get my blood tested for high cholesterol.
thinking about salad, ‘maybe next time’
becomes my mantra. Now, for some Sage & Time.


Bean Chilli and Naughty Natas,

The Gallery Cafe and Nando’s

27th November 2013

Not my favourite kind of beans…
pretty sure one was a carrot,
but it felt wholesome, fresh
vegetables and a perfect dome of rice.
I sat near the guy who only comes in for free Wi-Fi.
At 7pm, it closed. Fuck!
he exclaimed into his laptop.
and I wondered what to do
with my spare half an hour.
On route, I passed Nando’s,
turned in for a hot chocolate and
custard tart, a warm space
until another door opens.


Camden Market

30th November 2013

There we were, huddled by Camden Lock,
shovelling noodles down our necks
in case the wind cooled it too fast:
December just around the corner.

Everything deep fat fried

and crispy. I took a bite of broccoli.
That’s one of our five a day.
The containers could not stop the cold:
Your departure just around the corner.

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