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.

Food Goes In, Poetry Comes Out # 1

I work in East London, which can mean over an hour of travelling to and from my home. If I want to go to poetry events, I have to eat out (if I want to eat, which I do). In order to make this more productive and worthwhile, I thought I would use it to aid my creativity. I’m going to post up a series of poems in the category ‘Food Goes In, Poetry Comes Out’ which will consist of poems that I write whilst eating my dinner before going to gigs. This will last as long as I’m still living with my parents, or until I run out of steam with it… whichever comes first. Here are the first three I finished last month.

October 002

The Beer House, Waterloo

9th October 2013

Beer House, you have redeemed yourself from our last meeting. Well done.
As I reached into the familiar cup-like bowl (again, surprisingly small)
I had a flashback to the frustration at finding, after pouring my favourite liquid
(gravy) over the mini steak and ale pie, the aforementioned pie was cold.
I had left the premises and bought a Cornish Pasty from the station instead.
As you can imagine, my stomach had a difficult decision in coming back
(today’s alternative was sushi).

So, when I reached for a tortilla chip
to scoop up some chilli con carne, I was pleasantly relieved. Surprised, also,
that such a small bowl could be so filling. That said, here I am, subtly
sneaking Skittles into my mouth with my glass of over-priced orange juice.


October 054

Bukowski Grill

15th October 2013

I almost forgot to eat. Almost.
Quick crossing and up those familiar steps
for a chicken burger and chips
far superior to Maccy Ds. Charcoal
and BBQ sauce – my favourite condiment.
I wished
to have a pot
to dip
these oil drenched chips, so bad
and yet so good. Crispy on the outside
yet so soft once bitten. I wonder
how people can just miss meals like
oh tomorrow, we’ll cram for the exam,
or get sushi-to-go on the last train home.
I almost for go to eat. Almost.
I am not quite like them yet.

October 058

Vegetable Korma, The Gallery Cafe

17th October 2013

The night I got locked in the school
I had a vegetable korma.
I don’t know whether it was
the relief of getting out the building
but joy exuded it like steam;
I also got it with a voucher,
which was an added bonus
that made me feel
deserving of dessert.
I’m generally more of a
chicken bhuna girl,
been warming to massala,
but a vegetarian korma
seemed the best option;
jasmine rice in a perfect mound
with carrot and broccoli masquerading as meat,
a touch of spinach and sultanas in the mix,
sweet and coconut, delight in creamy sauce,
leave the salad to the side.