Santa Monica, California, USA
Thirteen Ways of Cooking up Blackbirds
(or, One can never get even
With Wallace Stevens.)
Between their crusts of lard and flour,
Four and twenty, so still,
The blackbirds lie.
Blackbirds in a pot-au-feu
Lack fat to skim,
Requiring but a stir.
Blackbirds, drawn and hung Ďtil high,
Served as savories, not for nose or eye.
Pate de blackbirds and a man
Pate de blackbirds and a woman
Are too much.
When confronted with a choice
Between blackbirds en croute
Or blackbird skewers with pepper crust
I ask the chef,
Not trusting green opinion.
A saucier clips twenty
Beaks and forty feet for stock.
Reduced, a one ounce coat of
Blackbird essence for two blackbird breasts,
As lobster shells are rent
For oil in Daliís joint across the street.
Oh portly men of Gotham,
Why do you dream of Porterhouse?
Can you not see how toast-point blackbirds
Grace the Spode
Of your companions?
I know the noble notes of spice
In nuanced combinations;
But I know, too,
That salt and pepper plain
Do blackbirds justice.
Disparaged by the many fiends for barbecue,
Blackbirds only sate the fringes
Of my of my family circle.
Blackbirds set in contrast on
A pureed mire-poix,
Even the fans of hamburg
Cry my goodness!
They drove up to Connecticut
In rented van, and, taken by
The green-glow sign before
A rustic Stamford inn
Seduced themselves with
Thoughts of blackbirds Provencal.
Blackbirds in flight escape
The poacherís net and simmering intentions.
Forgotten through the afternoon,
They were baking
And they over-baked, turned dry.
Reluctantly, they bid
These blackened birds, Bye, Bye.
I find it hard to "play" with Wallace Stevens, because he is inimitable. I gave it a shot, though, because I love him. No one has come close to strumming his Blue Guitar.