poetry critical

online poetry workshop


Preheat your apartment to three-hundred sixty degrees.
Use smelts, fresh anchovies, sardines or whitings,
plunge them into hot cooking oil
for five to ten seconds, until they scream
or you forget the girl for a moment.
Remove them, drain, arrange, and place in
an earthenware dish.  Recall again the old lesson
that intentions be damned,
taste depends on what you actually create;
sauté two tablespoons finely minced carrot,
one onion, four cloves garlic.  Consider calling.
Forget it.  Add
salt.  Vinegar.  Simmer.

Subsequently published in the 2008 Rockhurst Review.

21 Nov 07

Rated 9 (8.1) by 4 users.
Active (4): 10
Inactive (20): 1, 2, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(31 more poems by this author)

(5 users consider this poem a favorite)

Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha


Love it
 — poetbill

I would rather have Caesar salad. HiYa miikiRat, excellent. Excellent recipe as well.
I'm not sure about the Hitler reference. I would prefer something a little more sly, but everything else is delicious.
 — banditfemme

Please define the title, it's not in the definitions I can find.  
 — unknown

please use letters that have a kinder shape to them.

st3ntorian for isabelle
 — unknown

poetbill, thanks.

banditfemme, indeed, almost anything beats trying to get this down.  I'll address the Hitler thing in a second, but first, the requested bit on the title (from reference.com/encyclopedia):

Escabeche (of Spanish origin or from Persian sikbag; "acid food") refers to both a dish of poached or fried fish that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving, and to the marinade itself.

...so yes, my lovely bandit, I'm spending Thanksgiving cooking for the cat again.  So the Hitler thing; looking at it now, yes, I could probably key that down, but what I was going for is a mouthful, something along the lines of "we are not judged by what we intend, but what we actually do," and it is kindof crucial that the creation in question (the escabeche) is also acidic and (cough cough) bitter.  

So maybe instead of "...Recall again the old lesson
that even Hitler might have had good intentions,
but that taste depends on what you actually created "

something like "...Recall again the lesson
that good intentions be damned,  
that taste depends on what you actually created"

dah, I can't think today.  Maybe I'll find a good way to weave in the idea of good intentions being flavorless.  ANYWAY, thanks for the read.
 — mikkirat

maybe, "recall the taste of good intentions depends on what you actually created"

 — unknown

Thanks, redsky.  It is good to see you again.  

I revised lines 7-9 from "Recall again the old lesson
that even Hitler might have had good intentions,
but that taste depends on what you actually created"

to "Recall again the old lesson
that, intentions be damned,
taste depends on what you actually create"

... it reads a bit leaner that way, and shifts the focus more from the good intention to the acidic creation.  Yes, yes, I'm all sunshine and lollipops these days ;)

Thanks all,
 — mikkirat

sorry to hear
you're feeling acidic
I'm pleased you tossed Hitler. Truth be told, he isn't famous for his good intentions.
Your poem is primed and toned
great stuff,

your bandit friend
 — banditfemme

italics are gimmicky.
find a less pretentious title
golden simmer.

Preheat apartment to 360
degrees. Use smelts,

anchovies, sardines or whitings
plunge them into hot cooking

until they scream (forget
her for a moment.)

Remove, drain, arrange
and place
in earthenware

dish. Recall the lesson:
that intentions -- damned.
Taste depends

on the creation.
Sauté two tablespoons
finely minced carrot,
one onion, (Consider
calling) four
cloves garlic
(Forget it) Add

salt. Vinegar.
 — unknown

well, mikki, i absolutely love the poem--somehow bitter and hopeful at the same time, and not at all gimmicky. think this might be a new favorite for me. no crits. *smile* acidity has its place...
 — gem_grrrl

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!  Stinky!!!  Someone down the hall the other night decided to grill knockwurst with their apartment door left open so the cat could come in and out and talk about STENCH!  Love this poem too!
 — starr

I'm sorry, I'm not really sure why this is a poem and not a recipe.

Enlighten me, please, Poet.
 — Isabelle5

love it. genius.
 — unknown

i like poems with food
 — stout

have you considered making this into an actual recipe?
i mean, if you're going to have a bit of fun with the subject, why not go balls to the wall? why not make it look like a recipe, rather than expend valuable energy making it a poem? it's a great idea you have, some real nice nods to common experience, and winks to the studio audience, but it seems as though your poem wants to be something other than what it is. that's how it seems.
nice words
 — chuckle_s

very technicolor, but really only, conceptually, like the flowers in a death room, hiding the smell. sharing your stream of consciousness, ok., but kind of trying to fake us out with "words". words in a poem all have to be friendly to each other first, and these are just strangers in a bus station waiting for a destination. existential, ok, but still too much decoration.
 — joey

hmm, i didn't word that well... the "smell" is of memory of the relationship, not this poem. the metaphor was that you were keeping busy, but keeping busy off our reading this, and we never really were going to get dinner.
 — joey

So, apparently, mikkirat can only respond to positive critique.


he loses my respect as a critic.
 — unknown

geez unknown, maybe mikki has a life?
 — unknown

I love this recipe.
lines 7,8 and  9 are placed just right.
i like the final version now after a series of revisions by you mikki.
thanks for posting.
 — trochee

Thanks for your comments, all, and accept my apologies for not responding.  Soon after posting this, my academics got entirely out of hand, and I hadn't been able to revisit PC for some seven months... dang.  This summer will be much more relaxed, and I plan on being able to contribute critique.  At least until the Fall semester begins.  Thanks again.
 — mikkirat

i forgot to 10-fave this for months already.
: )
 — fractalcore

 — markfelician

i love the way you explained your heartbreak with food, i just love it. it's tasty!
 — Odin

Brilliant. I really like this. I've finally found a poet on here that writes stuff I want to read over and over again. Also, I've noticed your comments are very insightful. Would you mind reading my poems and letting me know what you think? Thanks.
 — spaye08