Close Encounters of the Porcine Kind
- for Paul of Laughing Stock Farm
I’ve heard the grunters mating in the pecan
dark of Hog Island. And I’ve seen the hillbilly
shoats and bristle hogs of Terrebonrne
with their sow shacks and cobbled sties
rooted higgledy-piggledy in the churned mud.
In Lecompte I’ve seen boiled hock and skull
chill into a mash of gel and pressed into Cajun
souse. And in a ramshackle shanty outside
of DeRidder I’ve devoured the pulled pork
special until I glistened with slather.
I’ve slept in Kapa’au above a pig pen
where the pet whale-hog would blow
me early morning greetings of mucus.
And I’ve hunted his kin in the salty
dawn of the sugarcane bush.
In Memphis I’ve gnawed dry-rubbed ribs
‘til the castanets of my teeth tapped fandango
into the bone, and I’ve wandered
Oaxaca’s side streets trading pesos
for seared carnitas.
I’ve devoured the sausage heros of Arthur
Avenue as if the world might come to an end
before I was done. And on Mott Street
I’ve rolled mu-shu pork into Cantonese blunts
and lit them with plum sauce.
And I’m guilty of gnawing at catered piglet
in Santa Monica. Its hocks bound by sow
belly futures, roasted to a gorgeous tan
the exact color of the venture capitalists
biting its ass with their perfectly capped teeth.
In Manheim I’ve been indiscrete, choking
down a street vender’s massive wurst,
the thick mustard drawn across it
sizzling into stipple. And that night,
shameless I went to him again.
And yes as a vainglorious sun
set on Savanna-la-Mar I’ve guzzled
Red Stripe to ease the perfect burn
of grilled jerk pork, riddled
with chili peppers.
Perhaps its karma then that their blue
cousins harass me wherever I go
as if I was an international smuggler
of underage prosciutto: no matter
how kosher my intentions.
Published in Gastronomica