Poetry » Adrian Slonaker »


The Day I Ditched Vegetarianism

On Sunday morning I’d quaffed
a cappuccino protein shake,
the love child from an orgy of
bodybuilders and beatniks.
I’d been a vegetarian-
lacto-ovo, not vegan-
for seventeen years,
duly dined at eateries like Root and The Sprout,
and tucked into Tofurky despite the mockery.
Every day was Earth Day in my gut,
every mouthful a culinary Kumbaya until
I was struck with a sudden lust for carne.
In secret I scurried to a shawerma pit
with the shame associated with
illicit midday motel meetings.
A mosaic of PETA posters, barnyard bloodshed,
and Lisa Simpson serving gazpacho met its Waterloo,
as the puffy pita pocket was pushed into my palm,
the scent of doughy, gluteny goodness mingling with
cubes of cukes and tomato, yogurt and sesame-
and blessed beef tenderloin.
I submissively shoved it into my mouth,
its satisfying toughness clashing with my incisors,
taste buds dimly recognizing and accepting a friend request from
a nearly forgotten flavor,
smoky, seasoned, earthy.
As I wiped my mouth with my hand-
serviettes are for the civilized-
my viscera pulsated,
and, and like a cheetah satisfied from the hunt-
I exited the strip mall to the parking lot.

Doomsday: May 21, 2011

A cocoon of cottony sky falls
in feathery fingers of fog
over a lake languid with waveless laziness.
Hazy hints of purposefully planted purple spots
mingle with grainy greens of maples and oaks,
leaves making their dynamic debut
like strutting socialites.
Metallic, boxy sedans and SUVs whizz by
in a cacophony of unsilenced motors and honking
while pigeons perched on battered park benches
hunch in puzzlement.
A labrador barks throatily,
begging to be heard
somewhere near the waterfront,
where fitness-fueled feet
furiously gallop upon gravel.
The air caresses like a curtain of dirty dew,
the warmth of wedged buildings suggesting
summer before its time.
If that radio host is right and
our world withers today,
would the gasping planet guess
that we ever cherished it?

Filthy Black Hat

One extra-large Jaxon newsboy,
black and broken into use
to conceal a tonsure gaining traction,
because vanity is the B-side of virility,
rough with more ridges than your favorite Ruffles,
each one dun from dust and dirt
from Lancaster, London, Moncton and Matanzas.
It was sported when I scored that puffy paycheck,
eluding homelessness for another few months,
donned when the doctor delivered the data
that finished off a fortnight of stealth trembling,
prominent in sunlight when Nasir notified me
Pall-Malls had just purloined his youngest brother.
I can ball it up in my pale pudgy palm
or let my fingertips slowly fondle it
before replacing it on my scalp,
which I ought to do because
I’m even balder now.