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The Austerity Kitchen
By Christine Baumgarthuber
Where the alimentary is elementary.
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Poet-Taster (2): Jay Baron Nicorvo

Oskar Kokoschka, Still Life with Slaughtered Lamb (date unknown)

Deadbeat’s Recipe for Lamb

Take two flights of stairs.
Behind the kitchen’s swinging door,

inside the walk-in,
find a skinned lamb, hanging.

With steel and oak fisted,
cleave limb from limb.

Hack as if at air.
Always cut to the quick.

Notice no blood spills.
Notice muscle and eyes,

soft as seaglass from the sea’s forge,
strain in weak light.

Wonder what became of the ears.
Work against ball-and-socket joints.

Hear the letting-go of cartilage.
Make a joke about

an after-the-fact contortionist.
Run three fingers over

the rack, the loin.
Parcel out leg and shank.

On the downstroke, remember:
bent elbow, follow through.

 

Deadbeat’s “Recipe for Lamb” from Deadbeat © 2012 by Jay Baron Nicorvo. Reprinted with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.

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