Poet-Taster (1): James Arthur

Paul Gauguin, Still Life of Onions and Pigeons and Room Interior in Copenhagen (1885)

New for 2013, The Austerity Kitchen's "Poet-Taster" series features culinary verse from contemporary poets.

The Kitchen Weeps Onion

The kitchen weeps onion

because the cook is dead. Pans strike chorus

and the ladles keep a knock-kneed stride.

Burners gleam more brightly. Chives,

chives, and chives. Everyone seems so tired

but the diners can't sleep. The kitchen tonight

weeps onion, so everyone else must weep.

What's the use in talking? Let's touch,

and turn apart. The cook is quiet,

cold, unearthly, and the turnip

breaks its heart.


"The Kitchen Weeps Onion" appears in Charms Against Lightning, the debut collection from James Arthur published in November 2012 by Copper Canyon Press (reprinted with permission).