You Are Not the Food

23 Feb

Just had one of my Google Reader meltdowns where I couldn’t handle everything sitting there, waiting for me to read it: I needed to have the feeling that things were off my plate, accomplished, and done with. So, I cleared my Reader, marked everything as read, although I didn’t read hardly any of it, which means I’m probably going to miss a lot of good stuff in PANK and The Collagist and Word Riot and Dogzplot and the other handful of journals I follow through feeds.

But. I had been meaning to vouch this for the past week or so now, and I wasn’t going to rob you of this. I actually got to see this live, Mike Young’s piece, “You Are Not the Food” at Everyday Genius, which he initially read as part of the Beecher’s-Publishing Genius Reading at the National Zoo at AWP (photos here) a couple weeks ago.

You are near the meal ticket on the edge. Have you seen the apple crisp and can I get a brisket. Flesh of jiggles, flesh that’s dried. Hallelujah butter glisten. Cornbread dressing and fried tilapia and macaroni and chickpea salad. Taco shells and caramel pudding and mystery spare ribs and parmesan butter and Slurpee rotisseries.

You can’t just read this poem in your head. You can’t just hear Mike read this poem (though this helps). You have to read it out loud to yourself. You have to feel your tongue slap, mouth wrack, lips slip over the tickle tantrum tastes. If not, you’re missing the point.

3 Responses to “You Are Not the Food”

  1. Jeremy Bauer February 24, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    cool shit!
    totally did make my tongue slap like i wanted that thanksgiving buffet slushy in my mouth or i was afraid it already was. anyway, it goes pap-pap-pap-ulp-aaaaaaaaah.

    • ce. February 24, 2011 at 5:33 am #

      Yes cool shit hell yeah. The sounds, man! The damn sounds! Clap mouth, skillet melt pop rocks. Pepsi brain explosion! Good to see your face last nights. Bourbon explains it all.

  2. Jeremy Bauer February 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    i support your sounds. phew. it gives me a gooey cheese hand that bubbles good and bloopy. good to see yours too, and that grin of yours. it was cool hearing your business activities. you are an inspiration, christopher newgent. i wish you many chinese noodles.

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