Mark Niedzwiedz, Two Rissoles on a Plate

Rosemary Bailey, Char 5


Two Rissoles on a Plate

Two rissoles on a plate
They are the two most things I hate
Each Saturday when served, I curse the moment
They were lightly floured, patted on the head
Dragged around a frying pan, whilst my thumb and finger bled
And the two hours it took to mishape them into existence
When I could have saved the planet, or saved my soul
I chose with breadcrumbs to carpet bomb the kitchen
Self-harm with a peeler, go big on the bitchin’
Oh, where is the delightful ping of microwave?
Snip of packet, quiet opening of tin?
Why does my sometime better half
Put me through this bloody cooking thing!

It’s not that I’m lazy, just bored I guess
For I don’t cook from the heart, just make a freakin’ mess
Twenty-three wash-ups later, spooned-out, mashed with a fork
I call to table my yoga, yoghurt loving dearest
And soon we swoon in patty heaven, for they taste surprisingly good
Though more oft than not, a little burnt under the hood
But as one brought up on tinned peaches, everything cremated
I’m totally cool with e numbers and additives
For my mum made ninety, without broccoli or laxatives
Oh, where is the man at the door with my curry?
Can’t we this Saturday put on some weight?
No, she says, and an unhealthy death is all I can hope for
That’s my only escape from two rissoles on a plate.

Mark Niedzwiedz


Review by Jared Pearce

Some people don’t like rhyme; heck, I’ve seen poetry journals that expressly forbid submitters from sending rhyming poetry.  I like rhymes, which can add layers of fun, beauty, and meaning to texts.  The rhymes here are, I think, fun.  And while I certainly relate to the speaker’s questionable cooking talents (though I can make a fine batch of brownies, that’s also about the limit of my ability), what I like best about the poem is how the speaker and the dearest can come together beyond the mess, after the at-first questionable rissoles, and while the yoga-other insists on an healthy diet, and at that point the poem’s couplets slip into a quatrain, the jauntiness of the scene, as buoyed by the lines, shows that the speaker will survive.  And he’ll likely survive healthily, too.

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