This poem was named after Brillat-Savarin, eccentric gourmand, who died in 1826. One of his most interesting, and typical, quips was: “Dessert without cheese is like a beautiful girl with only one eye.”

 

Savarin
I

Take one chicken from three to five pounds,
coming home from an evening on the town,
salt it with garlic and pepper,
then melt one-half stick of butter
that signals the end of it
in a pan with one spoon of tarragon,
all that there was,
our civilization,
and three-fourths cup white wine.

Stuff the chicken with the green ends
of spring onions, pour on simmering mixture
hot in the memory
from the pan, then cook
what seethes on the brain
in a moderate oven for forty-five
passing in sequence
minutes plus ten for each pound if cold
like time on end, like scallops
and seven if at room temperature. Serve

with risotto and haricots verts
on the beach
à maître d’hôtel. White wine.

II

Marinate two veal chops, rather thick,
where is my youth,
with the juice of two lemons, garlic salt,
where did it go?
and one teaspoon of crushed thyme. While
the Lord
in the marinade, sauté one bell pepper
speaks of His passion
and one onion, diced, in one-half stick of butter
as if it were a nail just bolted
until tender. Remove the vegetables
to my neighbor’s eyes
and cook the chops on top of the stove
I hate them
in the butter residue for fifteen minutes,
let them go blind
turning them once in the meantime,
those fouls.

Add the vegetables along with one can of
hate, but with
tomatoes to pilaf, and serve with a rosé
piety.

III

Where are the snows of yesteryear,
in one-half stick of butter sauté three crushed*
goons who have besieged me
one-half teaspoon of oregano, and one teaspoon
of parsley
with their angry looks.

After ten minutes uf slow simmering, add
an eight-ounce can of minced clams;
allow this to simmer for five to ten minutes

or is He?
and serve over spinach noodles.

White wine and perhaps a salad of bell pepper
I’ve often wondered
and tomato; tarragon dressing.

*(garlic cloves, one tablespoon of sweet basil)

IV

Especially coming home late when I
lather a three to four pound rump roast
with garlic salt, pepper, and marjoram,
sear it for a few minutes on top of the stove
speak of love
with high heat, being careful to brown all
sides. Surround with three sliced onions
their beautiful backs
in butter
and one-third cup of water,

then cook for twenty-five minutes per pound at 325
times I’ve seen Satan, too,
under a tent of aluminum, and serve hot with
devils by his side, eating
baked potatoes, sour cream, a tossed salad,
pigs-feet,
and a hearty burgundy.

V

For each one-half pound of steak, cook one-half
the pain
a bell pepper, one-half of an onion
makes for a winsome frolic through bus terminals
in two or three tablespoons of butter slowly
late at night
until tender. Slice the steak into thin strips
when only the masks are out
and marinate with enough Worcestershire
to make me quiver, and
to coat each piece evenly and sparingly
dream of them.

O Jesus!
Salt and pepper the vegetables and the steak.
I’ve been cold too long.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and cook
past my prime
the steak in the butter for a few minutes.

I’ve written books on religion
then add the vegetables, stir a few minutes
to see visions
until just done, still slightly, rare, and serve
topped with a quartered tomato
over rice. Red wine.

VI

For dessert spread a mixture of melted butter
over the hands
and honey over toast: serve with coffee and tea
then look at them
and light up a cigarette, or a cigar
or their host.