Poems

Joe Dolce: Five Poems

Gruel   Oliver asked for more. Politely. (He still got belted.) Popular literature was culprit for mongrel association, to starvation and poverty, but gruel has papers. Maize mush was the primary food of Mayans and Aztecs; a staple of ancient Greeks and Roman plebeians. Gruel allowed women to stop breast-feeding after only two years, halving the birth interval, exploding population. Oatmeal, porridge, mediaeval gruya, Middle Eastern burbura, Korean jat-juk, Ethiopian genfo, Mexican atole— most common today: Asian congee, eaten since 2500 BC. Hot malted milk is gruel, but Ovaltine and Horlick’s refrain from the stigma (for commercial reasons). Soup derives…

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