Back in college,
When days started around 10:00 AM
On Tuesdays and Thursdays…
Only Tuesdays and Thursdays,
I had an art history class.
The room was darkened,
The slides were projected, and
I learned that studying art
Could be interesting.
Brought flavor to my aesthetic palette.
Dali was one of my favorites,
And I identified with the bending figures
When I realized one mid-morning that I had become
A melting watch, my then flexible body slumped in a chair
Ready to slide off into oblivion.
I never much thought
I could have a surreal conversation
After running, but
On this morning where everyone
Took to their personal programs,
Choosing from the buffet of fitness items
Brought out by the YMCA chefs,
There was a moment where I felt like my body
Was sliding into that same
Art class boho college sweat pants wearing
Dali inspired haze
That had the potential
Enhance my culinary maturation
Or totally empty my innards
Through one end
Or the other.
After the normal chit chat
About weather, cold, upcoming races, and job transitions,
Someone, probably an accountant, mentioned
“I love scrapple,” was the gist,
Which, like some sick self-aggrandizing motion
In a bizarre Congressional hearing,
Was seconded with the right amount of
Mmm-Mmm good guttural expression
That was washed down with a torrent of Pavlovian salivary moisture
Previously suggested by a
“Why is this so wet?” question.
I have to say that on this Thursday, it was barely past sunrise,
A time I would have never seen in my college days, so
To feel the pangs of art history
In conjunction with a discussion about the ingredients in scrapple
Was bordering on a gastric disaster.
My ignorance of the snout to tail breakfast confabulation
Spanned the continuum containing sausage, hot dogs, spam, and
The finer cuts of pork like loin, butt, and shoulder.
Still, though, the devotees extolled the virtues
Of the scrapple like it was a triple word score
On the tiled board game
That was adding to my nutritional neurosis.
You see, food is a stressor for me,
I like to eat, but textures do me in.
So, too, does the idea of eating intestines, stomach,
Anus, tongue, liver, kidney, onions, cucumbers, and
Squid with the tentacles still on.
I like to know what I’m eating
Not because I’m a health freak,
But because I’m chicken, which I eat freely,
Range, oven, nugget, however.
The conversation became an exercise
In pork futility.
The scrapple eaters not understanding how some of us
Had never eaten the mash-up,
Those of us who were scrapple virgins,
Living in nutritional purity, myself, not mastitorialy-flexible,
If that is such a thing,
Looked to the scrapple eaters as catfish,
Scouring the bottom of the butcher’s block
For whatever tasty scraps might be left
From Wilbur’s slaughter.
I left the table satiated,
Full of the amazement that comes from the diversity of tastes,
Appreciative of the good-natured ribbing we all dished out, and
Thankful for the group that gets me out of bed a full six hours
Before I would have in college.
I also journeyed into a day where the food lines had been blurred,
My expectations for breakfast were a little fuzzy.
Like those other times of breakfast food epiphany,
Runny eggs, no syrup, energy balls with uncooked oats,
I saw a hazy vision of me in a Venezuelan restaurant
Named after America
Eating of all things,