"Vittles" by Aaron Belz

[My favorite poem from Belz's Lovely, Raspberry.
More Belz, including this poem, at ucity review]

--Aaron Belz

Considering how little new there is to say about varmints
perhaps one can write something new about vittles,
or if the mood of the room in which one is writing
is cast perfectly for such an occasion one might even
venture to write something new about vittles that also
discusses or touches upon the interests of varmints,
for varmints are known to prefer certain vittles over others
and to reject some vittles entirely, such as anything leafy.

Leafy edibles might not even be properly defined as vittles,
in which case one inevitably turns one’s attention to parsnips.
Rumor has it that there is a certain kind of varmint that,
while unilaterally rejecting leafy edibles, will in fact partake
of a parsnip if the mood in the room is cast perfectly
for such an occasion, or indeed if the white china is so white
as to remind that varmint of the moon and set him to baying;
he might even partake of bay leaves if that is the case.

Bay leaves, however, and in fact parsnips themselves,
have traditionally been associated with critters,
what with the diet of critters being almost entirely leafy
and not at all thought of as vittles. It is almost comical
to imagine a critter munching on vittles. Let’s say,
however, that you’re stumped for ideas for your writing;
in this case, you might try picturing in your mind
a critter eating vittles—or a varmint eating leafy edibles.

Such fancy performs the function of a mental crowbar,
that is to say, it can if you allow it to perform that function:
you will suddenly remember three or four really sucky
moments of your childhood that you had suppressed,
and they will arrive in your mind with their own lexicons
and their own contextualizing power that is so overpowering
as to recontextualize even your recent thinking about vittles
and all the new things you had hoped to write about them.

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