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Councilmember Nick Licata
Phone: 206-684-8803
Fax: 206-684-8587
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"Words' Worth" Poetry Readings

Poets at the Culture, Arts, and Parks Committee of the Seattle City Council.

Line: Food Bank "Gastronomy is the science of pain" by Anthony Bourdain

Commodities once per month
one paper bag box of powdered milk
can of pork can of tuna prunes cereal cookies

green olives in virgin olive oil garlic
fennel with prosciutto and parmesan
the chef orders his seafood on Thursday

On Friday the trucks arrive with unknown boxes
Open boxes line up bags milk cereal pork tuna prunes
Line up bag for weekly supplies
The eighty-year old woman in the back
divides the sugar bag in three apples beans rice

Shallots pasta ribbons caramelized sea scallops rosemary
In fact, it was the unsavory side of professional cooking
that attracted me to it in the first place.

Two hours before bank opens
Line up in a single file market bags in hand
Divide bananas one spinach in each bag
cottage cheese for anyone who wants it

saddle of monkfish with dried cherries
Sicilian sesame bread robiola cheese white truffle oil
almond-stuffed figs beluga
I wanted it all: the cuts and burns on hands and wrists,
the ghoulish kitchen humor nerve-shattering chaos.

Get your IDs ready your zip code your bank card
cereal canned pears can of soup one warm meal
delivered to the homebound that cannot cook

Twenty-ounce cut of certified Black Angus beef
kitchen life: the dreamers, the crackpots, the refugees, and the sociopaths
It's a place for people with bad pasts to find a new family.

How many people in the family
Their ages
76 and 4
I'm sorry, I did nit hear you
Their ages
76 and 4
Did you get commodities for May
2 bags for this woman, please
powdered milk cereal prunes sugar beans tuna

65 ideas to savor the season
acacia camellia juniper privet sumac foliage
lady apples persimmons pomegranates walnuts

How many in the family
one two three-and-a-half five seven eight ten thirty two
2 bags, please

pepper-crushed yellow tuna cocoa angel food cake with orange glaze

How many in the family
Your zip code
I live in the woods behind here
the tree has no zip code
pork tuna powdered milk prunes dry beans rice sugar flour
I can't cook where I live
tuna crackers apples can soup tuna crackers teen snack pack

crips-skinned roast duck gingered vegetable stir-fry
litchi five-spice ice cream kumquats almonds fortune cookies tangerines
Outside Filipinos and Vietnamese trade noodles for rice the
Mexicans rice for the noodles with "Americans"
the sugar for the pork the pork for the tuna the tuna for apples
the apples for the cookies the cookies for the prunes the prunes
for the cereal the cereal for the spinach the spinach for the teen snack pack

This page was last updated: January 8, 2000
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