Rite of Passage

You want to eat at a place
with a busy turnover, where the cook
wears a shirt and the wait staff
isn’t mopping out the sewer drains.
You’ve been looking for so long now
but on this dusty, shadeless motorway
there is an almost admirable
defiance; restaurants clinging
to the road’s edge like last year’s
Christmas decorations, their greeters
smiling through the 40-degree heat.

At last, you choose one with subtitles
and push open the 80-pound glass door
into an environment so chilled
it borders the erotic. The hairs
under the sweat-soaked parts
of your clothes grow rigid as you sit
in the dark and sip tepid water
from a glass you’ve ordered with no ice.
The photos in the sticky menu
are pixelated impressions, and the English
underneath is either Roget’s dreams perverted,
or his most perverted dreams realized:
Danger! Perilous Hotplate!!
Scorched Duck.
Orange Gropefruit.
No rabbit because of sore reason.

A single adventurous taste-bud cries out
for dog, but you settle for chicken
in the soup you’ve picked. When the waiter signals
that this is a spicy dish, you assure him
with your most sincere gestures
that you know exactly what you are doing.
And when the steaming pot is placed before you
you wonder, briefly, why they
would add cranberries to chicken soup.
The waiter backs away slowly
as you clumsily add bean sprouts
and the stir the pot; the dye, you think
from those scarlet little berries
turning the broth a fiery red.

copyright 2007 Rocco de Giacomo

As appeared in Catching Dawn’s Breath (LyricalMyrical Press, Toronto)

March’s Top Five Vids

5. This week I’m feeling a might silly. I think it’s due to being over-worked and hyper-caffeinated. Because of my rather daft mood, the top five vids this month are all comedy bits. I’ll start you off with something cute and cuddly and devolve from there.

Simon’s Cat:

4. Chris Rock on Marriage (absolutely no bearing on my own):

3. Here we start to broach the lighter side of more sensitive issues. If you attend mass regularly, you might want to skip to number two.

George Carlin on Religion:

2. Oops. If you attend mass regularly and followed my advice and watched some or all of this video, I do apologize. Not to worry though, I hear God is very forgiving (unless you laughed).

Ali G at a Pro-Choice Rally:

1. Oh my. If you are a Church goer and watched this one, I’m not sure I can help you. In fact, though I’m not very religious, I have a feeling that anyone who even watches, let alone laughs at this is going straight to H – E – double hockey sticks. BAD LANGUAGE!!

Doug Stanhope on MySpace:

Al Gore’s Curse

Four Trees


Little India






Like a Rock

Recycling Day

Winter Boardwalk










Restaurant and Café

Romance is where blue-haired ladies
nibble at egg salad sandwiches, local
attempts at prairie sky hang from roofing nails,
and on the AM radio, the price
of canola is discussed as often as war.

It’s where the contents of our
sandwiches are applied with
ice-cream scoops, the trays
are mint, the linoleum squeaks
and slices of pickle are an extra 50¢.

It’s where spoonfuls of Borscht
paint our mouths red, our legs stick
to the seats, and our lips are as ribbon
smears on a white canvas : the words
I love you a tongue’s-breath away from
ruining and meaning everything.

C 2006 Rocco de Giacomo

As appeared in Tower Poetry Society and my latest collection, Catching Dawn’s Breath (Lyricalmyrical Press).