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Pigging Out

Wanda Coleman
Wanda Coleman

— for Austin

  • at the restaurant we sit down to wine
  • we are so hungry
  • the crisp appetizers/early loves
  • and lightly seasoned salad
  • we’ve developed appetites for the garlic & onion of life
  • gorging on a main course of dissatisfaction
  • over frustrated creativity sautéed in
  • economic plight
  • he chews over his Brooklyn childhood
  • i pick at the tedium of youthful Watts summers
  • we eat away the lousy jobs stunting our talent
  • we eat away the hot smog-filled day
  • we eat away the war in the headlines
  • we eat away the threat of nuclear holocaust
  • we eat away love-threatening pressures
  • we eat away the human pain we see/feel/
  • are stymied by
  • (pride is such thin dessert)
  • we eat until our smiles return
  • until fat and happy

Wanda Coleman, who passed away on November 20, 2013, at the age of 67, is a well-known American poet who has published 19 books of poetry and fiction including Bathwater Wine, for which she won the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (the first African-American woman to receive that award), and Mercurochrome, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001. A seminal figure of literary L.A., her honors also include Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and, most recently, the 2012 Shelley Memorial Award. “Pigging Out” is from a newly published collection of love poems called The Love Project: A Marriage Made in Poetry. The first part of the book contains poems by her husband, Austin Straus, written for Wanda, and the second half of the collection are poems by Wanda Coleman to Austin. The book has just been published by Red Hen Press in Los Angeles. “Pigging Out” is reprinted here by permission. The author’s photograph is by Susan Carpendale.

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Wanda Coleman
Wanda Coleman

— for Austin

  • at the restaurant we sit down to wine
  • we are so hungry
  • the crisp appetizers/early loves
  • and lightly seasoned salad
  • we’ve developed appetites for the garlic & onion of life
  • gorging on a main course of dissatisfaction
  • over frustrated creativity sautéed in
  • economic plight
  • he chews over his Brooklyn childhood
  • i pick at the tedium of youthful Watts summers
  • we eat away the lousy jobs stunting our talent
  • we eat away the hot smog-filled day
  • we eat away the war in the headlines
  • we eat away the threat of nuclear holocaust
  • we eat away love-threatening pressures
  • we eat away the human pain we see/feel/
  • are stymied by
  • (pride is such thin dessert)
  • we eat until our smiles return
  • until fat and happy

Wanda Coleman, who passed away on November 20, 2013, at the age of 67, is a well-known American poet who has published 19 books of poetry and fiction including Bathwater Wine, for which she won the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (the first African-American woman to receive that award), and Mercurochrome, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001. A seminal figure of literary L.A., her honors also include Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and, most recently, the 2012 Shelley Memorial Award. “Pigging Out” is from a newly published collection of love poems called The Love Project: A Marriage Made in Poetry. The first part of the book contains poems by her husband, Austin Straus, written for Wanda, and the second half of the collection are poems by Wanda Coleman to Austin. The book has just been published by Red Hen Press in Los Angeles. “Pigging Out” is reprinted here by permission. The author’s photograph is by Susan Carpendale.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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