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I need a break

by Jordan789 

Posted: 10 December 2006
Word Count: 230

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Because of the frantic rush to see who wants to order dessert
when a four-top hasn’t even been “specialed,”
and remembering to place dessert spoons on the party of eight
before the One of Each arrives, and that mussels
bowls are served with one silver spoon,
and one bowl per person unless only one person
is eating mussels, and then he gets two,
and it’s always placed to the left of the fork,
which is, always, on the left of the plate.
And if someone asks about one kind of wine
Or another kind of wine, say the Chateu St. Gorge 2001
(try to pronounce with a French accent so it sounds
more like: shhtshh sn Shorsh)
I need to go ask Josh to
help, and he always speaks
so softly that I can never hear the answer,
but when I do, it all seems to sound the same:
“The mineraly soil of the Bourdoux region
accelerates the taste and mixes wonderful
with the fruit forwarding. A right bit of tannin
leaves the mouth watering for a flavorful dish;
How about the grilled tuna or the lamb chops?”

“Oh, the Landmark Chardonay? Well, the mineraly
soil of Northern California accelerates the taste and mixes
wonderfully with a fruit forwarding. A right bit of tannin
leaves the mouth watering for a flavorful light dish:
How about the monk fish or chicken?”

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Comments by other Members

joanie at 21:21 on 10 December 2006  Report this post
Jordan, I really love this! I can FEEL how you feel (no, I mean how the writer feels), although it must be you! I am reminded of when my parents owned a cafe and I had to come home from school in my lunch hour to work!

I don't even want to correct the French, because that is all partof it!

Very enjoyable.


billygotee at 01:25 on 11 December 2006  Report this post
This poem is so beautiful, it has brought a tear to my eye. One of laughter, that is. (I don't really make jokes like that, in real life.)

I had many different jobs before I finished up at the univ, but waiting tables wasn't one of them. I imagine your description is exactly how one should expect it to be at one of them fancy schmancy restaurants, though. To that end, nice work. . .


Swoo at 19:02 on 11 December 2006  Report this post
Hi there Jordan
This poem is a complete joy. It's so unpretentious, fast-moving; it's a story/emotional dilemma which unfolds really gently and beautifully, measured and controlled. I love it.

Don't like the title though - it doesn't do it justice, too much of a cliche.

Starting a piece of work with the word 'because' is always interesting to me, because :-) I want to know what the 'because' is on about. And it breaks grammatical rules, which is good and exciting.

Love it. The sarcasm, the irony, the careful lines, the sense of urgency and despair, the bringing the reader into that moment in the restauarant. Love it.

James Graham at 11:03 on 12 December 2006  Report this post
It's certainly got that present tense immediacy that I've noticed before in your work, drawing us into a frenetic situation that most of us have never been in. In a previous poem of yours, I found myself looking for another level of meaning - and it's the same with this one. The ritual aspect of laying tables, the meticulous rules about placing the mussel bowls and spoons, seem to turn eating-out into a kind of cult, a minor (or not so minor) religion. The waiters are priests. Wine, of course, is one of the mysteries of this religion, and there's a special mystifying language to describe it. As a wine atheist, to whom all wine tastes like slightly enriched vinegar, I find your (or Josh's) use of exactly the same jargon to describe both the French and the Californian, rings very true.

The 'cult' aspect comes across quite strongly. There's something distasteful about turning the simple business of having a meal into such a production. The poem seems a sort of concentrate made out of the language of this 'cult'.

I agree with Swoo about the title. And a couple of questions: what's a four-top? And what's a One of Each?


Tina at 08:47 on 29 December 2006  Report this post

Late to this as so many others so apologies!

An interesting poem with lots of energy - I agree with James about the whole ritual of laying tables can somehow detract from the meal so much that the food becomes superfluous and you have made this very clear in your writing.

I have to say that the French errors did pall for me as I am a regular visitor to that beautiful country and would like them to be correct.(Actually I am not often bothered by spelling errors as I make a lot myself. Also I would prefer a different title but enjoyed your writing.

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