Food Poem – Men After Work by Dana Gioia


Done with work, they are sitting by themselves
in coffeeshops or diners, taking up the booths,
filling every other seat along the counter,
waiting for the menu, for the water,
for the girl to come and take their order,
always on the edge of words, almost without appetite,
knowing there is nothing on the menu that they want,
waiting patiently to ask for one
more refill of their coffee, surprised
that even its bitterness will not wake them up.
Still they savor it, holding each sip
lukewarm in their mouths, this last taste of evening.

From the

The Martian – Food an Enabling Constraint of Survival


Recently I enjoyed the book and the movie “The Martian.” No spoiler alerts. Although the plot is public for anyone who reads. I would like to point out for all my fellow hungry philosophers that throughout the movie (especially during the first half) the protagonist is almost always eating. His survival depends on his ability to continue eating. He is not happy when he runs out of ketchup and coffee, a crushing blow to his humanity. Food is a central character in the movie that demands attention and sets the pace. The book details Mark Watney’s food rations, his allotment of “real meals” for celebration, consolation and congratulations, his caloric calculations, his arduous process of farming, his cooking of potatoes etc. Imagine if we all did the same. Makes me want to start a food journal.

The podcast Food: Non-Fiction interviews the author, Andy Weir and worth a listen. Enjoy.

Coffee in the Afternoon (A Poem by Alberto Rios)


It was afternoon tea, with tea foods spread out
Like in the books, except that it was coffee.

She made a tin pot of cowboy coffee, from memory,
That’s what we used to call it, she said, cowboy coffee.

The grounds she pinched up in her hands, not a spoon,
And the fire on the stove she made from a match.

I sat with her and talked, but the talk was like the tea food,
A little of this and something from the other plate as well,

Always with a napkin and a thank-you. We sat and visited
And I watched her smoke cigarettes

Until the afternoon light was funny in the room,
And then we said our good-byes. The visit was liniment,

The way the tea was coffee, a confusion plain and nice,
A balm for the nerves of two people living in the world,

A balm in the tenor of its language, which spoke through
our hands
In the small lifting of our cups and our cakes to our lips.

It was simplicity, and held only what it needed.
It was a gentle visit, and I did not see her again.

“Coffee in the Afternoon” by Alberto Rios from The Theater of Night. © Copper Canyon Press, 2007. Reprinted with permission.  From The Writers Almanac,