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Spice Rub

05 April, 2015: Spice Rub


by Gail Bellamy
Spice Rub
Cayenne is the
concentrated flavor
of your own fear
Cilantro is a
soaped-out mouth
once rinsed
Cumin is pencil shavings
wet sidewalks in summer, and
other elusive scents come alive
holds a masked taste,
like disappointment concealed, and
saffron is the flavor
you’d probably taste
if you licked a butterfly.

“Spice Rub” by Gail Bellamy, from Victual Reality: Food Poems by Gail Ghetia Bellamy. Pudding House Press, 2000. Used with permission of the author.

Gail Bellamy served as Cleveland Heights’ Poet Laureate in 2010 and 2011 and Board President of the Poets’ and Writers’ League of Greater Cleveland, 2000 – 2006. In 2010, she was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship in Literature from Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, funded by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. She has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing, and is the author of two poetry collections: Victual Reality (2000) and Traveler’s Salad (2009) and four prose collections: Cleveland Summertime Memories (2013), Cleveland Christmas Memories (2012), Cleveland Food Memories (2003) and Design Spirits (1997). She also co-authored The Vegetable Storybook (2010) that won a “Best in the U.S.” World Gourmand Cookbook Award.


Open your senses to new sensations.

Choose a specific food (like spice rub or sauerkraut) and write about it using as many of the five senses as possible OR choose a general food (like pasta or soup) and write about its many forms.
George Ghetia
Congrats, Gail.
4/5/2015 6:24:39 PM

Diane Kendig
I LOVE food poems, and Gail has a lot of them in the book this was taken from. Some others I like are Galway Kinnell's "Blackberry Eating," Diane Lockward's "Linguini," and Kerry Trautman's cardamom poem in her new book, "To Have Hoped."
4/5/2015 12:18:59 PM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.