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For Maj: Nick’s Track Kitchen

08 April, 2019: For Maj: Nick’s Track Kitchen



by Melanie Murphy
Waterford Park 1979 
Racing Forms for sale by the register, two bucks. “Soup’s on, and get the rolls while they’re hot goddammit!” crackles Redhaired-Betty, mopping at the sweat trickling down her neck. “Woohoo, Betty, I got somethin’ hot for you!”  “Nah, you ain’t seen nothing like my kinda hot, and anyway I heard stories ’bout you before, so shut up you nickel-bred no ’count motherfucker, you want one roll or two? Here, have some extra butter.” Molly’s slapping mashed potatoes and slinging brown gravy over hot-beefs. Her apron’s right outta last week, she’s wearing the same hand-scooped ice cream, the same beef stew. Devil Went Down to Georgia’s on the jukebox again, they’re playing it to death—like they always do. Joe’s riding the favorite in the first race today. He sits down, wolfs down some eggs and home-fries with hot sauce and ketchup, some biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, and two cans of Pepsi. On his way out, he’ll lean over the shitter, heave it all—he’s gotta make weight—and light up a Marlboro.

“For Maj: Nick’s Track Kitchen” by Melanie Murphy. Copyright Melanie Murphy, 2018. Used by permission of the author.
Melanie Murphy is an MFA candidate in the Northeastern Ohio MFA program at Kent State University. Her poems have been published in the U.S. in Cutthroat, a Journal of the ArtsBordersenses, a Bilingual Literary Journal; and in the U.K. in the anthology The Chronicles of Eve. She presented a workshop, “Excavating Poetry,” at the 2018 Winter Wheat Festival at Bowling Green State University.


Write a kimo, an Israeli form that tends to capture a moment (like a photograph in words), using three unrhymed lines with syllable count 10, 7, 6.

Carson rerun on the television
Fighting heavy eyes, won't let them
Close until I finish post
4/8/2019 10:24:03 PM

N. K. Hasen
Green tennis ball lies on floor nearby as
From her perch window watching
Chelsey rests head on paws
4/8/2019 8:33:31 PM

Deborah Mizak
Daffodils, yellow heads bob in the breeze.
A welcome to mornings light
The rites of spring commence
4/8/2019 3:21:27 PM

Mourning mirror reflects noh expression
Pasty white deep black furrows
Resting kabuki face
4/8/2019 1:53:12 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.